Over 33 male Venezuelan detainees at the Immigration Detention Centre have gone on “strike” until June 3 protesting and querying why they haven’t been released.
This was confirmed in a video circulating on Tuesday. It showed the group made up of mainly young men dressed in orange IDC uniforms gathered around a spokesman who addressed someone taking the video footage.
The Aripo IDC houses people who are to be deported back to their country.
The young man, speaking in an American accent said they were striking until June 3 and “not accepting any more lies” as they were not getting the truth and concrete answers.
It was not clear if they were embarking on a hunger strike or in what way they intended to protest.
He pointed to a man alongside him with a raised garment who showed a bandaged cut on his midsection. The man peeled off the bandage to display it.
The spokesman said, “Look at this man, five months (since) operated on and they haven’t let him go …he shouldn’t be in here with this medical condition.”
He pointed to another man, “He’s 60 years old, he voluntarily turned himself in to Immigration, he has everything, paid his fine, gone through all his procedures, he even has his ID of Living Waters and he’s still not released, wha’ going on?!”
Two others held up a document. The spokesman added, “Everybody here has their papers and they still not getting concrete answers.”
The rest of what the spokesman said was inaudible since someone dubbed over his words with Spanish statements.
It was the second protest at the IDC since February when ten others of various nationalities protested over conditions.
National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds didn’t respond to repeated calls on the matter. No one answered at the IDC following calls to ascertain if security was upgraded there in light of the protest by the detainees.