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April 6 ,2021

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Dear Editor,

We write on behalf of two citizens of Haiti, Junette Jean and Wilbert Fremont who on March 17, 2021 were sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment in addition to a fine of $30,000 (Guy) each for the offence of illegally entering Guyana.  To date, Ms. Jean and Mr. Fremont have served just under two weeks of their sentence and continue to do so in a new country, separated from each other and surrounded by a strange language.  Their nearest Haitian language contacts in Guyana are in Georgetown. Ms. Jean is incarcerated in New Amsterdam, and Mr. Fremont was placed at Lusignan and then taken to Timehri. One can hardly imagine the mental hardships this couple faces in isolation in these conditions.

An appeal is being filed on behalf of Ms. Jean and Mr. Fremont against their unreasonably severe sentencing. On humanitarian grounds, we hereby ask that this appeal be heard without delay, since to all appearances this couple has been treated harshly and their current rights as CARICOM citizens might not have been taken into account. Ms. Jean and Mr. Fremont travelled to Guyana hoping to reunite with their relative who lives there. Neither of these two Caribbean citizens has ever had a criminal record and no such evidence was produced in court at their hearing on March 17.

Ms. Jean, who currently faces a health challenge, having had major surgery just a few months ago, has been severely traumatized by her arrest, sentencing and detention in Guyana. When seen by her husband’s relative at La Penitence Police Station lockup after sentencing, she was crying uncontrollably. Ms. Jean has children and it is unconscionable that she should be kept from her children for a year.

What is of deep concern to us is what appears to be the unequal treatment of this Haitian couple in comparison to persons of different nationalities who were arrested at the same time and at the same port of entry, and charged for the same offence of entering Guyana illegally.  Our understanding is that, a group of five persons from a different country were similarly arrested and charged on the same day for the same offence. They pleaded guilty, were fined $15,000 and each deported immediately.  Both Haitians also pleaded guilty but, as stated above, were fined $30,000 each and sentenced to one year in jail with deportation orders only after completion of their incarceration. After sentencing, they were transported to Georgetown and placed in crowded holding cells in Brickdam and La Penitence, respectively, the conditions of which appear to be in breach of the COVID protocols in effect in Guyana.  Their imprisonment exposes them to danger from many fronts, among these are cultural intolerance, the pandemic and the violence which erupts in our prisons from time to time. Additionally, in the overcrowded prison system in Guyana, is it right that tax-payers are being charged the full costs for the incarceration of two non-violent Haitians for a border crossing – when they could just as well have been deported as the other non-Haitians were for the same offence?

The discrimination against Haitians, who are CARICOM citizens, needs to be questioned. Why is the legal system more amenable to infringements by other nationalities and so draconian towards Haitians?

We stand in solidarity with Junette Jean and Wilbert Fremont.  We support their appeal without reservation and call for their immediate release on humanitarian grounds.

Yours faithfully,

Guyana-Haiti Support Group – Charlene Wilkinson

Melissa Ifill

Donald Rodney

Sinikka Henry

Danuta Radzik,

Karen De Souza

Vanda Radzik

Alissa Trotz

Sherlina Nageer

Mark Jacobs

Pierre Jean, teacher

Mondy Balenjo Nago Methelus, Journalist

Myrtha Désulmé – President Haiti-Jamaica Society; Haitian Diaspora Federation – VP for Advocacy & Public Policy for the Caribbean and Latin America

Kesnel Toussaint, President, Association of Haitian National in Guyana (AHNIG)

Patrice Florivus – Collectif des Avocats Spécialisés en Litige Stratégique de Droits Humains, (CALSDH – Haiti)

Elton McRae, Guyana Reparations Committee

Olive Sampson, International Decade for People of African Descent, Guyana Chapter (IDPADA-G)

Women & Gender Equality Commission – I. Chandarpal; C. Sampson

Help & Shelter – Josephine Whitehead

Red Thread – Joy Marcus; Wintress White; Halima Khan; Susan Collymore; Vanessa Ross

and dozens of others

Original Post

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Why is the legal system more amenable to infringements by other nationalities and so draconian towards Haitians?

Because they are black and for no other reason. Different treatment for blacks by what was an apartheid regime for 23 years. Race aside, this, as related in the story, is clearly inhumane. An entire family ripped apart and lives destroyed for an infraction where others pay a fine and walk free. These poor Haitians were probably on their way to French Guiana .

@Prashad posted:

Why would Haitians want to swap one failed shithole country from another failed shithole country?

What did the Haitians do to the Indo_Haitians?   Why was there an exodus of the Indos from Haiti?

@Ramakant-P posted:

What did the Haitians do to the Indo_Haitians?   Why was there an exodus of the Indos from Haiti?

You sure hate black man! If even they are French-speaking foreigners, huh? You are to be pitied!

@shallyv posted:

You sure hate black man! If even they are French-speaking foreigners, huh? You are to be pitied!

You didn't answer the question but instead, you accuse me of being a racist. I pity you the fool for not being so intelligent as you professed to be.

Why don't tell us about your hatred for Indo_Guyanese people?

Where have I ever professed to be intelligent? Don't blame your ass umptions on me, kunt! The rest of your post is risible so I chose to ignore it! It would of great help to others reading your drivel, if you, and others, would read and correct before posting! Perhaps, then others wouldn't think you ARE chupid, indeed!

As for my accused.hatred of Indo-Guyanese, I assure that it is a figment of your overheated and miniscule imagination! I would have to start with you, though, but.it isn't worthwhile! I'll just have to be content with the ongoing ridicule of your thinking!

Last edited by shallyv
@shallyv posted:

Where have I ever professed to be intelligent? Don't blame your ass umptions on me, kunt! The rest of your post is risible so I chose to ignore it! It would of great help to others reading your drivel, if you, and others, would read and correct before posting! Perhaps, then others wouldn't think you ARE chupid, indeed!

As for my accused.hatred of Indo-Guyanese, I assure that it is a figment of your overheated and miniscule imagination! I would have to start with you, though, but.it isn't worthwhile! I'll just have to be content with the ongoing ridicule of your thinking!

You don't ignore my post, you just ridicule it and then proceed to tell everyone that you are more intelligent than everybody. I don't make assumptions. The Assumption is the mother of all Screwups.  You are guilty of that.  You have the tendency like the others on this GNI to call someone stupid when you don't understand or when you disagree with them.

Ohhh Gawd, deliva mih.frum dis fing kreetin! E stupiditee suhpassis all ah evuh meat!

Mairy wuz de Muddur uv assumshun.ar wuz it Asenshun? Ah dun.fuget! Butt wuz sumpin lyk dah!

Last edited by shallyv

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