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Jamaica's foreign minister wants Trinidad to improve holding facilities

Published:Sunday | April 3, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Kamina Johnson Smith

Jamaica's foreign affairs minister has called on the Trinidadian government and its national carrier Caribbean Airlines (CAL) to improve facilities for holding people who are denied entry to the country.

Kamina Johnson Smith expressed dissatisfaction with the holding facilities at Trinidad's Piarco International Airport following the receipt of two formal complaints from Jamaicans about the treatment they received in the twin-island republic after a decision to deny them entry on March 21.

The foreign minister says she is aware of work done in 2013 and 2014 to improve facilities, but says more needs to be done.

She says there is particular concern about facilities for holding people who are denied entry in Trinidad. Johnson-Smith says the Trinidad government feels very strongly that CAL should provide facilities.

She says the foreign ministry will encourage CAL to ensure that the necessary facilities are put in place as Jamaica seeks to protect the rights of citizens travelling overseas.

The foreign affairs minister points out that following consultations between Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago more than two years ago on free movement under the CARICOM (Caribbean Community ) Single Market and Economy, both sides had agreed to address issues, including the treatment of travellers denied entry.

But Jamaica is again probing allegations that two Jamaicans were ill-treated on their arrival at Trinidad's Piarco airport on March 21.

Johnson Smith is reminding nationals that there is a CARICOM  Complaints Procedure which may be used by people who have been denied entry, detained or mistreated at the ports of entry of other CARICOM states.