The President of the Association of Haitian Nationals in Guyana, Kesnel Toussaint, has moved to the High Court asking for an order that they be released from police custody.
The Haitian nationals arrived in Guyana on November 7, 2020, and were subsequently apprehended by a contingent of police officers under arms and taken into custody at the Criminal Investigative Department (CID) Headquarters.
The Ministry of Home Affairs had said that they were being kept in “protective custody” after it was suspected that they are victims of human trafficking.
They are being held at the Hugo Chavez Centre for Rehabilitation and Reintegration at Onverwagt, Region Five.
In fact, several videos have been circulating on social media with the detainees complaining that they are being held under inhumane conditions.
When the case came up for hearing before Justice Priya Sewnarine-Beharry on Friday, Toussaint informed her that the Haitians were granted a six months stay here.
However, Attorney-at-Law Prithima Kissoon, who is representing the Attorney General, said that the nationals were being kept to be deported.
But when Justice Singh questioned if the Haitians were indeed granted permission to stay, Kisson was unable to verify.
The Haitians, through their Attorney-at-Law, Darren Wade, said that detention of the Haitian nationals is “unlawful and a contravention of their fundamental rights.”
Toussaint names some of the detainees as: Elicia Pierfin. Jean Mario Henriquez, Nolka Charles, Daphniel Cadeau, Sonise Pierre, Rijkaard Petit Frere, Ludger Jn Baptiste Toussaint, Juldat Francois, Jeff-Nerline Francois, Lovedaline Gene, Jonathan Francois, Jonathan Francois, Myriame Vieux, Davidson Cadet, Maudalissa Methelus, Marshall Methelus, Ussen Legrand, Blastoonoff Belizaire, Joseph Arlamd Pierre, Marie Lovelyne Saintterme, Jen-N-Sie Elizena, Anita Catule, Yanove Marc among other Haitians nationals.
The court is expected to make a judgment on the matter on December 3, 2020. Meanwhile, on Sunday, when Wade visited the Hugo Chavez Centre, the nationals again expressed their distress.
During a Facebook live by Wade, the nationals were heard saying, “It is very bad; it’s very bad.”