UPDATED: April 5, 2012
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay stated at an April 5, 2012 news conference that she wants Raul Garcia freed immediately – however the April 5, 2012 official UN press release detailing her Barbados visit does not mention Mr. Garcia. Ian Bourne was at the press conference and will file a story at Bajan Reporter.
Illegally held prisoner Raul Garcia a non-subject
Navanethem Pillay (above) arrives in Barbados today, but the plight of illegally-held prisoner Raul Garcia is nowhere to be found in the published agenda of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. That’s too bad because the only difference between the USA’s Guantanamo Bay facility in Cuba, and Raul Garcia’s detention in Barbados’ Dodds prison is in the number of illegally detained prisoners who have no hope of charges, trial or release.
USA’s Guantanamo has many illegally-held prisoners. Barbados has one: Raul Garcia.
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba…
‘GITMO’ in the language of the military: where the United States of America holds prisoners without without charges and without trial. The men imprisoned there are not prisoners of war, nor are they held under any law that is valid within the United States. Because the USA wishes to disobey and circumvent its own laws and Constitution, the Gitmo prisoners are held off US soil. This is because the government of the United States would not dare to do what it does at Gitmo within the borders of the USA.
At least not yet…
… so the USA has Guantanamo.
Barbados Government motto: ‘The law be damned.‘
It is a pity the DLP Barbados government of Prime Minister Freundel Stuart is not at least as concerned as the USA is with technically obeying the laws of the land, because if our Barbados government was concerned with the law it would have to release Raul Garcia today.
Mr. Garcia is stateless. Over two years ago, he completed a 20 year sentence in Barbados for drug trafficking. He served his time and by all accounts is a reformed and model prisoner, and an accomplished artist. Perhaps even a man you would be proud to call your friend.
Why not call Raul Garcia your friend? People change, and good people occasionally get caught up in things that they shouldn’t have been involved in. Perhaps even some of your own friends.
Garcia has no place to go because the land of his birth, Cuba, will not take him back, nor will the USA where he spent his youth, accept him.
It is against Barbados law for the government to continue to hold Mr. Garcia in custody, let alone in a punitive facility… but our government continues to do so.
48 days ago, Prime Minister Freundal Stuart promised to transfer Garcia from his punishment cell at Her Majesty’s Dodds prison, but Stuart is about as credible on that promise as he was on Integrity Legislation, Freedom of Information and Conflict of Interest policies.
Raul Garcia remains illegally imprisoned at Dodds.
Will Navanethem Pillay, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, hear the name ‘Raul Garcia’ during her visit? Will she ask to visit Garcia? Will our unlawful detention of an innocent man for over two years be a subject of conversation with PM Stuart or part of the public remarks of Ms. Pillay?
That is unfortunately up to the Barbados news media…
… government lapdogs that they are.
Official visit from United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights today
… From the Barbados Advocate
UNITED Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanetham Pillay arrives on the island today in the first official visit by such an individual to an English-speaking Caribbean nation.
During the visit, she is expected to meet with Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, Foreign Minister Maxine McClean and other government officials.
In addition, she will conduct talks with Senate President Kerryann Ifill, Opposition Leader Owen Arthur and Sir Dennis Byron, President of the Caribbean Court of Justice, also a longtime UN International Tribunal judge.
Pillay is also expected to hold talks with academics and members of civil society.
A South African national, Pillay was a judge for eight years on the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. (JMB)