EIGHT months after the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) ruled that Jamaican Shanique Myrie be awarded damages for an illegal cavity search, detention in a dank room in the Grantley Adams Airport, and subsequent deportation, she is yet to collect a cent.
In October last year, the CCJ ruled that Myrie should be paid US$38,620 in pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages by the Barbadian Government.
Myrie expressed frustration yesterday and said the Barbadian Government was deliberately dragging its feet.
“I am getting impatient. I can’t understand why after eight months I can’t even hear a word about what’s happening about the money. It seems they want to wait until I get grandchildren. It’s just not fair,” Myrie told the Jamaica Observer.
Myrie’s plight came to international light after the Observer chronicled how she was violated by a female immigration official and locked away with another woman in a cold, filthy room before being deported to Jamaica, despite not being found with any contraband or deemed to be in violation of any Barbadian law.
“It was not easy for me to come forward and speak about the treatment. I am encouraging others to speak out for their rights, so this is what I am doing now. I need my money,” she said.
As a party to the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, Barbados has a duty to comply with all the judgements of the court promptly. But based on Myrie’s long wait it seems that Bridgetown is snubbing its nose at the court.
Three months ago, Jamaica’s Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister AJ Nicholson said a five-month wait was by no means long. He added that Jamaica was holding Barbadian Prime Minister Freundel Stuart to his word that his country is committed to complying with the CCJ ruling.
The Myrie case threatened to spark a diplomatic row between both countries and saw a slew of other Jamaicans coming forward to claim mistreatment at the hands of Barbadian officials.
Another Jamaican woman, who was held with illegal drugs and sentenced to prison time, complained that she was raped by a cop and forced to perform oral sex on another.
The woman also accused a female cop of aiding and abetting her male colleagues in carrying out the sexual assault on her.
The woman cop and one of the males have since been charged, while another has fled the country.