August 31, 2013
MIAMI, Florida -- Miami-based protest group Democracy Movement yesterday asked Prime Minister Perry Christie to take action against the guards responsible for allegedly abusing Cuban detainees at the Carmichael Road Detention Centre.
During a press conference in Miami at the group's headquarters, Ramon Sanchez, its spokesman, said Christie must address the allegations.
"Do we need to say any more before we hear from you the good news that you will immediately make all victims and witnesses available to the press and the investigators, not only for the horrible incident already exposed by a leaked report?" Sanchez asked.
"We are not looking for revenge, sir. We are looking to impede those same people [so they won't] commit the same acts in the future when everyone goes about their daily lives and forgets this tragic episode."
He was reading from a letter to the prime minister that the group intends to deliver to the consul general in Miami.
Democracy Movement staged protests against The Bahamas after a video aired on a Spanish language TV station in Miami purporting to show Cubans being abused by Bahamian officers.
The government has called the video a fake.
In statements contained in a defence force report on alleged abuses at the detention center, marines admitted to beating detainees.
Sanchez said the report's leak is a victory for the truth, but called on Christie to release the official report.
"We encourage you to stand tall on the sacred post that you hold, put politics aside, and give the world the good news that the truth is more important to you than an insincere image..." he said.
Sanchez urged the prime minister to show that he cares about "abused, mistreated and humiliated human beings" whose physical wounds might heal in a while, but whose spiritual wounds could last a lifetime.
"We further encourage you to deploy the courage to sit down together with us in the table of brotherhood so that we can all work together to find justice and harmony in the rest of this process," he said.
Marleine Bastian, executive director of the Haitian Women of Miami, said she has also heard allegations of abuse against Haitian nationals detained at the detention center.
She said the allegations of abuse against the Cubans has deeply upset her.
"It pains me," she said at the press conference. "My heart bleeds to hear the plight of the refugees."
Democracy Movement was also scheduled to hold a small demonstration and motorcade in front of the Bahamas Consulate in downtown Miami, but it never happened as a group of Cubans who were granted asylum arrived in Miami yesterday.
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News date : 08/31/2013 Category : Nassau Guardian Stories