Bring in foreign sleuths for Shanique Myrie case –Ivelaw Griffith

(Barbados Nation) Bring in “credible” foreign independent investigators to find out what really happened at Grantley Adams International Airport with the Jamaican woman Shanique Myrie.

That appeal to both Barbados and Jamaica came from Dr Ivelaw Griffith, perhaps the Caribbean’s foremost expert on security.

He said that it was in “the best interest” of both Caribbean countries and the region as a whole to have an independent outside team of investigators from Canada’s Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Britain’s Scotland Yard, or an international human rights organization which has a focus on law enforcement to look into the explosive charges made by the Jamaican who accused an immigration officer of engaging in “finger rape” during a strip search after she arrived in Barbados from Jamaica.

“The investigation should be carried out by an agency that is credible and respected by Caribbean countries because there is going to be life beyond this episode.

“For me, the candidates would be Canada and Britain,” added Griffith, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at York College of the City University of New York in Queens.

“At the end of the day, the larger project of cementing and developing Caribbean integration should be kept in mind and folks should guard against the prospect of those larger projects being undermined or jeopardized by the friction by two key parts of the integration movement, Barbados and Jamaica.

Griffith, who advises national and international agencies and organizations on Caribbean security issues, told the SATURDAY SUN that any probe should be mounted and completed swiftly and efficiently.

“What’s needed for this is speed so the inquiry wouldn’t drag on,” he added. “With the Canadian or British government you need speed and they can act more rapidly than an international organization would be able to get the authorization to do it and assemble the team of expert investigators. You don’t need to prolong

the matter for too long because the longer it takes for the investigation to be conducted and the findings to be made public you would be leaving more grist for the mill.”

Griffith explained that strip searches at airports where men or women are required to take off all their clothes, spread their legs, bend over and cough were part of accepted procedures around the world.

“They are routine in the sense that they are part of the panoply of methods used but they are not routine in the sense that every person is stripped search,” he pointed out.

“They would be done generally if a person fits a certain profile. To the extent that an individual fits a profile and would be candidate for a strip search that would make it routine. Yes, it’s routine but it’s not that regular for every person going through a seaport or airport. You would be surprised by what may pop out from orifices when people cough.

“But a vaginal intrusion as described by the Jamaican is generally done at a hospital. Barbados and Jamaica both know that there will be strip searches beyond this episode, establishing the veracity and the claims on sides, the woman and the Barbados immigration, need to be examined by somebody outside of Barbados and Jamaica.

“If the episode isn’t handled properly and independently, it can damage relations between the two countries and damage the region’s pursuit of a bigger project, Caribbean integration,” Griffith insisted.

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