Skip to main content

Guyana has more cruel airport rejections than the UK

Kaieteur News – The Guyanese nationality has traits that are not only comical, asinine, dangerous but completely illogical. Last week, a man went to the UK with 400 pounds to spend a six month holiday and was sent back.

He was extremely lucky for the generous treatment he received. He was sent back to Guyana via Barbados. Barbados is a very small place with a high percentage of Guyanese residents.  By now, the gentleman may be back safely in Guyana.

The way that incident played out in the UK would never have ended like that in this country. Guyana has one of the highest, maybe the highest level of immigrant violations than the rest of the world.

But we who live here in Guyana do not know about cruel attitudes of Guyanese immigrant officers because the families of the victims – Brazilians, Cubans, Venezuelans, and Haitians – do not publicize Guyana’s mistreatment of those that have been refused entry.

So how Guyana would have treated a visitor who was denied entry? After stamping the passport, that person would have been transported to the Timehri station lock up to remain there until he/she can find passage back to his/her homeland.

This country was violating international law by permanently holding deportees at Diamond/Grove Police Station. If you think Guantanamo has prisoners for decades without trial, you had to see the Diamond/Grove Police Station under the APNU+AFC government.

When I exposed this scandal in my column of Tuesday, March 26, 2019, titled, “Guyana secretly buries dead foreign prisoners.” I got several emails from people who were willing to buy airline tickets for the deportees. They were housed at the Diamond/Grove Police Station after court appearance and ordered deported but could not pay their transport out of Guyana.

I stand by every inch of column space in that article. I received that information from a source that was impeccable. One Brazilian detainee literally ran mad because he was incarcerated indefinitely. He used to hit his head on the concrete wall daily. Three prisoners were buried secretly.

At the time I came upon the scoop and wrote about it, I opined that the President Granger and Minister of Home Affairs, Khemraj Ramjattan were in violation of international law and the UN should intervene. I deeply believe that both Granger and Ramjattan should now face criminal charge by the relevant international tribunal.

Some deportees were languishing for years at the Brickdam lock-ups, among them were six Nepalese men. It was a local businessman who paid their passage out of Guyana. The media highlighted the man from Linden who was sent back by UK immigration last week. The media need to research how many CARICOM nationals and Latin American citizens were turned back at our points of entry not only at the two airports.

It does not happen infrequently, it happens incessantly. Go to the immigration office on Camp Street and see how insultingly, Chinese, Venezuelans and Cubans are treated. I was at the Ministry of Citizenship during the APNU+AFC government and the local official was literally shouting at and insulting a group of Brazilians with their children. I told her she could and should not speak to innocent people like that.

When I read the press reports about the Guyanese sent back from the UK, I thought it was not worthy of press coverage and people writing letters to the media. I say unapologetically, Guyanese authorities at the airport treat ineligible visitors far more disdainfully than the UK immigration officials.

And guess what? Knowing this unbearable nation, no one is going to highlight how we treat foreign arrivals who are denied an entry permit. We just could not be bothered. I am just eager to do a column on the subject of Guyana topping the list of countries with the highest level of diaspora folks. And I will do it in the coming days. But I say with emotional vehemence, this country has no right to complain when a Guyanese is refused entry at a foreign port. We do worse here.

It should never happen in Guyana because we have felt the pangs of refusal for over 50 years at CARICOM airport. I was a young man when I heard about a Guyana room at the airports at Barbados and Trinidad.

We are now doing the same to our neighbours – Venezuela and Brazil and a sister CARICOM country, Haiti; included on the list is Cuba. Our government should have a policy of humane treatment when it comes to deportees. Put the people on a plane instead of permanently imprisoning them at various police stations. Imagine some children in Brazil do not know their fathers were buried secretly in Guyana.


Replies sorted oldest to newest

Add Reply

Link copied to your clipboard.