NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Rights Bahamas yesterday fully endorsed the call of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) for the government to suspend deportations to Haiti in the wake of Hurricane Dorian.
“It is the height of irony that a country newly elected to the UN’s Human Rights Council should have to be dressed down in this embarrassing fashion for its aggressive, inhumane and intolerant behavior in the face of a humanitarian crisis,” read a press statement. “We should be working to help all victims of the storm, not heaping further misery on those who are most vulnerable.”
In a press briefing note on The Bahamas, dated October 11, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) expressed concern over the deportation of 112 Haitian migrants on October 3. Among those, the agency said, were people impacted by the deadly Category 5 storm in Abaco.
The OHCHR called on the government to refrain from deporting individuals who lack documentation, particularly without the individual assessments and due process guarantees to which they are entitled under international law.
Yesterday, RB said the Free National Movement administration should be ashamed over its actions. The group also called out members of the Official Opposition, whom it claims have been “fanning the flames of hysteria”.
It continued: “We also welcome the OHCHR’s scrutiny of our immigration policy as a whole, which Rights Bahamas has continually maintained is illegal, unconstitutional and leads to countless human rights abuses on
a daily basis.
“The government has been continually warned that local human rights activists are working with our international contacts, including the United Nations, the OAS, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and Amnesty International to bring awareness to the enormous excesses of the Immigration Department and the increasingly draconian pronouncements from the executive.
“Perhaps now they will start to listen,” the statement added.