Jamaica and Barbados at odds again in Shanique Myrie case
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Friday August 17, 2012 – The Shanique Myrie case is back in the news and once again Jamaica and Barbados are at odds over the matter.
Myrie, a Jamaican national, made headlines last year with claims that she had been physically and verbally abused by immigration officials at the Grantley Adams International Airport on her arrival in Barbados.
She was last seen in Barbados in April at a much publicized appearance when she made her case before the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) during its historic first sitting in Barbados. At that time she was granted leave to file a case against Barbados, and file she did.
Now, Barbados is fighting a move by the Jamaica government to join the lawsuit brought by Myrie.
Kingston has applied to the CCJ to become a party to the court action on the grounds that it has implications for the country and its citizens, but Barbados has reportedly filed an objection.
Jamaica’s Attorney General Patrick Atkinson told the media in his country that after it had sought leave to enter the proceedings last month, the Barbados government opposed the move. He added that Jamaica was awaiting a response from the CCJ on a date for the hearing.
The Trinidad-based court is now on summer break until September, and as a result of the intervention by the Jamaica government, which Myrie’s legal team said it supported, the lawsuit has been put on hold.
Myrie is seeking JAM$118 000 in special damages, including the cost of her ticket, medical expenses to date, medical report, slippers, and interest, as well as unspecified amounts in moral damages, exemplary damages and aggravated damages. All were contained in a Notice of Filing of Originating Application, dated May 23 and posted on the CCJ website.
She also wants further investigations to identify the individuals who she claimed assaulted and unlawfully detained her and to have them prosecuted and punished in criminal proceedings.
In addition to the damages and investigation, the Jamaica national has asked the court to issue an order that denying her entry to Barbados in March 2011 was “unlawful” and that the “Cancelled” entry stamp in her passport is null and void.
Myrie is also seeking an apology for the officials “violating her fundamental human rights and freedom, in particular by treating her in a discriminatory manner, conducting an unlawful body search, conducting an unlawful cavity search, arbitrarily and unlawfully detaining . . . and verbally abusing” her, according to the document.