Cubans arrested after near-riot at Cayman Islands detention centre

jail_fenceGRAND CAYMAN, Cayman Islands, Tuesday May 27, 2014, CMC – Four Cuban migrants were arrested here and three remain in police custody after yet another major disturbance among the detainees who are awaiting deportation.

The Cayman News Service (CNS) said police, immigration officials, customs staff, prison officers and even fire crews were all called to the Fairbanks Immigration Detention Centre on Thursday after a near-riot broke out at the facility.

“The men were said to be threatening to injure staff and to burn down the facility as tensions among the migrants mounted as a result of deportation problems,” it said.

Premier Alden McLaughlin said local authorities are due to meet with Cuban officials next month to review the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), stating that the repatriation timelines need to be addressed.

“I recognise that the situation was extremely volatile and praise the staff who were able to manage the incident and diffuse it without any injury,” he said.

“It is my understanding that tensions have been rising for some time now,” he added. “This is largely due to the wait times for the Cubans to be repatriated back to Cuba and the uncertainty of when this will occur.”

The Premier warned that the arrival of any more migrant Cubans could make matters even worse.

CNS said no one was injured and the refugee that escaped by jumping the fence was reportedly re-captured by a prison officer.

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