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Attorney applies for release of 131 Honduran fishermen detained in Jamaican waters

Attorney applies for release of 131 Honduran fishermen detained in Jamaican waters

Posted  415 Views updated 1 year ago

King's Counsel Tom Tavares-Finson on Wednesday filed an application in the St Andrew Parish Court for a Judge to issue an order for the 131 Honduran fishermen who have been detained since December 11 to be brought to court.

Tavares-Finson, who is representing the fishermen, is also seeking an order for them to be released immediately, because they have not been charged with any offence and are being kept in what he describes as deplorable conditions.

In the application for the writ of habeas corpus, he stated that the fishermen were unlawfully detained in less than desirable conditions and there are fears of an outbreak of disease.

Tavares-Finson has stated in his affidavit that the fishermen are in the custody of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) Coast Guard and the Marine Division of the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

The JDF Coast Guard intercepted and seized the Honduran fishing vessel,  'Miss Babs' about 9 a.m. on December 11 at Pedro Banks.

Tavares-Finson said in his affidavit that the captain has denied that the vessel was in Jamaica's Exclusive Economic Zone.

The affidavit outlined that "having seized the vessel, the Jamaica Defence Force Coast Guard escorted the vessel and crew to the Coast Guard Facility in Port Royal and to date, that is where the men remain on the vessel, 'Miss Babs'".

He emphasised that “their continued detention poses a health and humanitarian emergency as they are being poorly fed and are not receiving appropriate medical attention. The plight of the Honduran nationals is exacerbated by the fact that there is no Honduran Embassy operating presently in Jamaica.”

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