Caribbean Round-Up


A new school of medicine in Barbados will in no way conflict or compete with similar facilities of the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus in Barbados.

This assurance was given recently by Minister of Education and Human Resource Development Ronald Jones.

The American University of Barbados’s School of Medicine, the first of its kind in Barbados, is expected to attract about 400 international students by 2015. Prime Minister Stuart Fruendell cut the ribbon to officially declare the school’s headquarters.

The minister’s assurances comes on the heels of a report by the Barbadian Nation recently, which said the American University of Barbados could pose serious challenges to the University of the West Indies (UWI) medical school at Cave Hill when it comes to foreign students.

UWI Vice-Chancellor Prof E Nigel Harris admitted that Barbados’ recent decision to give the green light to an offshore medical school in the country caught him by surprise.

Harris told the Daily Nation that American University could present Cave Hill with competition for foreign students, the Nation reported.


Victims of crimes in Barbados can soon identify their attackers without having to come face to face with them.

And charges of police brutality during interrogation will also be harder to prove as the Royal Barbados Police Force prepares to roll out new state-of-the art technology to record such proceedings.

This will all be possible as police implant devices such as Cardinal Peak CaseCracker and the Pro Mat system.

The country’s Attorney General Adriel Braithwaite has promised that amendments to the legislative framework to govern its use will be in place within the next six months.

He said the equipment will be installed at five police stations initially, but noted the intention was to have all stations outfitted.

The Pro Mat system will allow police to show victims of crime photographs and video of headshots to allow them to point out their attacker. It is mobile and can be transported to victims in hospital or those who are unable to go to a police station.

Braithwaite explained that the Pro Mat system was fair and allowed police to provide eight individuals of similar build and characteristics to an accused person.

But he said there were still some kinks to be ironed out with the Pro Mat as it relates to getting people to volunteer their photographs.

As result the new technology will only be available for serious crimes in the initial stages.


Opposition Leader Craig Cannonier has called on cabinet ministers to bear the brunt of pay cuts proposed by Premier and Finance Minister Paula Cox ahead of this month’s budget.

Cox, whose Progressive Labor Party (PLP) has been in power since l998, said government parliamentarians are prepared to take a 17.5 percent pay cut.

Cox said her MPs and senators are willing to take a five percent cut in their salaries and have pension contributions stopped this year.

The two moves combined would result in a 17.5 percent cut in salaries, she said.

Cox has already asked government workers to take an eight percent cut in salary for a year. Unions are considering Cox’s proposals.

Cannonier, who heads the island’s main opposition party, the One Bermuda Alliance (OBA) said: “The One Bermuda Alliance supports a pay cut for ministers because they are the people in charge of the government from policy to operations.

Cannonier’s party’s legislators would agree to the scheme, which would see their take home pay drop by five percent.


Guyana Police Commissioner Henry Greene is facing mounting pressure for his resignation over rape allegations.

Non-governmental organizations in Guyana have joined a rising chorus of public disapproval of Green’s tenure after he admitted that he had sex with a 34-year-old who is now accusing him of rape.

The woman has reportedly gone to see Greene seeking his intervention in a personal matter.

The minority opposition party, Alliance for Change (AFC) and the Guyana Association of Women Lawyers (GAWL), have called on Greene to either resign or be fired.

“It is reasonable to conclude that Mr. Greene has in fact lost the moral authority to lead the Guyana Police Force and should therefore no longer be required to so do,” the lawyers group said in a statement.

They accused Greene of “unacceptable” conduct and an intolerable abuse of his office in return for sexual favors.

The GAWL said it is calling on all police officers to be professional and restore public confidence in Guyana Police Force.

The director of Public Prosecutions recommended that the police chief be charged with rape after the woman’s accusation.

But the High Court granted Greene an injunction he sought against Acting Police Commissioner Leroy Brummel and Assistant Commissioner Seelall Persaud temporarily prohibiting them from bringing charges against him.

In court, Greene admitted to having consensual sex with the woman after she went to his office asking him to intervene in an investigation involving her.


An Islamic scholar was recently remanded in prison on charges of sexually abusing a boy at a Georgetown mosque.

Neziaam Ali was not required to plead to three counts of sexual abuse of a child and is to re-appear in court again next month.

Prosecutors alleged that Ali had sex with a boy under the age of 12 on at least three occasions last December at a mosque in the Georgetown suburb of Pattensen-Turkeyen.

The acts were allegedly committed while he was in a position of trust, being a religious teacher and knew or could be reasonably expected to have known of the trust in relation to the boy, according to the charges.

Medical examinations had confirmed sexual intercourse with at least three other boys but police had not yet charged the man in connection with the others in Demerara.

He is alleged to have sexually assaulted at least one of the boys at a mosque where they had gone for religious knowledge classes.


The Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) has joined in the condemnation of the recent police search of the offices of the Trinidad and Tobago Newsday newspaper and the home of senior journalist Andre Bagoo.

In a statement issued recently, PAJ said the overt or covert police intimidation of journalists must not be ignored and every effort must be made to ensure the right of the public to information must be protected.

“The right of journalists to protect sources of information is a necessity to ensure an unfettered ability to publicize acts of criminal and other wrongdoing and to bring matters of public issues to light,” the PAJ said.

“This is a specific protection provided under international law, including the Inter-American Declaration of Principles of Freedom of Expression, to which Trinidad and Tobago and other regional countries including Jamaica, subscribe. Principle 8 of the Declaration states: ‘Every social commentator has the right to keep his/her source of information, notes, personal and professional archives confidential.’”

Recently, the Trinidad and Tobago Publishers and Broadcasters Association President Kiran Maharaj said the raid can be interpreted as an act of intimidation and a threat to the media’s freedom.


The United States government has pledged to provide the Ministry of National Security with non-lethal weapons to assist the Jamaica Constabulary Force in its efforts to reduce the number of police-related fatalities.

The move comes just a week after Minister of National Security Peter Bunting said he would be looking to develop the necessary policy on the use of non-lethal weapons for the security forces.

U.S. Ambassador to Jamaica Pamela Bridgewater said starting later this year, the U.S. government will provide the ministry with batons, handcuffs, pepper sprays and equipment belts for approximately 6,500 nations would be made over the next three years.

Bridgewater said the non-lethal weapons are to assist the JFC in its aim to use less deadly force and equipment in the fight against crime.


Trinidad and Tobago Commissioner of Police Dwayne Gibbs has defended the Anti-Corruption Investigations Bureau (ACIB) raid on the Newsday newspaper, Port of Spain newsroom recently when officers took away computers and several items.

In addition, the ACIB officers raided the home of the newspaper senior journalist Andre Bagoo and removed several of his personal belongings.

The ACIB action came after the Integrity Commission chairman Ken Gordon field a complaint to police after a story in Newsday last December, highlighted a row between Gordon and the commission’s deputy chairman Gladys Gafoor.

Gibbs said the officers of the ACIB are Peace Officers. They have a responsibility to uphold the law and conduct investigations in accordance with the law.

The officers were in possession of a legitimate search warrant, which provided them with the authority to carry out the search for evidence.

He said the officers were conducting an investigation pursuant to a report made to the Bureau by the Integrity Commission.

Compiled by Azad Ali

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