U.S. State Department issues Human Rights report on Barbados: Mentions Raul Garcia’s unlawful detention

Barbados Human Rights… according to the United States of America

You can read the report at the U.S. State Department here.

Bajan Reporter has the full text of Hillary Clinton’s speech about the Annual Human Rights Report.

U.S. Department of State

2011 Human Rights Reports: Barbados

BUREAU OF DEMOCRACY, HUMAN RIGHTS, AND LABOR
2011 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices
Report
May 24, 2012

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY    

Barbados is a multiparty, parliamentary democracy. In 2008 national elections, voters elected Prime Minister David Thompson of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP). International observers assessed the vote as generally free and fair. Prime Minister Thompson died in office in October 2010 and was replaced by Deputy Prime Minister Freundel Stuart. Security forces reported to civilian authorities.

The most serious human rights problem was occasional use of excessive force by the police.

Other human rights problems included societal violence against women and children and discrimination against gays and lesbians.

The government took steps to punish officials who committed abuses, and there was not a widespread perception of impunity for security force members.

SECTION 1. RESPECT FOR THE INTEGRITY OF THE PERSON, INCLUDING FREEDOM FROM:

a. Arbitrary or Unlawful Deprivation of Life

The government or its agents did not commit any politically motivated killings, but on rare occasions, there were police killings in the line of duty. Authorities investigated all such killings and referred them to a coroner’s inquiry when appropriate.

In July police officers shot and killed Shawn Anderson Sealy, sought in connection with an aggravated burglary, after he attacked them with a machete and damaged a police vehicle. The coroner’s office was investigating the case at year’s end. In December Curtis Callender died at the Oistins Police Station while in police custody for questioning. At year’s end the attorney general awaited a final autopsy report, but an initial finding revealed that the suspect died from an aneurysm.

Frequently there were long delays in completing coroner’s inquiries, but findings eventually were made public. For instance, in July the coroner’s court returned an “open” verdict in the 2006 police killing of Richard Gordon, and in August it made a finding of “accidental shooting” in the 2009 death of Hugh Springer, a bystander shot and killed by police. That report urged the police to use taser guns as a nonlethal means of controlling chaotic public disturbances.

The coroner’s court received the files for the 2009 police killing of Denzil Headley and the 2007 police killing of Michael Davis, but inquest dates had not been set by year’s end.

b. Disappearance

There were no reports of politically motivated disappearances.

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

The constitution prohibits such practices. Most complaints against the police alleged unprofessional conduct and beating or assault. Police occasionally were accused of beating suspects to obtain confessions, and suspects often recanted their confessions during their trial. In many cases the only evidence against the accused was a confession. Suspects and their family members continued to allege coercion by police, but there was no evidence of systematic police abuse.

On February 28, a Jamaican national claimed three officers raped her while she was detained at the Central Police Station on drug trafficking charges. Authorities arrested two of the accused officers, suspended them from the force, and brought charges against them. Released on bail, they awaited trial at year’s end.

On March 14, another Jamaican national claimed she was sexually assaulted by a female immigration officer at the airport where she was detained after flying to the country. She said the alleged assault occurred when she was subjected to a cavity search while in custody. The parliamentary minister for immigration claimed that the accuser was denied entry for good reason and that no mistreatment occurred. However, officials from the two governments discussed the incident, and the investigation remained open at year’s end.

PRISON AND DETENTION CENTER CONDITIONS

Prison and detention center conditions generally met international standards. Dodds Prison, built in 2007 in St. Philip, was designed to meet modern international standards with a capacity of approximately 1,250 prisoners. According to prison officials, in November it held 1,032 prisoners, including pretrial detainees. Although prisoners occasionally complained about the quality of the food, Dodds had a canteen program permitting family members to make deposits into inmate accounts, and inmates could purchase popular food, snacks, toiletries, and dry goods. Prisoners may submit complaints to the officer in charge. If that officer cannot resolve the problem, it is referred to the warden.

There were 36 female prisoners held in a separate wing. There were separate juvenile facilities for boys and girls.

A Cuban prisoner remained in prison even though he completed his 15-year sentence for drug trafficking in 2010. The government stated this was due to the Cuban government’s denial of his repatriation request and that he will remain incarcerated until Cuba or a another country agrees to accept him. There were no immediate plans to release the prisoner into general society.

Authorities permitted reasonable access to visitors. Prisoners were permitted religious observance and could submit complaints to judicial authorities. The government allowed prison visits by independent human rights monitors.

d. Arbitrary Arrest or Detention

The constitution prohibits arbitrary arrest and imprisonment, and the government generally observed these prohibitions.

ROLE OF THE POLICE AND SECURITY APPARATUS

The Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) is responsible for internal law enforcement. The small Barbados Defense Force (BDF) protects national security and may be called upon to maintain public order in times of crisis, emergency, or other specific need. The RBPF reports to the minister of home affairs, and the BDF reports to the minister of defense and security. Although the police largely were unarmed, special RBPF foot patrols in high-crime areas carried firearms. An armed special rapid-response unit continued to operate. The law provides that the police can request BDF assistance with special joint patrols.

Civilian authorities maintained effective control over the RBPF and the BDF, and the government has effective mechanisms to investigate and punish abuse and corruption. There were no reports of impunity involving the security forces during the year.

ARREST PROCEDURES AND TREATMENT WHILE IN DETENTION

Police are authorized to arrest persons suspected of criminal activity; a warrant is typically required. The constitution permits detainees to be held without charge for up to five days; however, once charged, detainees must be brought before a court without unnecessary delay. There is a functioning bail system. Criminal detainees received prompt access to counsel and were advised of that right immediately after arrest. Access to family members generally was permitted.

Police procedures provide that, except when expressly permitted by a senior divisional officer to do otherwise, the police may question suspects and other persons only at a police station. An officer must visit detainees at least once every three hours to inquire about the detainees’ condition. After 24 hours the detaining authority must submit a written report to the deputy commissioner. The authorities must approve and record all movements of detainees between stations.

There were between 50 and 100 persons in pretrial detention at various times during the year. While length of pretrial detention may vary from one case to another, there were no reports of extended periods of pretrial detention or abuse of the practice.

e. Denial of Fair Public Trial
The constitution provides for an independent judiciary, and the government generally respected judicial independence in practice.

TRIAL PROCEDURES
The constitution provides that persons charged with criminal offenses be given a fair public hearing without unnecessary delay by an independent, impartial court and a trial by jury. The government generally respected these rights in practice. Defendants have the right to be present and to consult with an attorney in a timely manner. The government provided free legal aid to the indigent in family matters, child support, serious criminal cases such as rape or murder, and all cases involving minors. Defendants are allowed to confront and question witnesses and present evidence on their own behalf. Defendants and their attorneys have access to government-held evidence relevant to their case. Defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty and have the right of appeal.

The constitution and law provides for the right to a fair trial, and an independent judiciary generally enforced this right.

POLITICAL PRISONERS AND DETAINEES
There were no reports of political prisoners or detainees.

CIVIL JUDICIAL PROCEDURES AND REMEDIES
Magistrate’s courts have both civil and criminal jurisdiction, but the civil judicial system experienced heavy backlogs. Citizens can seek redress for human rights or other abuses through the civil system.

f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or Correspondence
The constitution prohibits such actions, and the government generally respected these prohibitions in practice.

SECTION 2. RESPECT FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES, INCLUDING:
a. Freedom of Speech and Press
STATUS OF FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND PRESS
The constitution provides for freedom of speech and of the press, and the government generally respected these rights in practice. An independent press, an effective judiciary, and a functioning democratic political system combined to ensure freedom of speech and of the press.

The government restricted the receipt and importation of foreign publications deemed to be pornographic.

INTERNET FREEDOM
There were no government restrictions on access to the Internet or credible reports that the government monitored e-mail or Internet chat rooms. Individuals and groups could engage in the expression of views via the Internet, including by e-mail.

ACADEMIC FREEDOM AND CULTURAL EVENTS
There were no government restrictions on academic freedom or cultural events.

b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association
The constitution provides for freedom of assembly and association, and the government generally respected these rights in practice.

c. Freedom of Religion
See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report at http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/rpt/.

d. Freedom of Movement, Internally Displaced Persons, Protection of Refugees, and Stateless Persons
The constitution and the law provide for freedom of movement within the country, foreign travel, emigration, and repatriation, and the government generally respected these rights in practice.

The government was prepared to cooperate with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and other humanitarian organizations in assisting refugees, asylum seekers, and other persons of concern.

PROTECTION OF REFUGEES
Access to Asylum: The government has not established a system for providing protection to refugees. The government did not grant refugee status or asylum during the year.

SECTION 3. RESPECT FOR POLITICAL RIGHTS: THE RIGHT OF CITIZENS TO CHANGE THEIR GOVERNMENT
The constitution provides citizens the right to change their government peacefully, and citizens exercised this right in practice through periodic, free, and fair elections based on universal suffrage.

Elections and Political Participation
Recent Elections: In general elections held in 2008, the DLP, in opposition since 1994, defeated the Barbados Labour Party, led by then prime minister Owen Arthur. The DLP won 20 of the 30 seats in the parliament’s House of Assembly, and DLP leader David Thompson became prime minister. Following Thompson’s death in October 2010, the DLP parliamentary group selected Deputy Prime Minister Freundel Stuart to be prime minister. The next general election must be held by January 2013.

Participation of Women and Minorities: Two cabinet members were female; there were three women in the House of Assembly. There were four women and three minorities in the 21-member appointed Senate.

SECTION 4. OFFICIAL CORRUPTION AND GOVERNMENT TRANSPARENCY
The law provides criminal penalties for official corruption, and the government generally implemented these laws effectively.

There is no law that subjects public officials to financial disclosure. Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee and the auditor general conduct investigations of all government public accounts, which include ministries, departments, and statutory bodies.

There is no law providing citizens access to information held by the government. While access to information was provided on government Web sites, responses to requests for specific government information by citizens and other interested parties often were slow.

SECTION 5. GOVERNMENTAL ATTITUDE REGARDING INTERNATIONAL AND NONGOVERNMENTAL INVESTIGATION OF ALLEGED VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS
A number of domestic human rights groups generally operated without government restriction, investigating and publishing their findings on human rights cases. Government officials were cooperative and responsive to their views.

Government Human Rights Bodies: The Ombudsman’s Office hears complaints against government offices for alleged injuries or injustices resulting from administrative conduct. The governor general appoints the ombudsman on the recommendation of the prime minister in consultation with the leader of the opposition; Parliament must approve the appointment. The ombudsman submits annual reports to Parliament, which contain both recommendations on changes to laws and descriptions of actions taken by the Ombudsman’s Office.

SECTION 6. DISCRIMINATION, SOCIETAL ABUSES, AND TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS
The constitution provides for equal treatment regardless of race, origin, political opinion, color, creed, or sex, and the government effectively enforced these provisions.

Women
Rape and Domestic Violence: The law criminalizes rape, including spousal rape, and the maximum penalty is life imprisonment. There were legal protections against spousal rape for women holding a court-issued divorce decree, separation order, or nonmolestation order. Authorities charged 145 persons with sex-related offenses during the year, compared with 112 in 2010. Charges were brought in 55 cases of rape, compared with 44 in 2010; 11 cases of sex with a minor, compared with 19 in 2010; and 53 cases of indecent assault, compared with 42 in 2010). Many cases were pending in the courts for months or years. Rape was underreported for fear of further violence, retribution, and societal stigma.

Violence and abuse against women continued to be significant social problems. The law prohibits domestic violence, provides protection to all members of the family, including men and children, and applies equally to marriages and to common-law relationships. Penalties depend on the severity of the charges and range from a fine for first-time offenders (unless the injury is serious) up to the death penalty for a killing. Victims may request restraining orders, which the courts often issued. The courts can sentence an offender to jail for breaching such an order. The police have a victim support unit, consisting of civilian volunteers, which offered assistance primarily to female victims of violent crimes.

There were public and private counseling services for victims of domestic violence, rape, and child abuse. There were programs to sensitize clergy who counsel abuse victims, to encourage hairdressers to identify domestic violence and direct women to seek expert assistance, to offer domestic violence awareness training for high school students, and to prevent elder abuse for workers in geriatric hospitals. The Business and Professional Women’s Club (BPW) operated a crisis center staffed by trained counselors and provided legal and medical referral services. The government provided some funding for a shelter for battered women, operated by nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) including the BPW, which accommodated up to 20 women plus their young children. The shelter offered the services of trained psychological counselors to victims of domestic violence.

The Bureau of Gender Affairs cited a lack of specific information and inadequate mechanisms for collecting and evaluating data on incidents of domestic violence as major impediments to tackling gender-based violence.

Sexual Harassment: The law does not specifically address sexual harassment, which was a problem. There were no statistics available on the prevalence of sexual harassment cases. Media reports often indicated that women were afraid to report sexual harassment because they feared retribution in the workplace.

Reproductive Rights: Couples and individuals had the right to decide the number, spacing, and timing of children, and had the information and means to do so free from discrimination. Skilled attendance at delivery and in postpartum care was widely available, as was access to information on contraception. Women and men were given equal access to diagnostic services and treatment for sexually transmitted infections.

Discrimination: The Bureau of Gender Affairs in the Ministry of Family worked to ensure the rights of women. Women have equal property rights, including in a divorce settlement. Women actively participated in all aspects of national life and were well represented at all levels of the public and private sectors, although some discrimination persisted. According to the World Economic Forum’s 2010 Global Gender Gap Report, women earned 26 percent less than men for comparable work. A government poverty eradication fund focused on encouraging entrepreneurial activities to increase employment for women and youth.

Children
Birth Registration: Citizenship is obtained by birth in the country and/or from one’s parents. There was universal birth registration.

Child Abuse: Violence and abuse against children remained serious problems. The Child Care Board has a mandate for the care and protection of children, which involved investigating daycare centers and cases of child abuse or child labor and providing counseling services, residential placement, and foster care. The Welfare Department offered counseling on a broad range of family-related issues, and the Child Care Board conducted counseling for child abuse victims.

Sexual Exploitation of Children: The government does not have a policy framework to combat sexual exploitation of children. The Ministry of Family, Culture, Youth, and Sports acknowledged that child prostitution occurred; however, there was no research to document that problem. Pornography is illegal, but no information was available concerning specific prohibitions dealing with child pornography.

International Child Abduction: The country is not a party to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. For country-specific information see the Department of State’s report at http://travel.state.gov/abduction/country/country_3781.html.

Anti-Semitism
The Jewish community was very small, and there were no reports of anti-Semitic acts.

Trafficking in Persons
See the Department of State’s Trafficking in Persons Report at http://www.state.gov/j/tip.

Persons with Disabilities
There are no laws that specifically prohibit discrimination against persons with disabilities in employment, education, or the provision of other state services, other than constitutional provisions asserting equality for all. In practice persons with disabilities faced some discrimination. The Ministry of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment, and Community Development operated a Disabilities Unit to address the concerns of persons with disabilities, but parents complained of added fees and transport difficulties for children with disabilities at public schools. Although persons with disabilities continued to face social stigma preventing them from fully participating in society, attitudes were slowly evolving. Persons with disabilities generally experienced hiring discrimination as well as difficulty in achieving economic independence.

The Barbados Council for the Disabled, the Barbados National Organization for the Disabled, and other NGOs indicated that access and transportation remained the primary challenges facing persons with disabilities. Many public areas lacked the necessary ramps, railings, parking, and bathroom adjustments to accommodate such persons, and affordable, reliable transportation for them remained elusive. However, some measures were made to address transportation concerns through private transportation providers and disabled rights NGOs.

While no legislation mandates provision of accessibility to public thoroughfares or public or private buildings, the Town and Country Planning Department set provisions for all public buildings to include accessibility to persons with disabilities. As a result, most new buildings had ramps, reserved parking, and special sanitary facilities for such persons. The Barbados Council for the Disabled and other NGOs promoted and implemented sensitization and accessibility programs designed to help persons with disabilities enjoy the inclusion and services that other citizens enjoy.

The Disabilities Unit continued numerous programs for persons with disabilities, including Call-a-Ride and Dial-a-Ride public transportation programs, sensitization workshops for public transportation operators, inspections of public transportation vehicles, sign language education programs, integrated summer camps, and accessibility programs.

Societal Abuses, Discrimination, and Acts of Violence Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
The law criminalizes consensual same-sex sexual relations, and there are no laws that prohibit discrimination against a person on the basis of sexual orientation in employment, housing, education, or health care. Although statistics were unavailable, anecdotal evidence suggested that societal discrimination against gays and lesbians occurred. The issue gained national attention when a group of citizens claimed amnesty in Canada for fear of not being able to live openly as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender persons. Responding to a call by U.K. Prime Minister Cameron for reform of anti-LGBT legislation, Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite declared the country’s “position on homosexuality was not for sale and that its legislative agenda would be determined at home.”

Other Societal Violence or Discrimination
The government continued a large country-wide media campaign to discourage discrimination against HIV/AIDS-infected persons and others living with them. While there was no systematic discrimination, HIV/AIDS-infected persons did not commonly disclose the condition due to lack of social acceptance.

SECTION 7. WORKER RIGHTS
a. Freedom of Association and the Right to Collective Bargaining
The law allows workers to form and join unions and conduct legal strikes but does not specifically recognize the right to bargain collectively. The law does not obligate companies to recognize unions or to accept collective bargaining, and there is no specific law that prohibits antiunion discrimination. Although the courts provide a method of redress for employees alleging wrongful dismissal, they commonly awarded monetary compensation but rarely ordered reinstatement.

Labor laws cover all groups of workers, including migrants, public sector, domestic workers, and those in special trade zones, and the government generally enforced the laws effectively.

In practice workers faced some challenges in exercising freedom of association or bargaining collectively; however, their rights were generally respected. While both major political parties were originally formed from labor unions, worker organizations remained independent from government and political parties. In practice workers exercised the right to conduct legal strikes. All private sector employees are permitted to strike, but the law prohibits essential workers, such as police, firefighters, electricity, and water company employees, from engaging in strikes.

Although employers were under no legal obligation to recognize unions, most major employers did so when a significant percentage of their employees expressed a desire to be represented by a registered union. Smaller companies were often not unionized. In the past labor unions reported some companies, including some unspecified foreign firms, engaged in antiunion discrimination and unions complained to the Labor Ministry on a number of occasions about what they deemed antiunion activity by employers. However, the ministry did not receive any complaints of antiunion activity during the year.

Some unions noted that employers often refused to negotiate collective bargaining agreements with them, even if the union was recognized by the company. Negotiated protocols contained provisions for increases in basic wages and increases based on productivity. On May 5, representatives from labor, government, and the private sector signed a sixth such protocol, which will expire in 2013. The Social Partnership Agreement provides for monthly meetings of labor, management, and government representatives. Chaired by the prime minister or the minister responsible for labor affairs, it plays a significant role in setting parameters and maintaining harmonious workplace relations.

b. Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor
The constitution prohibits all forms of forced or compulsory labor, and the government generally enforced such laws.

Also see the Department of State’s Trafficking in Persons Report at http://www.state.gov/j/tip.

c. Prohibition of Child Labor and Minimum Age for Employment
The law provides for a minimum working age of 16 for certain sectors but does not cover sectors such as agriculture. Compulsory primary and secondary education policies reinforced minimum age requirements. The law prohibits children under the age of 18 from engaging in work likely to harm their heath, safety, or morals but does not specifically note which occupations fall under this prohibition. The law prohibits the employment of children of compulsory school age (through age 16) during school hours. The law also prevents young people from night work (after 6:00 p.m.). These laws were effectively enforced. The Labor Department had a small cadre of labor inspectors who conducted spot investigations of enterprises and checked records to verify compliance with the law. These inspectors may take legal action against an employer who is found employing underage workers. Child labor laws were generally observed in practice. According to the chief labor inspector, no underage employment cases were filed during the past few years.

Also see the Department of Labor’s Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor at http://www.dol.gov/ilab/programs/ocft/tda.htm.

d. Acceptable Conditions of Work
The law provides for, and the authorities established, minimum wage rates for household domestics and shop assistants. The minimum wage for these employees was BDS$5 ($2.50) per hour. The Ministry of Labor recommended companies in all other sectors use this as the de facto minimum wage.

The standard legal workweek is 40 hours in five days, and the law provides employees with three weeks of paid holiday for the first four years of service and four weeks’ holiday after five years of service. An employee’s length of service is linked to the anniversary of the commencement date with current employer. The law requires overtime payment of time and one-half for hours worked in excess and prescribes that all overtime must be voluntary.

The 2005 Occupational Safety and Health at Work Act was never promulgated into law, as it was passed at the end of the previous administration and was still under review at year’s end; previous occupational health and safety laws still applied. The law requires that in certain sectors, firms employing more than 50 workers create a safety committee that could challenge the decisions of management concerning the occupational safety and health environment. Workers had the right to remove themselves from dangerous or hazardous job situations without jeopardizing their continued employment.

The Ministry of Labor did not identify any specific group of workers that were subject to hazardous or exploitive working conditions. According to the ministry, labor laws apply to all workers and are enforced across the board. However, foreign workers in high risk sectors such as domestic service, agriculture, or construction may not be aware of their rights and protections under the law.

The Labor Department within the Ministry of Labor is charged with enforcing the minimum wage as well as work hours and did so effectively. In practice the prevailing wage on the island was higher than the legal minimum wage. However, there were occasional press reports alleging that migrant workers received less than the minimum wage. That department also enforced health and safety standards and in most cases followed up to ensure that management corrected problems cited. A group of 10 safety and health inspectors helped enforce regulations, and nine labor officers handled labor law violations. All groups of workers were covered under these laws, although unions expressed concern that domestic workers were sometimes forced to work in unacceptable conditions.

Penalties used by the Ministry of Labor include fines, imprisonment, or a combination of the two. However, the ministry reported that it has historically relied on education, consensus building, and moral persuasion rather than penalties to correct labor law violations.

The ministry used routine inspections, accident investigations, and union membership surveys to prevent labor violations and ensure that wages and working conditions met national standards. The ministry delivered presentations to workers to inform them of their labor rights and provided education and awareness workshops for employers.

The Labor Department’s Health and Safety Inspection Unit conducted several routine annual inspections of government-operated corporations and manufacturing plants, with no serious problems noted. However, the construction and hospitality sectors were mentioned as problem areas due to the frequency and severity of worksite accidents. Three people died in the course of their employment during the year, and there were no major industrial accidents. Office environments also received additional attention from the ministry due to indoor air quality concerns. Civic organizations such as the Barbados Employer’s Confederation worked closely with the government to ensure worker safety was protected despite the nonimplementation of the 2005 law. Trade union monitors identified safety problems for government health and safety inspectors to ensure the enforcement of safety and health regulations and effective correction by management.

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27 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Human Rights

27 responses to “U.S. State Department issues Human Rights report on Barbados: Mentions Raul Garcia’s unlawful detention

  1. robert ross

    Plenty to grip onto here – police brutality is one. Holetown Brawler?

  2. Newbie

    The USA always like to get in the midst of other countries rules, regulations and policies, and criticize them.

    For example the doctor that was involved in the capture of Bin Laden that was jailed…. The USA doesn’t think that he should be punished; yet if one of their citizens had let the cat out the bag to another country, they (the USA) would have want to throw the books at that person and only God knows what else.

    Another thing, when people of other countries commit serious crimes in the USA, the legal/justice system put those people behind bars and then deport them after completing their sentence; instead of deporting immediately if found guilty after the trial. Yet, when one of their (USA) citizens commit crimes especially on high profile cases in another country, they want and expect that the alleged USA criminal be sent back to the USA for trial.

    The USA legal and justice system thinks that they should have the last word and are superior to all countries, and that they have the best operation on the earth.

    It’s about time that the USA take care of their own; get their country in order (that will be the day). Mind their own business!

  3. Mark Fenty

    @Newbie
    Newbie, I think that you’re a little disingenuous when you alleged that people here in America thinks that the United State Judicial System in the best in the world. As I said sometime ago, there is an argument yet to be made regarding this speculation. However, if such was the case there wouldn’t be some many innocent men and women In America’s prison today. “(Especially those with the kind of skin that bears the color of “cinnamon” and “charcoal”)” The Judicial system in America is as good as the men, and women who are charge to execute its prescribed laws. Interestingly enough,there are a prevailing consensus amount people of color here in America. That seems to think that the Judicial System in this country has been, and still continues to dispense justice differently when is comes Caucasian, and people of color.

    So this idea that America has within its arsenal the greatest Judicial system in the world, it a matter of opinion, in my opinion. In other words, this question fundamentally depends of which segment of the American population you’re talking to. Yes, I well to admit that the system it rather unique when compared to the rest of the world. And the reason I advanced this position is quite clear, the whole system of America judicial system is based fundamentally on Individual Sovereignty.

    In Barbados for example, all of the legislative authority comes from a unitary body. Whereas, in America the Legislative authority comes from many different spheres such as the: Federal government, State government, City government, and sometime the school District. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that not human system is without its faults, but if the America Judicial System function the way it was first intended, it could prove to be a more effective system when one thinks about “Checks” and “Balances” interwoven in it. Important note, in America, Federal law supersedes State law, Municipal law etc.

  4. just want to know

    Why doesn’t America take this Garcia law breaker back to America. He is an American citizen, broke our laws, and now they won’t accept him, and Cuba where he was born. Isn’t this inhuman as well. Why should Barbados have now to accommodate him? He should remain in jail until one of these countries he came from accept him. I f he wants to die let him die, He has destroyed a lot of our youths with his drug trafficking. When our people whether in America, Canada or England do wrong, they go to jail and then sent back to their original countries. This whole thing is is ridiculous, talk about double standards.

  5. Mark Fenty

    Are you sure he is an American citizen or a resident alien? Because according to current immigration law, and as far as my understanding serves me .Once you are a naturalized citizen you cannot be denied entry unless you have commit treason against United States of America. Or falsify your processing papers at the time of entry into the United States of America .

  6. Mark Fenty

    If Mr. Garcia was a Resident Alien at the time of his imprisonment in Barbados, then he is no longer a Resident Alien of the United States. Because you can only stay out of the United States under one year with an Alien Card.

  7. Mark Fenty

    There are many other ways you can be deprived of your citizenship, just to name few. For example, if one serve in the armed – forces in a foreign nation, if one votes in the elections in any nation either than that of United States of America etc. But is it important to note, that Congress can at any time implement legislation that could affect the conditions of one’s citizenship.

  8. Newbie

    @ Mark Fenty May 30, 2012 at 3:39 pm
    I make no apologies. Those in authority including the average American thinks/believes that their judicial system is the best thing since slice bread. They need to let other countries run their countries as they see fit. America listens to no one so I don’t see why other counties have to listen further more bow down to them. FULL STOP!

  9. Newbie

    I am an American citizen NOT a PAPER American citizen. However, both of my parents are from the Caribbean. I will not give credit to the USA to be loyal if and when (in my opinion) it is not warranted. Plain and simple.

  10. Anonymous42

    Newbie, you cannot be serious?!! You say “They need to let other countries run their countries as they see fit.”

    NOBODY should get away with running their country as they see fit if it means denying people their basic human rights. Whether it is the USA or Mars who is willing to be a watchdog and genuinely assist the oppressed I am for it.

    You ever read the Universal Declaration of Human Rights? It catspraddled me when I read it recently. Do you have these rights where you live? I do not have them where I live and I did not even know many of these were my rights.

    I hope somebody somewhere continues to care about the terrible injustices and atrocities being committed in this world and keeps struggling for freedom for the victims. Most times we cannot do it alone. We are our brother’s keeper!
    http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/

  11. robert ross

    @ Anon 42

    There is an excellent ‘watchdog’ organisation in the UK called ‘Reprieve’. They have a mailing list.

  12. robert ross

    When will people get it in their heads that Garcia is not/was not a US citizen? He is STATELESS.

    The form of this report is very similar to UN Reports. It says very little that is critical of Barbados but DOES mention police brutality

  13. Anonymous42

    “There is an excellent ‘watchdog’ organisation in the UK called ‘Reprieve’. They have a mailing list.”
    Thank you RR.

  14. robert ross

    Anon42

    You’re very welcome.

  15. I do not see what is wrong in granting Garcia a provisional Bajan passportto be renewed every 3 months, if he so much as spits on the sidewalk then back to Dodds with a large jar of Vaseline! He learned a career, Art, it’s very good too, he can either teach it or sell it. Attitudes like what prevail here… “Once in Gaol always in Gaol” is what makes for Recidivism, why bother with Penal reform? Kill ‘em all and let God sort it out? If you accept that I meant that, then I have Nelson statue on sale extra cheap! ;)

  16. Newbie

    I am not inferring to any specific case whether it was handled fairly or unfairly or related to a Human Rights issue.

    My concern is about America wanting to tell other countries what should and shouldn’t be, and their (USA) criticism of the decisions the other country makes.

    Why is it always the USA to criticize other countries? The USA needs to check and clean their backyard and make sure it is in outstanding order before snooping into other countries as if they are in charge.

    Can anyone point out other large countries, be it Canada, UK, etc that criticize other countries for the decisions the country made?

  17. Mark Fenty

    @Newbie
    Newbie, I see that you and I are on the same paper so to speak. But I take
    offense to the fact that you’re calling Naturalized American Citizens paper citizens. Without being too impertinent, what difference does it make whether or not, someone is a Native -born Citizen, or Naturalized one for that matter ? There isn’t a significant different between the Native- born, and Naturalized -citizen in the first place. It is important to note, however, that the Congress is vested with the power to determine the conditions upon which those rights are allotted to both Native -born citizens, and Naturalized -citizens. Article (2) of the United States Constitution only spells out two constitutional rights which Naturalized citizens are excluded from, and there are, the right to occupy the office of the presidency and that of the vice-president. If you get a chance Newbie, I suggest you take the time, and read American Constitutional Jurisprudence which gives you a chronological account of Immigration Law as it unfolded in America.

    Newbie, there is one finally point that I would like to emphasize here , and I hope that you’re aware of it. In times of war and national insecurity the paper on which the Constitution is written it but ineffective. Case in point, (Bush Patriot Act), which curtailed that rights of both Native- born, and Naturalized citizens. And if we reach further back in time, we see instances where Native- born Americans were denied they constitutional rights as Americans. I suggest you read that (Indian Removal Act), the (Japanese Interment Camps), and the (Chinese Exclusion Act). All three of these cases which I have indicated involve Native-born Americans much like yourself, who were denied they fundamental constitutional rights.

  18. Mark Fenty

    @Newbie

    @ Newbie
    Newbie, to be quite frank, when has citizenship of the native- born African
    American, meant anything to America? People of Color here in America, including African Americans, Africans, and Afro- West Indians still continues to be viewed as second class citizens in some respects. Unquestionably, people of African -descent have fought in every war America has been involved in thus far. From the Continental war for independence,to Afghanistan and Iraq my friend. But, they haven’t as yet gotten the kind of credit and recognition for they contribution and sacrifice to this county. So please! Spare me the details, I’m well aware of the value of citizenship in America my friend; especially if one is dressed in the skin of black.

  19. Mark Fenty

    @Newbie
    Newbie, you know as well as I do, that there are two kinds of criminal justice systems here in America, and I don’t think that there is a need to
    elaborate any further on this issue. Finally, let me as you this simple question, do you think that your Native -citizenship carries that same kind of value as that of a Caucasian here in America?

  20. Mark Fenty

    @Anonymous
    Anonymous, as you well know, that the Declaration of Human Rights has meant nothing the United States of America from the time of its formulation back in 1948. Because at that time the Unites States of America was still actively and openly practicing Racial Apartheid. And even in our present era, the concept of human rights is a blatant joke to the average American. Most American would view the concept of injustice in terms of the liberties, and privilege the Constitution entrusted to them. In other words, it is not quite common for any American to refer the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. When some kind of injustice has been committed, most of them would generally refer the Constitution as a basis to point to the injustice. Trust me I’m not generalizing here, I fully understand some of the convictions and principles which governs the psychological Machinery of the average American.

  21. Mark Fenty

    @Anonymous

    Anonymous, as you well know, that the Declaration of human has meant nothing to the United States of America from the time of its formulated back
    in 1948. Because at that time the Unites States of America was still actively and openly practicing Racial Apartheid. And even in our present era, the concept of human rights is a blatant joke to the average Americans. Most American view the concept of injustice in terms of the liberties, and privilege the Constitution entrusted to them. In other words, it is not quite common for any American to refer the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. When some kind of injustice has been committed, most of them would generally refer the Constitution as a basis to point to the injustice. Iota Trust me I’m not generalizing here, I fully understands some of the convictions which govern the psychology of the average American. Machinery

  22. robert ross

    SO…the best thing we can do with this post is to bash US for publishing it? Oh dear.

  23. Mark Fenty

    I’ve written quite extensively I believe on the topic regarding Mr. Raul Garcia confinement. And I’ve done so because I believe that this case transcends the jurisprudence with governs human society and penetrates
    profoundly within our human conscience.
    Many if not most have argued the pros and cons of this very unusual case. And sadly enough, some have used Mr. Garcia’s shortcomings as a convenient punching bag to marginalize the effort made by others to win his personal autonomy.
    But, whether rightfully interpreted or wrongfully conceived by some. What is important in this case, I believe is the fact that a human life hangs in the balance. Now, don’t misinterpret my intentions, because I don’t profess to be an authority on what government should or should not do, with respect to the happenstances of this nature. But I’m merely voicing my unqualified opinion because the inner voice of my conscience tells me that there is something seriously wrong with the way in which Mr. Garcia has been treated thus far.
    From an outside observer’s vantage point, it seems like the actions of the Barbados government is rather precipitous. I could understand if Mr. Garcia was given a second opportunity to redeem himself, and he had made a similar mistake. Then the actions of the Barbados government in my opinion would have warranted such response.
    But we are dealing here with a man who has served his time, and just because the land country of his birth refuse to accept him back. Somehow the government of Barbados thinks that it has the moral authority to confine Mr. Garcia definitely, that’s just not right.
    Listen! The choice the Barbados government ought to make seem quite clear to me. Restore Mr. Raul Garcia individual autonomy and allow him to resume his life as a productive member of the society.

  24. thankful for mine

    @newbie
    No, america doesn’t have the best system in the world but it sure hell is better than Barbados at least. What country has no child sexual exploitation laws. In my opinion, Barbados makes a better book then lord of the flies, for their undeveloped government, laws and actions in dealing with situations. Furthermore, many of the leaders are extremely unqualified for their position and should either be educated in their job or be expelled from their positions. This is truly an embarrassing and unfortunate endeavor that such a country with much potential is l still unqualified to even understand human rights. This is expected from Muslim countries who are another subject inhumanity but from Barbados, I’m appalled.
    (no intentions of offending the people of the country only its leaders who should be eradicated for the name and perseverance of the country).

  25. Garcia's nightmare on Barbados street

    thank God I live in America, these type of things don’t happen here we’re modernized and preserve human rights. BTW human rights has nothing to do with the U.S its a nation wide endeavor and YES EVERY Country should have to follow it.

  26. Rastaman

    So the country (countries)which refuse to take back Mr Garcia have no liability in this.?As far as I am concerned Mr Garcia should be put on a boat or plane and sent back to either Cuba or the USA and let them deal with him.

  27. Asking questions are truly fastidious thing if you are not understanding anything entirely, however this
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