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Cuban Nationals Accused of Entering the Country Illegally Return to Court and have their Case Adjourned

Today, the seven Cuban nationals accused of entering the country illegally on February 15 returned to court. You will recall that the group was spared deportation on March 30 after the intervention of the Human Rights Commission of Belize. The seven adults were already at the airport, ready to be placed on a flight back to Cuba when the HRCB was able to file an application for a Writ of Habeas Corpus. The group then informed the Commission that they wanted to seek asylum in Belize after running away from their country and fearing to return. Attorney Leo Bradley, who is the President of the Commission, represented the group this morning in court. However, the court was unable to find a translator, and errors on affidavits filed on the Cubans’ behalf were identified. Supreme Court Justice, Lisa Shoman, ruled that she will grant the Commission one final opportunity to properly file the affidavits free from error and notify the relevant parties. The Commission had filed a suit against the state, claiming that the fundamental rights of the Cubans had been violated by the Immigration Department. The case was adjourned for next week Tuesday and Cubans were returned to the Belize Central Prison despite the Commission making a request to house them outside of the prison.