Tuesday 7 July, 2020

Cuban refugees to be charged with obstruction

Seventy-five Cuban nationals who were camped outside UN House, at Chancery Lane, Port-of-Spain, for the past three weeks will be charged for obstruction of the free passageway under the Summary Offences Act Chapter 11:02.

The Cubans, who are seeking refugee status, are expected to appear in the Port-of-Spain Magistrates' Court this morning to answer to the charge. Head of Court and Process Branch, Snr. Supt. John Fredericks is said to be working with the TTPS Legal Officer and other officials to process the individuals.

The Cubans were removed by officers of the Port-of-Spain Division during an early morning operation.

In a release, the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service said around 5 am on Friday, officers of the Port-of-Spain Task Force, Immigration Division and official Spanish translators, proceeded to Chancery Lane and spoke to the Cuban nationals who indicated their willingness to be removed. 

They were transported to the Belmont Police Station in police buses.

The release said the refugees are currently at the Immigration Division where they are being processed regarding their legality in this country.

The area outside UN House, Chancery Lane, where the Cuban nationals were camped was subsequently cleared of their personal belongings.  In a release issued this week the UN said asylum-seekers are required to refrain from actions that could endanger the safety of UN personnel.

"The United Nations as a matter of principle respects the rights of all people to peaceful protest. Similarly, refugees and asylum-seekers are required like all people to abide by the laws of the country that hosts them and to refrain from any action that could put at risk the safety of UN personnel or their ability to perform their duties," the UN said. 

The operation was coordinated by ACP (Ag.) Joanne Archie and Snr. Supt. Floris Hodge-Griffith and executed by Insp. Lawrence Pooran and Sgt. Walker, both of the PoS Division.

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