Mitchell: Arrest of Three American Women a Terrible Image for the Country
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PLP Chairman says a trial will cause negative international attention
Chairman of the Progressive Liberal Party Fred Mitchell agrees with the dismissal of the case involving three American tourists who violated the beach closure.
Mitchell said a trial would negatively impact the tourism product.
“This trial will attract international attention. Tourists who visited the Bahamas because of its advertised sun, sand and sea tourism product were hauled before the courts for enjoying sun, sand and sea all because of a bad decision by a singular Competent Authority.
The three women–Mariam Mohamed Hassen, Ikrame Kanane and Rana Mohamed Kenwy, represented by Ian Cargill, appeared before Deputy Magistrate Andrew Forbes and were discharged after stating they were given permission by a police officer in a “brown” uniform.
Mitchell said, “This incident will do more harm than good to the country’s tourism product and brand, not to mention our international reputation.”
Mitchell said the decision to place the women in handcuffs and the use of other restraints “when there appears to be no violence or record of flight seems over the top and may be unconstitutional,” emphasizing that “it is a terrible image for tourism in the Bahamas.”
“The Tourism Ministry must be having a fit,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell said the discharge embarrasses the government, adding that it was nonsensical, “a colossal waste of time and resources of both the police and the courts,” and blames Prime Minister Hubert Minnis as the competent authority.
“The PLP again calls on the Competent Authority to allow expert medical and scientific evidence to drive all of his decisions if he is to expect continued cooperation from an increasingly exasperated and frustrated public.”
On Friday, the foreign women hopped a fence at Cabbage Beach on Paradise Island despite beach closure for the Independence weekend.
Beaches were closed in an attempt to prevent large gatherings as the country handles the coronavirus pandemic.