Six-year-old locked up abroad....Baby held in nasty conditions by Bahamian authorities
A six-year-old Jamaican girl and her 23 year old mother was forced to endure two horrifying nights in a Bahamian lock-up after being detained on arrival at the Lynden Pindling International Airport on Sunday.
The mother, Sasha-Gaye Myers, said she left Jamaica to sort a citizen identification card for her daughter who was born there but got the shock of her life.
"My daughter was born over there and I was given an identification certificate for her. I thought it was a passport because she has travelled on it like three times already back and forth from the Bahamas," the mother explained.
"Now it is expired and when I spoke to the Bahamian Consulate in Jamaica they told me that they don't issue identification cards here, nor passports and I would have to go there to get it renewed," she continued.
Acting on what she thought was sound advice, Myers and her daughter left Jamaica in hopes of sorting what she believed at the time was a minor issue.
"Upon arriving at Nassau, I was told that my daughter is not a Bahamian, she is a Jamaican and they will not allow her in on the expired book," Myers explained
"They say that I am a foreigner and the baby takes the nationality of the mother," she added.
From there, it was a downward spiral as things rapidly became tense.
"They said that I already missed the flight that would return to Jamaica on Sunday, and they would have to take me to a safe house for women and children," she said.
"They gave me a few clothing items and took away everything. My phone, my passport, my suitcase, everything. Just imagine."
Myers said that life in the safe house, which she described as decrepit, was horrifying.
"On the outside it looks just like a normal house. Inside, I had to sleep on some torn dirty mattress. It was really, really nasty and they are on the floor," Myers said.
"They gave us meals in torn lunch boxes. They would give us turn cornmeal and mackerel, white rice and corned beef for lunch, and macaroni and corned beef for dinner. And all of that is served with just water. Only in the mornings you might get bland sugar and water and no water to drink after 6 o'clock," she said.
Myers described the routine in the safe house as being similar to that of a prison. There were specific times to eat, bathe, and even socialise with other occupants of the institution. She even claims to have found a Jamaican who has been locked up there fore eight years.
"When you have recreation time just like prison, you get to meet up with people. Based on the accent, I realised that they are Jamaican," she said.
"When I introduced myself, that's how we talk and I got to find out say they have been spending up to eight years. One lady I talked to she said that as far as she knows her family thinks she is dead," Myers said.
The incensed mother returned to Jamaica on Tuesday with her little one who was said to be traumatised by the ordeal. She has retained an attorney-at-law and has vowed never to return to the Bahamas.
Several efforts made to reach the Consulate of the Bahamas in Kingston for comment proved futile.