THE Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) will today convene for the first time in Jamaica when it sits at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston to hear the case against the Barbadian Government by Jamaican Shanique Myrie.
Myrie is seeking damages for what she said was discriminatory treatment by Barbadian Customs and Immigration officials when she attempted to enter that Eastern Caribbean island in March 2011 via the Grantley Adams International Airport.
Myrie, whose case was given wide attention across the Caribbean Community (Caricom) after her claim of being finger-raped was first reported by the Jamaica Observer, has contended that she was subjected to two demeaning cavity searches and locked in a cold, dank room due to her Jamaican nationality.
According to Myrie's legal counsel, Michelle Brown, apart from damages being sought, the Myrie issue is intended to be used as a landmark case to impose the guidelines of the revised Treaty of Chaguaramas.
The treaty was revised in 1989 when Caribbean governments decided that Caricom should be one single market and economy that would allow Caribbean nationals to be free to traverse the region in search of work.
"Caribbean nationals must be able to travel freely throughout the region under the guidelines of the revised Treaty of Chaguaramas," said Brown.
Myrie had accused Barbadian airport staff of targeting her and threatening her if she did not spread her legs. "When I bent over and spread my (private parts) I felt something enter my (private parts). She said that if I did not comply then she would see that I end up in prison in Barbados," Myrie told the Observer in her first interview about the matter.
"When I looked between my legs I saw her gloved hands in my (private parts). I screamed and stood up. She then told me if I obstructed her doing a cavity search she would have me locked up. She again inserted her fingers and poked around. I felt like I was being raped. I was so hurt and ashamed," Myrie said.
The female immigration officer and a male airport employee have been identified by Myrie and, according to Brown, will appear because of an application that was filed on Myrie's behalf.
Myrie said that although she was not found in contravention of any law she was locked up in a room at the airport until the next flight to Jamaica was available.