Shanique Myrie paid – Barbados AG
(Barbados Nation) Shanique Myrie was due to receive her money yesterday, ending the saga of the Jamaican being refused entry into this country three years ago.
Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite confirmed yesterday that the money awarded to her last October – non-pecuniary damages of $75 000 and pecuniary damages of $2 240 – some JAM$3.6 million by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), should have been credited to the account of Myrie’s attorney yesterday.
“Her lawyer’s account should have been credited today,” Brathwaite told the SATURDAY SUN yesterday.
“We gave our word. We kept our word. Barbados remained committed to the CCJ. We always had every intention of complying with its judgement,” said the Attorney General.
However, when Myrie was contacted by this newspaper in Jamaica last night, she said she had no knowledge about the payment.
“I don’t know about that. I don’t know about that as yet. My lawyer has not confirmed with me as yet,” she told the SATURDAY SUN, which could not reach her attorney, Michelle Brown, up to press time.
The payment, now eight months overdue, comes after the Trinidad-based CCJ ruled in favour of the Jamaican over an illegal cavity search and deportation in 2011 and awarded her the damages.
Last week, Myrie threatened to file a claim before the CCJ in order to get Barbados to comply with the ruling, but Brathwaite said Monday that the payment would be made this week.
Attorney Browne, meanwhile, expressed skepticism about the payment, telling the Jamaican media earlier this week that she had not received any word from the local authorities.
Last week, Jamaica’s Foreign Affairs Minister A.J. Nicholson told that country’s senate that the ball was in Myrie’s court to “lodge a complaint to the CCJ about Barbados’ lack of compliance despite a promise by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart three months ago that payment would be made”.
However, Nicholson pointed out that the CCJ had no real powers to enforce its judgements but had instructed that individuals who had been wronged should file a complaint.
Myrie, who was 23 at the time of the incident, alleged that when she travelled to this country on March 14, 2011, she was discriminated against because of her nationality, subjected to a painful and humiliating body cavity search, detained overnight in a cell, and deported to Jamaica the following day.
She also claimed that derogatory remarks were hurled at her by a Barbadian immigration officer.
After Myrie’s claims were dismissed by local authorities as “baseless”, she and her attorneys took the matter to the CCJ, which is the final appellate court of Barbados, Belize and Guyana, and whose original jurisdiction in relation to the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas is accepted by all CARICOM countries.