UDP Senator, Attorney Orson “OJ” Elrington, who has handled many cases related to undocumented migrants and persons seeking asylum. Today, he responded to Minister Eamon Courtenay alleging that agents of the state have on several occasions acted against human rights conventions. He went further to say that there was even a case of “state kidnapping”.
Orson Elrington, Senator: “ In dealing with several clients with the with who are seeking refugee status I was absolutely appalled at the response and the behavior by those at the immigration department. I am a professional who is seeking to assist individuals not for any benefit of my own and these persons – and again you know why I say it cannot be imputing me because in each and every occasion whenever we approach and represent clients it is that we are accompanied by the Human Rights Commission, we are accompanied by UNHCR, we are accompanied by the International Organization for Migration so I am sure he is not imputing ill motives to those international institutions. I’m most certainly sure he’s not it cannot be. But I will tell you on that occasion and on several occasions agents of the state have acted in such a way to violate the human rights of individuals. I will not recite the number of things but in one occasion there was an action that amounted to state kidnapping where they did not allow the gentleman the opportunity to go before the court. There have been occasions where the agents of the state refused persons access to their attorney these things are absolutely unacceptable but I am sure since I am bringing it to the attention now of the leader of government business these things will never ever happen again right leader?”
The Cubans are currently at the Belize Central Prison while the minors are in the care of the Ministry of Human Development. A court date is yet to be confirmed for the Cubans to go to trial.