Human rights group calls for attorney Queen’s Counsel status to be revoked
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Rights Bahamas yesterday called attorney Wayne Munroe’s suggestion the government go into Hurricane Dorian shelters to identify undocumented migrants “sickening, and shocking”, but said it was not surprised.
The human rights group called for Munroe’s Queen Counsel status to be revoked.
In an interview with Eyewitness News Online, Munroe said the government does not appear serious about enforcing its immigration policies and encouraged it to screen shelterees to determine who does not have a right to be in The Bahamas.
International human rights organizations have called on the government to suspend its immigration enforcement exercises.
In a statement, Rights Bahamas said: “The call by PLP attorney Wayne Munroe, QC, for the government to storm the hurricane shelters in order to detain suspected illegal immigrants is sickening, but not at all surprising.
“The public is reminded that this is the same individual who recommended that undocumented migrants should be flogged or caned in order to deter others from coming to the country.”
Munroe made the recommendation of corporal punishment for illegal migrants in late 2015 as a deterrent to people seeking to illegally enter the country.
At the time, the attorney said the price is too low for immigration offenses in The Bahamas, and suggested that if illegal immigrants believed “we tortured and killed them, they might not come”.
There was strong rebuke to the suggestion.
The RB statement continued: “Our vice president Joseph Darville said: ‘His QC status should be immediately revoked by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and the Bahamas Bar Association should consider disbarring him over this disgraceful behaviour. He is advocating the return of the whipping post, a legacy of the darkest days of slavery’.
“We take this opportunity to give renewed support to Mr. Darville’s recommendations.
“Rights Bahamas believes Wayne Munroe’s bizarre public utterances regarding immigration enforcement represent a point of view shared by all the brutal dictators and notorious human rights abusers throughout history.
It read: “His statements are shocking, his recommended methods unconscionable and should he ever hold the position of political power he has pursued for some time now, the implications are downright frightening.”
Rights Bahamas said the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) leadership, which has called Munroe an asset to the party, should rebuke the attorney who ran in Free Town under the PLP’s banner in the last election.
“His comments should also be rejected by the current government, every church leader, every human rights organization, every community activist and every right thinking individual citizen,” the group said.
“You simply do not take advantage of victims of a natural disaster when they are at their most vulnerable, full stop. This is what the international community repeatedly seeks to remind the tone deaf and backward political class of this country, seemingly to no avail.
It added: “But our politicians should beware, the intolerant policies of both parties when it comes to the issue of undocumented migration could eventually lead us to a place where crackpot ideas like those expressed by Wayne Munroe might actually become the norm.”