Bajan immigration officer defends airport conditions in Myrie case

(Barbados Nation) BRIDGETOWN, Barbados:
A senior immigration officer defended the conditions at the Grantley Adams International Airport as the Shanique Myrie case against the Barbadian Government continued before the Caribbean Court of Justice this morning.

Myrie claims she was discriminated against by immigration officials when she arrived at the airport in Barbados on March 14, 2011.

One of the accusations she has made is that she was held in unsanitary, inhumane conditions at the airport’s detention centre.

But this morning immigration officer Merlo Reid, who has been a supervisor at the airport since 2007, constantly denied claims by Myrie’s lawyer Michelle Brown that conditions for persons refused entry are inhumane.

He testified that the detention facility is sanitary and cleaned every day.

Reid also testified that beds in the detention centre always have a mattress and are always covered with a sheet.

According to Reid, Myrie was placed in the detention centre with a fellow Jamaican national, after a request was made for them to remain together.

He told the court that he had seen two persons sleep comfortably on the board-framed beds in the detention area.

He said the beds were a little more than three feet in width.

Reid also admitted that many claims have been made about the severe cold persons have to deal with in the detention area.

However, he noted that complaints regarding the low temperatures at the Grantley Adams International Airport have been made about the entire facility, and not just the detention centre.

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