Home affairs berates HRC for going public

| 27/06/2016 | 38 Comments
Cayman News Service

Cubans migrants off Cayman Brac, 29 April 2016

(CNS): The home affairs ministry, which is facing a catalogue of problems relating to the detention of Cuban migrants, was shooting the messenger Monday when it berated the Human Rights Commission for making public letters it had sent to the authorities regarding the information it discovered by speaking with refugees. Officials from the premier’s ministry said allegations of sexual activity, including abuse and drug taking, were still under investigation, so it was “disappointing that the HRC has chosen to publish communications that carry an accusatory undertone of inaction” on the part of government.

As reported on CNS Friday, last week the HRC published correspondence it had exchanged with officials at the ministry and immigration on its website, as it does with most correspondence. The HRC raised a number of significant concerns about the way migrants were being processed, their living conditions and alarming allegations over safety and security, including possible sexual abuse and drug taking among detainees and guards.

The ministry claimed that neither the Department of Immigration nor the prison had received a formal complaint from any detained migrant regarding the use of drugs, consensual sexual activity, or sexual assault at main detention centre or the civic centres

“Based on the limited information presented by the HRC, however, investigations and subsequent operational action was taken which involved specialists from the Department of Immigration, the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, and the Prison Service,” a statement from the ministry said, which accused the HRC “of engaging in a public relations endeavour on matters with implications for security, safety, and well-being of detained migrants ahead of a completed investigation is fundamentally contrary to good practice and natural justice”.

The ministry said that the safety, security, and well-being of detained migrants was of critical importance and officials were evaluating and improving relevant policies and procedures. It added that reception, processing, and accommodation of migrants was being address and joint efforts had resulted in enhancements at the Immigration Detention Centre, increasing capacity there to 100 and reducing reliance on the civic centres. But given that migrant numbers could still mean that the district centres may still be used, the fire service has started fire safety inspections.

The ministry also revealed that a public tender has been issued by the Prison Service to find a sole provider of security services.

“The procurement of a single security services firm was a strategic decision in the public interest as it was based on an evaluation of operational considerations including risks, logistics, and consistency in retaining quality security services,” officials said.

A risk assessment process is also being carried out at the intake phase and throughout the detention process “despite continuous challenges with regard to migrants’ lack of official travel documentation and sparsely available criminal background verification” to assess the risk the detainees may pose, as some of the migrants are believed to have criminal records.

See full ministry statement here

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Category: Crime, Immigration

Comments (38)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Maybe we shouldn’t be so quick to assume the Cubans are telling the truth and HRC is jumping on a misled bandwaggon.

    The Cubans complaint seems to be the new trend. They know how to work the system. They’re not dumb people and the HRC they know is gullible if they use the right complaint to get attention. http://edition.cnn.com/2016/06/30/us/florida-lighthouse-cuban-migrants-letter/index.html

  2. Anonymous says:

    The Cubans need to go home. There country is huge. Ours is small. They have no respect for our fragility.

  3. Let Freedom Ring says:

    FFS, just let people have their say.
    Everyone has an opinion and in this forum, opinions are expressed. How do we know what the other side thinks if we don’t hear them?
    Nobody has died. Get a bloody grip.

    • Anonymous says:

      I know in many instances CIG favours crisis management over planning and prevention….but there really is no need to wait for someone to die.
      And also no need to berate HRC for doing it’s job!

      • Anonymous says:

        Like a flailing bear in a brain surgery, you have most certainly missed the point.

      • Anonymous says:

        I’m not sure that what the HRC did was actually within their remit. They come across as very amateurish and really quite shrill in my view. Publishing a report is one thing, releasing correspondence between it and various government bodies during an investigation quite something else, surely? Or does the HRC imagine itself to be very much “the decider” about things in general? My goodness, how irresponsible and ultimately counter productive.

    • Anonymous says:

      Of course, we must have forgotten that rape is considered a social misdemeanor in the Cayman Islands…with a surplus of enabling misogynists willing to tone things down and cover these things up for their brethren. Silly us, where are our manners…

  4. Here we go again PPM says:

    What a Government we have. Ossie (Captain Driftwood) out racing Golf Carts, Joey and Alden taking selfies with Miss Universe, Wayne bragging about CIDB turn-around but admitting they are servicing Civil Servants instead of the General Public, Tara steering Education into the rocks, more evidence that Caymanians are being kept out of Tourism opportunities buly the same hotel that hosted the PPM Fundraiser, Minister Archer pattijg himself on the back for getting his Billion dollar budget approved despite poor results in Financial Services. Cost of Living predicted to go up again, CUC rates increase, refugees becoming big business for private security companies. We were told $6M was being taken from the Environmental Fund to buy land that has not yet been identified and they took a few million more to pay someonr yo remove tyres from the dump despite others offering to buy the damn tyres. Im going to stop here. We are in trouble folks. Big big trouble. This bunch of Glory Boys and Girl are not the Government we asked for and voted for. Pay close attention to the next few months and keep your hands in your pockets because the only way out if this mess will be more taxes. Unemployment, Failing Education and rising Cost Of Living will be the 3 things we will remember the PPM Government for. God help up under the leadership of Premier Complainer.

    • Anonymous says:

      at 10.40am You tell um UDP. Now the voters can look forward to puttting you back in power.

    • Anonymous says:

      To 10.40am Seems like you are talking about what will happen when UDP is returned to power in a few months.

    • Anonymous says:

      To the poster at 10.40. Things will go bad if we listen to you , throw out PPM and replace them with your UDP. CUC rates have in fact gone done under PPM, duty rates reduced and no new taxes implemented. So PPM won’t be the party to put in new taxes etc ; that leaves UDP as the one you are saying will do so.

      • Hmmm says:

        Hmmm seems like you posted the same message 3 times there buddy

        • Anonymous says:

          Out of one Bot many people!

          Just because someone offers a critique of one administration does not mean they support the other.

          But as we know in politricks there is only total allegiance. Anything else is treason.

          We desperately need better alternatives to our two alternating disasters.

          Ping Pong Party games are ruining Cayman.

      • Anonymous says:

        Interesting, methinks you have made the point thrice over my dear fellow.

    • Anonymous says:

      Everything you have said was true but you left out the fact that as bad a they are the UDP was much worse. Just what is it they have in common? If you want a change for the better instead of letting them take turns at showing the world just how incompetent Caymanian leadership can be, why not look elsewhere? Seriously. Maybe let the UK take over just to get Cayman back in the green and make it at least look like it will survive the next ten years. At the very least they will not get away with ripping off the Caymanian people and the public purse anywhere near what is happening every day now. The Dump would get figured out (finally) and maybe a new prison for newly unemployed criminals. Sorry. Disregard the last statement. Maybe a good plan to service the many debts that are pilling up. What do you think?

  5. whatever says:

    Home Affairs shoots itself in the foot… Again!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Rather than try to muzzle the HRC, the Home Ministry needs to think about their immigration polices which are “….fundamentally contrary to good practice and natural justice.”

  7. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Premier. That your Ministry?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Shows the culture of cover up within the CIG.

    • Yes it does, and full marks to the HRC for having the guts to do their duty, at last. It’s been a long time coming, but better late than never.

      • Anonymous says:

        The HRC does very little, if anything, to justify the amount of public funds it consumes every year. This is classic HRC – using “independence” to ring alarm bells with nothing to show for it in the end.

        Publishing unsubstantiated allegations makes no sense whatsoever. Frankly, its reckless and shows just how off the rails the HRC actually is.

        This story is based on a quick couple of chats that HRC members had with migrants. Those migrants, more often than not, know they have no right to be here. Just like most of those same migrants apply for asylum knowing full-well their situation doesn’t warrant refugee status, chances are these allegations are another attempt to undermine their repatriation to Cuba.

        It would be more useful if the HRC actually supported an investigation or conducted its own independent investigation. Get real Cayman, our HRC is a joke!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Reevaluating? 100 inmates, two guards per 10 inmates , 20 guards at 24 hours a day. No big brain building exercise there. 20 guards at 10.00 an hour is roughly 1.7 million dollars per year. If a Security company is obtaining this, then anything that does go on there is a matter of public concern. With the cloud of doubt and controversy that has been surrounding the Security at certain Government institutions like the RCIP Central Police Station then why not put everything on the table and let facts speak no matter the outcome. It appears that the wagons are being circled as a lot of money is at stake. Can CNS find out what Security Compaines are being used and how many Guards are being supplied by private firms? Who is supervising these Companies? These are sizeable International factors at play here and the keep quite routine is not in our Country’s best interest.

    • Anonymous says:

      10:00pm. To hell with HRC and Cubans. The taxpayers rights are of most importance here and now. Why are we holding them up in the Civic Centres, running up costs and them being so aggressive to one another? They do not want to be here. Let them continue on their merry way.
      Why their repatriation has to take so long and government is not refunded? The repatriation period should be fast tracked, and the costs would be reduced. If there is money to be wasted, charity begins at home. The millions being spent on Cubans should be used to build housing for our own. It is time to think out of the box.

    • Anonymous says:

      10.00am You seem to be interested in the million dollar contract; what happen was your bid too high?

  10. Anonymous says:

    In other words ” oh shit, can’t sweep this one under the carpet”. Well done HRC, exactly what you are there for.

  11. Anonymous says:

    The only way to get nothing done is to keep everything quiet.

    Keep shining the light HRC. You know you are right when politicians grumble.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why the bureaucracy cant work faster to get them out of here? What kind of arrangement or agreement was made/signed for the expeditious processing of refugees? If the processing has to take so long, then reduce the cost by giving them supplies and a boat to continue their journey. How are they housed in other countries?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Yes, they would much rather have a cover up as usual…

  13. Anonymous says:

    Why the surprise? This is how they roll here. Better if everyone knows that up front.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Obviously it is serious if “allegations”, i.e. unsubstantiated, have been published in a biased manner by an official body, that would be very serious. However, allegations of the nature of those conveyed by the HRC, of offences against people without capacity to take care of themselves/make decisions free of undue influence, etc., need to be investigated immediately, effectively and independently.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Hope the “quality security services” being tendered for are better than at GTPS

  16. Anonymous says:

    As usual government wanting to hide any and all wrong doings under their watch. We are so corrupt.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Home Affairs! Shut up! You are repeatedly proving to be an embarrassment.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have said it before and I will say it again. Why don’t these refugees stay their backsides in Cuba and fight for their own interest. No they prefer to get on these misfits rafts and take off for the US. I hope they can find another route out of Cuba and don’t come anywhere close to Cayman. Mr. Manderson needs to have a talk with whoever it is at HRC and let them know that we cannot afford to keep these people here for such a long time. Tell them we will give them supplies and help them fix their rafts and send them on their merry way . I don’t know whether or not the accusations are true, but I know we should not have to spend these millions of dollars on them every year while our people are struggling. They are not running from dangers, their are economic refugees. Some refugees have been here sent back and keep returning for two/ three times so obviously their lives are not under threat in Cuba. How long are we going to put up with this. Maybe HRC should be taking care of them in stead of our government.

      • Anonymous says:

        When and if Cayman ever suffers a dictator as a leader, or a leader who bankrupts the nation and blames everyone else or gets a Trump or a Farage, they might just help you on your way to the US or wherever you go…one good turn deserves another.

      • Anonymous says:

        You are incredibly ignorant if you can not answer your own questions. Perhaps in your next life God will see fit to give you a life that will enlighten you.

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