Skip to comments.Opposition calls move 'deeply troubling' (Bermuda)
Posted on 06/12/2009 9:44:27 AM PDT by Shermy
The Opposition yesterday denounced the Premier's decision to offer asylum to four Guantánamo Bay detainees in Bermuda, accusing him of "one-man autocratic rule" and "supreme arrogance".
Shadow Immigration Minister Shawn Crockwell told a press conference that he could recall no other decision "that so blatantly disrespects the people of Bermuda".
The UBP MP also warned that the Chinese nationals of Uighur ethnicity, who were flown to the Island on Wednesday evening after seven years at the high-profile detention camp, may be "deeply angry" and potentially dangerous.
But the Human Rights Commission praised Premier Ewart Brown's offer of sanctuary to the stateless Muslims, who were cleared for release by the US after it was determined that they were not "enemy combatants".
HRC chairman Venous Memari said: "It appears from the initial reports that the Premier has acted on humanitarian grounds in allowing the four men to be resettled in Bermuda and that is to be applauded. I think that this humanitarian initiative is a clear recognition that Bermuda is a part of the world community and we have a role to play.
"It is also a recognition of our respect for human rights and the presumption of innocence that is the cornerstone of fundamental universal human rights in modern democratic societies."
But Mr. Crockwell dismissed the humanitarian argument, asking why no other country, including the US itself, was prepared to accept the men.
"Why does Bermuda have to step up in this particular instance?" he said. "The United States has far greater allies around the world with far better resources as far as land mass, as far as opportunities, jobs, housing, that it defies logic that Bermuda has to be the logical place for these men to go."
He added: "We don't know who these men are. We make no aspersions against them, we simply say that such a decision with such importance as this requires the Premier to bring it to the people first."
Mr. Crockwell, who was flanked at the press conference by fellow MPs Patricia Gordon-Pamplin, Donte Hunt and Cole Simons and Senator Michael Fahy, said bringing the men here without the Governor's consent challenged the Constitution.
"No other decision better captures the type of one-man autocratic rule that this Premier has been allowed by his party to exercise," he claimed. "When we first heard the news we thought it was some sort of journalistic mistake or some sort of joke going around. But this is no joke and Bermuda is not amused.
"If the Premier had any respect for the people, he should have at the very least made his statement in the House of Assembly before the elected representatives."
Mr. Crockwell said "deeply troubling" questions arising from the decision including about the men's mental state and suitability to live and work on the Island remained unanswered.
"That the Premier has not taken care to answer them is a mistake and an indication of his supreme arrogance."
He added: "These men have been held in Guantánamo Bay for seven years. They may have been subject to torture. They may be deeply angry. We simply do not know. It is incumbent on the Government to assure Bermudians that the Guantánamo detainees do not constitute a threat to the Island."
Dr. Brown pointed out yesterday that Bermuda had offered asylum to Vietnamese families in the 1980s. Mrs. Gordon-Pamplin said that was an entirely different situation, since the families were rescued by a Bermuda-registered boat, hence the Island had no choice but to accept them.
“That the Premier has not taken care to answer them is a mistake and an indication of his supreme arrogance.”
Such arrogance fades in the bright arrogant light of the O.
Nobody mentions how much cash passed hands. If the HRC man feels so good about this maybe they should place these guys next door to his humble abode.
200 million to Palau we can rest assured there was a substantial amount paid for these guys.
Brown is black and understand “pay to play”. Wonder what he is getting from Zero?
Yeah right! Follow the money!
Who in their right mind would pollute a 20 square mile, affluent, Sub-tropical paradise with four angry terrorists?
Only an America hating Democrat could declare a Jihad screaming nutcase, captured while shooting at our troops in Afghanistan, to NOT be an enemy combatant.
Obama and co need to be tried for treason and made to walk the plank in shark infested waters.
Geee- one autocrat working hand in hand with another autocrat..
Who would have thunk it??
Who in their right mind would pollute a 20 square mile, affluent, Sub-tropical paradise with four angry terrorists?””
Scratch Bermuda off the travel list......even a cruise that stops there.
I'm predicting that there is going to be a tourist hostage taking incident in Bermuda in the near future, and bad economic times ahead for Bermuda as well due to a decrease in tourists.
Then in a year or two, Jihadists will take over an Island or two from which they will launch periodic terrorist attacks on the main Island, demanding it implement shia law and conversion to Islam, much like what happens in the Philippines.
I wonder if it’s possible to find out which of our troops these terrorists being released were involved in killing?
Bermuda is also a wonderful transfer point for lots and lots of red hot money. It's sort of post office box and waypoint for the Cayman Islands, Jersey Islands, Lichtenstein, Vienna, Zurich and back again money tour. Lotsa CBC dirty boys (ALL OF ' EM) been known to come over to use the ATM from time to time.
Four Uighurs? Not too much of problem. If they step out of line, plenty of nasty boys to pop' em back in.
Exactly, they can be put to work in the dreaded money laundering mines of Bermuda.
Are the profiles of these guys accessable anywhere? They must’ve done something or have been planning something to land them in Club Gitmo.