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His Lordship Justice Patrick Thompson Jr grants injunction to prevent repatriation of Haitian detainees


by Eulana Weekes

St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Attorney-at-Law Craig Tuckett continues to champion the cause of several Haitians who were detained in Nevis on February 02, 2023.

On Saturday, February 25, Tuckett informed WINN FM that the Government had made a decision to send the Haitians back to their homeland the following day, Sunday, February 26.

The news, according to Tuckett, prompted him to jump quickly into action by filing an application for an interim injunctive relief on behalf of the Haitians. The injunction was granted and prevented the Government from repatriating the Haitian detainees.

Attorney Craig Tuckett represented the Haitians in the hearing that was brought before His Lordship Justice Patrick Thompson Jr during a sitting of the court at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 25. An in-person hearing of the matter is scheduled for Monday, March 06, 2023, in the Magistrate Court, District C – Nevis.

About a week prior to the injunction hearing, Tuckett informed WINN FM that he had made three legal claims on behalf of the Haitians; to ask for asylum for them to stay in St. Kitts, to prevent the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis from returning the group of Haitians to their homeland and also ask that the Government give them a six-month stamp in their passports as CARICOM Nationals. According to Tuckett, he did not receive any response to the requests made.

The detainees in question were intercepted when the Dominican captain and a Haitian male came ashore via Gallows Bay and walked through Bath Village. They were taken into police custody and were charged with breaching immigration laws. The 13 other immigrants were detained at the Hanley’s Road Community Center- Nevis.

In a conversation with a WINN FM reporter on Monday, February 27 2023, Tuckett said the group was relocated to the St. Johnson Community Center – St. Kitts. The Dominican captain remains at His Majesty’s Prison awaiting trial, whilst the charges brought against the other male were withdrawn. He has since rejoined the group of detainees.

According to Tuckett, the Haitians are residents of the Commonwealth of Dominica and reside there legally and are also legally employed and have families there. The Attorney said their intended destination was St. Maarten, to do shopping. He added that they had their passports, but preferred to journey to St. Maarten via boat because it’s cheaper than traveling by air.

Tuckett continues to advocate that the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis treat the Haitians just as any other member of a CARICOM territory.

An excerpt from the 1951 Refugee Convention asserts that “a refugee should not be returned to a country where they face serious threats to their life or freedom. This is now considered a rule of customary international law.”


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