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No record of report from J'can fishermen on alleged abuse by USCG — foreign ministry

Friday, June 14, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade is urging Jamaicans who experience difficulties overseas to report the matter to the closest Consulate, Embassy or High Commission, or on their return to Jamaica, to the ministry.

The foreign ministry made the appeal in a statement today in response to reports that four Jamaican fishermen are bringing a case against the United States Coast Guard for alleged maltreatment, following their arrest and detention in 2017 in Haitian waters.

Watch fishermen explain their ordeal here

The ministry said it is investigating the situation with the Jamaican Consulate in Miami but to date has found no records of a report to the relevant Jamaican officials.

Read full statement below:

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade has become aware of the matter involving four Jamaican fishermen who are bringing a case against the United States Coast Guard for alleged maltreatment, following their arrest and detention in 2017 in Haitian waters.

The Ministry wishes to advise that it became aware of the matter yesterday through social and print media reports. We have also seen a video in which, the fishermen concerned, cite experiences of shocking treatment during an extended period of detention that would amount to
human rights abuse.

The allegations are of serious concern to the Ministry as the rights of Jamaicans at home and abroad are always of paramount importance to the Government of Jamaica.

We note that the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), has agreed to provide the men with legal representation and that the matter is now before a court of law in the United States. It is hoped that justice will delivered through that process.

We are investigating the situation with our Consulate in Miami and other relevant Government agencies as we seek to learn more about the case, but to date have not discovered any record of a complaint having been reported to the Consulate or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade office in Kingston.

We take this opportunity to remind Jamaicans who travel overseas and experience difficulties, these matters may be reported to the closest Consulate, Embassy or High Commission, or on their return to Jamaica, to the Ministry. We are here for your assistance.


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