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Bahamas Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Video Claiming to Show Beatings in Detention Centre
By Bahamas Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Jun 17, 2013 - 4:46:35 PM

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Purported Detention Center video 'staged'

Nassau, Bahamas - The following is a statement by the Hon. Fred Mitchell Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration (17th June 2013):

Yesterday a link to a video was sent to me that is available via You Tube. The link is to a video news report that purports to show Cuban detainees being beaten by Bahamian officers in a Bahamian detention centre. The video is that of a news broadcast by a Spanish language TV station in Florida. That video is a complete falsehood and an outrageous concoction.

We have had the video examined by the Royal Bahamas Defence Force and it is being further reviewed by the Royal Bahamas Police Force.

The following material observations were made about the video by the Royal Bahamas Defence Force:  

1. The video appears to be staged, (poorly at best); the accent is not Bahamian;

2. No faces were shown
 
3. The interior does not appear to be Detention Centre (bunks, ceiling etc).

These observations comport with the Department of Immigration’s own conclusions with regard to this matter. This appears to be a manufactured attempt to create a damaging and defamatory impression of The Bahamas. The television station ought to be ashamed of itself for publishing something which is so patently false. It is irresponsible of them to publish it knowing the passions that these matters can inflame. We have now referred the matter to our lawyers. The Acting Consul General in Miami has been instructed to make the strongest protest to the station over this matter.

It remains to be said that The Bahamas government does not beat those in its custody. All detainees are treated with respect and in accordance with all applicable conventions and with human dignity and courtesy. The laws of The Bahamas are however enforced and those who come to The Bahamas unlawfully will be repatriated back to their home countries once all legal avenues of redress on their part have been addressed.

Any detainee who has a complaint has avenues in law and in fact to address any grievance that he or she may have.

A follow up investigation is being done to seek to find out if by some remote chance there is any aspect of this that bears a scintilla of truth. We are confident that there is no truth to it but do so out of an abundance of caution.

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