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A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) Member of Parliament, Roysdale Forde slammed the Attorney General Anil Nandlall for his perceived “hostile” posture towards Haitians in Guyana.
“The posture of hostility and contempt towards our Haitian brothers and sisters by this Attorney General is reflective of his PPP regime’s disregard for the rights of African-Guyanese people,” Forde, a Senior Counsel, said in a statement on Friday.
His statement comes days after Chief Justice (ag) Roxane George quashed the deportation orders which were granted by the Magistrates’ Court against the 26 Haitians, who were detained by the State, on the grounds that there was a breach of natural justice. The Attorney General had filed an application, which had intended to have the case challenging the deportation orders struck out, but that too was thrown out by the Chief Justice.
Forde said Nandlall continues to pioneer new depths of incompetence and ineptitude as Attorney General. “His fatuous submission that the state was justified in detaining Haitian nationals was doomed and destined for abysmal failure,” Forde said.
In delivering her ruling on Wednesday, the Chief Justice explained that the deportation orders, secured by the State, breached Section 16 and 28 of the Immigration Act. Further, she said it is also clear that Article 139 of the Constitution, which provides for the protection of the right to personal liberty, and Article 148, protection of freedom of movement, were also breached.
The Haitians, seven of whom were children, were arrested hours after their arrival in Guyana on November 7, and transported to the Hugo Chavez Centre for Rehabilitation and Reintegration at Onverwagt, Region Five on November 10.
The Ministry of Home Affairs had said that the Haitians were part of a Human Trafficking ring, but the President of the Association of Haitian Nationals in Guyana, Kesnel Toussaint, in rebuffing the claim, said the Haitians were all granted a six month stay upon their arrival in the country.
After detaining the Haitians for close to a month, the State had moved to the Magistrates’ Court to secure deportation orders, however, when the Chief Justice on December 3, suspended the Orders pending the hearing and determination of the case, it days later took a decision to release the Haitians.
Forde said the Attorney General ought to have known better. “It is a public shame that the senior law officer of the land would either be unaware of the laws governing the right of CARICOM citizens to enter and remain in Guyana or would deliberately attempt to mislead the Court and the nation,” the APNU+AFC Member of Parliament said.
He also bashed the Attorney General over allegedly seeking to intervene and interfere with the lawyer/client relationship. Such, Forde said, constitutes gross unprofessionalism and is deplorable and vulgar.
In an attempt to have the case – Allandres Archer-v-The Attorney General – dismissed, the Attorney General had informed the Court, through his application, that the applicant (Archer), in a recording, said he had no knowledge that his name was used to block the deportation order.
The Attorney General had contended that while the Association of Haitian Nationals in Guyana asked Archer to provide its Attorney, Darren Wade with an Affidavit as a witness of what transpired the night the Haitians were arrested, it was never his intention to file a proceeding.
But the Chief Justice said the application filed by Nandlall was a “very strange” one and in fact lacked merit.
In noting that she would have listened to the recording, which was exhibited by the Attorney General, the Chief Justice said it was her humble opinion that Archer, in disputing the application, should have filed a Notice of Withdrawal, especially, when he was present during the hearings.
Further, she said it is unclear when the recording was done, who did it, and how it came to be done.
According to Forde, the Attorney General’s actions were unacceptable. “Mr. Nandlall is, by his continuing and persistent actions, attracting shame and disrepute to the office of the Attorney General of Guyana,” Forde said.