JA govt concerned about convicted Buju

Buju Banton.
AP Photo/Yesikka Vivancos

Acting on reports from attorneys for convicted Jamaican native Buju Banton, Olivia Grange, the island’s minister of youth, sports and culture said she is concerned about the conditions he must endure while incarcerated at a federal facility in Texas.

“We had become concerned in light of the reports that we had received about unsatisfactory conditions in Texas,” Grange said.

Allegedly attorney David Oscar Markhus stated that the facility was filled with Mexican gangs and that Banton was one of only a few Blacks confined there.

The government of Jamaica, through its embassy in Washington, DC made a formal appeal to the United States authorities for a transfer to an appropriate facility in Florida.

That appeal was honored recently when the convicted dancehall deejay was moved to the fourth facility since being sentenced earlier this year.

First confined to a Florida facility, Banton was transferred to an Oklahoma and later a Texas lockup.

Reportedly Grange welcomed the transfer of the deejay to the Federal Correctional Institution in Southwest Miami.

Reportedly, the minister received information through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that the dancehall artist was recently transferred and is now back in Florida to continue serving his time.

“This is welcome news because the government of Jamaica along with Buju Banton’s legal team had been advocating for his transfer to Florida.”

“I am pleased that we have secured his transfer with the full co-operation of the United States authorities. I am thankful for the hard work of everyone involved from the level of the consulate, the embassy and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” she said.

“We will continue to monitor his condition,” she added.

The 37-year-old Grammy-winning, reggae, dancehall, deejay was sentenced to serve 10 years in jail and is due for a 2019 release from U.S. custody.

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