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'It is not all about the money'

But Shanique Myrie growing impatient with Barbados over CCJ award

BY KARYL WALKER Editor — Crime/Court Desk walkerk@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, March 21, 2014    

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JAMAICAN finger-raped victim Shanique Myrie has expressed frustration at the length of time it is taking the Barbados Government to compensate her for subjecting her to an illegal cavity search in 2011.

Last year the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) ruled that Myrie should be paid US$38,620 in pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages by the Barbadian government. But to date not one cent has been handed over to the violated woman.

"It is not all about money, but it is getting a bit frustrating now. I have not tried to pressure them but if they had any form of decency they would have done the right thing," Myrie told the Jamaica Observer on Wednesday.

The CCJ ruled that evidence Myrie presented about an illegal cavity search, detention in a dank, filthy cell at Barbados' Grantley Adams International Airport and subsequent deportation was powerful enough for a panel of judges to award her damages.

Speaking with the Observer from her mother's Tower Hill, St Andrew, home, Myrie said she was still exercising patience despite the delay by the Barbadian Government in handing over the cash.

"My motivation was never money. I needed the world to know of the injustice that I suffered and no woman should ever have to suffer that fate," she said.

The psychological damage she had to endure has not yet healed, she said.

"I still have bad dreams and still remember the horror. The damage will never be completely repaired and no money can heal that. If people ever know the bad feelings they would be surprised," Myrie said.

As a party to the Treaty of Chaguaramas, Barbados has an obligation to comply with all the judgements of the court promptly.

Opposition senator Robert Montague has been vocal in asking Minister of Foreign Affairs AJ Nicholson to urge the Barbadian Government to pay Myrie. However, to date no convincing argument has been forthcoming from the Jamaican Government as to its efforts to get the Barbadians to comply with the court ruling some six months after the CCJ ruling.

The Myrie case almost sparked a major diplomatic row between Jamaica and Barbados and shone the spotlight on the treatment some Jamaicans are subjected to when they travel to the eastern Caribbean island.

Another Jamaican woman is awaiting her day in court after she was allegedly raped by a cop and forced to perform oral sex on another policeman while in custody on drug charges in that country.

One of the cops has since fled the island while two more have been charged with rape and aiding and abetting in connection with the incident.

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