Henfield: Don’t “jump to conclusions” about Bahamian men found dead in Italy

Henfield: Don’t “jump to conclusions” about Bahamian men found dead in Italy
Minister of Foreign Affairs and North Abaco MP Darren Henfield speaks with Eyewitness News outside the House of Assembly in July 2018. (FILE PHOTO)

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Upon confirming the deaths of two Bahamian males who were pulled from the Po River in Turin, Italy earlier this week, Foreign Affairs Minister Darren Henfield urged the public not to “jump to conclusions” or share “speculative information” about their deaths.

Alrae Ramsey, 29, was a Foreign Service Officer at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who was on study leave. Blair John was a PhD candidate who was studying in Halifax, Canada.

On Wednesday, Alrae Ramsey was found floating in the Po River in Turin, Italy and less than 24 hours later, Italian authorities reported that the lifeless body of Blair John, who was reported earlier to be missing, was also found floating in the same river.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Bahamas confirmed both deaths on Wednesday.

“We continue to remain in close contact with the family and we urge members of the public to keep the families in their prayers and to show compassion and understanding by not jumping to conclusions and sharing speculative information widely,” said Henfield while speaking yesterday in the House of Assembly.

Henfield said information spreads life fire on social media and there are times when immediate family members have not been contacted, but they must receive tragic news after it has gone viral.

“It is a very dangerous activity that people would be putting out information without concern for the care of those people personally affected –  their family members – and so I would like to add my voice of caution that we should be more careful in the way we disseminate information and have more cognizance that these are the children of people,” Henfield said.

“If you make a formal communication [about the two men who died in Italy], you should contact those family members before you do so.”

Henfield also asked the public to keep Alrae Ramsey’s colleagues at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in their prayers during this very difficult and tragic time.