Myrie’s lawyer says finger-rape case could go to international court

(Barbados Nation) The Barbados Government will be hauled before the International Court of Human Rights, if need be, to ensure Jamaican Shanique Myrie gets justice for the trauma she reportedly suffered at the hands of airport officials.

Myrie’s attorney, Anthony Hylton, pledged this yesterday saying he wanted to ensure she was vindicated in her claims of being finger-raped on March 14 after her arrival at the Grantley Adams International Airport  before being denied entry.

“It did happen, and we will prove it,” said Hylton, a former Jamaican minister of foreign affairs. “We know the hurdles in the law and we will get around it.

“We are aware that the police are who did it,” he said in a telephone interview from his New Kingston office.

He, however, declined to speak further on this accusation. Myrie had said she was cavity searched by a female immigration officer.

When the MIDWEEK NATION reached Myrie yesterday, she referred questions to her attorney. The glum sounding 23-year-old did say: “I am very depressed at the moment.”

The  issue is expected to be raised today at a meeting of the Caribbean Community Council.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Senator Maxine McClean dismissed Myrie’s storyat a Press conference last Saturday.

In a prepared statement, McClean added: “Chief Immigration Officer Ms Erine Griffith has refuted this allegation made in the Jamaica Observer. She has confirmed that her department and Customs ‘have carried out extensive investigations and the claims were baseless’.”

McClean pointed out that in Myrie’s case, eyebrows were raised after she first spoke of spending her planned two-week stay with a female friend and then changed that story to say it was a male friend with whom she intended to stay.

She said that both Immigration and police officers interviewed Myrie, but never once was she searched – only her baggage.

But Myrie’s lawyer said there had been allegations of such treatment at the hands of Barbadian officials in the past.

“We have been hearing about this sort of thing for some time,” he declared.

“The Government of Barbados is trying to put Ms Myrie on trial and destroy her credibility.”

Hylton said Myrie was very traumatised by the experience and would receive counselling.

The attorney said the matter was “very distressing” for him personally as Bajans were a great people, and Barbados was one of his favourite countries.

Quizzed for a response to Hylton’s comments yesterday, Senator Harry Husbands, Parliamentary Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for immigration, declined comment.

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