Tuesday 25 February, 2020

Myrie case comes up as Grenadian family takes Barbados to CCJ

The first Grenadian case filed against Barbados is a matter of the free movement of people and goods across CARICOM.

But it's not the same situation as previously with Jamaica's Shanique Myrie.

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According to NOW Grenada, Attorney at Law Ruggles Ferguson of Ciboney Chambers, the Gilbert family is seeking legal redress for being subjected to a strip search over a false accusation of stealing a mobile phone.

The article stated that in October 2016, the family of four travelled to Barbados to renew their visa at the United States Embassy and thereafter decided to go shopping in Bridgetown, where a store-owner accused Tamika Gilbert of stealing her mobile phone.

The situation escalated further after the store-owner refused the family’s offer to have their bags searched and resulted in the intervention of the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF). The family was said to be detained, and it is alleged that they were subjected to strip searches among other humiliating treatment, including one of the family members having to use the toilet with the door open while an officer stood guard.

Ferguson said this matter falls under the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas which deals with the free movement of people and goods across the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). But he did indicate that unlike the Shanique Myrie case — involving the Jamaican woman who successfully sued the State of Barbados after being stripped searched, denied entry and deported by Barbados immigration authorities — in this case, the issue now before the CCJ is the infringement of the Gilbert family’s right to move freely within Barbados.

“The case law has established even in the Shanique Myrie case that the right to freedom of movement does not only embrace the right to enter the country, but the right to move freely within the country without undue harassment, so that the essence of the legal issue.”

The case was filed September 25, 2018.

The Gilbert family opted not to go on record with NOW Grenada to comment on the case.

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