The Department of Immigration in response to a Nassau Guardian story dated 26th September, 2008 regarding “Hunger Strike at the Detention Center”, makes the following statement.

The Department refutes all claims of “harsh nightmare-like living conditions “as enormous and scandalous allegations. Since its establishment in 1995, the center has been operated as an accommodation facility for persons awaiting repatriation; providing adequate amenities for comfortable living. This accommodation promotes free movement of detainees within prescribed parameters.

The Department in collaboration with the Ministry of Health facilitates 24 hours medical attention to all detainees, once cases of medical needs are made known outside of standard procedures.

The Department affirms that there has been no known complaint filed against any officers either within the Department or its counterparts relating to the abuse of detainees in the Center. It is however emphasized that security, as a high concern for all inhabitants at the center, demands restrictions of certain access and activities therein: this restriction may at times affect visitation.

The Department is cognizant of the unusual delay affecting some persons departures from the center and notes that the cases that are affected are guided by diplomatic protocol and beyond the Departments control to have them expedited.

The Department of Immigration wishes to assure that the day to day management and operations at the detention center are guided by the principle of maintaining a safe and comfortable environment for detainees, with the highest regards not to discriminate in the execution of its responsibilities.

Further the Department is proud of its past record at the center which has the respect and approval of International agencies such as UNHCR and IOM in the operations of the facility.