URGENT: Riot in Bahamas
migrant detention center leaves 20 injured
NASSAU, Bahamas ... (AP) ... Migrants set fire to a detention dormitory
on Thursday, clashing with guards who fired rubber bullets at detainees.
At least 20 people were injured.
The riot at the Carmichael Road Detention Center in Nassau began after
immigration officials forced their way into a dormitory with mostly
Cuban migrants who were refusing to unlock the door, the Ministry of
Labor and Immigration said Thursday.
The detainees set fire to the room and hurled burning objects at the
immigration officials, who fired rubber bullets to disperse the
migrants, the ministry said.
At least nine detainees were hurt, including five who were hospitalized,
but their conditions were not immediately known. Eleven immigration
officials suffered bruises and lacerations, though none were
Three migrants escaped hours before the fire, though two were quickly
recaptured, the ministry said. It was unclear how the migrants escaped.
The migrants are brought to the detention center while they wait to be
repatriated or their asylum claims are reviewed.
In an October report, Amnesty International alleged that detention staff
beat two Cuban asylum seekers with batons on Oct. 1, then held a gun to
their heads. On Oct. 9, several Haitians who tried to escape were
allegedly beaten by employees and denied medical care, the London-based
rights group said in its report.
Amnesty also said on Oct. 10, several Cuban detainees ... including
children ... were forced to stand against a fence inside the facility
for more than two hours without water and in scorching temperatures. At
least five children are being held, Amnesty said.
The government announced Wednesday it had found no evidence of abuse.
"Detainees and other witnesses who were present could not corroborate
any assault as alleged,'' Immigration and Labor Minister Vincent Peet
A police investigation, however, did reveal problems with the provision
of water, shelter and food to detainees, Peet said. He said he has
ordered a management review.
Amnesty spokeswoman Olivia Streater said the rights group would issue a
formal response to the Bahamas government Friday.
The detention center opened more than 10 years ago and has a capacity
for 500 people.
It wasn't immediately clear how many detainees were being held at the
Cortesy Wilfredo Cancio