lundi 12 juin 2017

Haitian rape victim in Turks Island threatened with deportation for pressing charges.-

Haitian rape victim in Turks Island threatened with deportation for pressing charges.- (Cyrus Sibert, @ReseauCitadelle, #Haiti)

Marjorie, about 40 years old, is a courageous woman. Instead of cowering in fear, she has spoken out against her alleged rapist. We have refrained from revealing the full name of the victim who has pressed charges against Mr. Arthur Forbes, a practicing judge of the Turks Island Labor Court. The victim alleged to having been raped four times by Mr. Forbes.

Having come to the Island legally, the victim worked with Judge Forbes’ elderly parents since her arrival in 2015. Mr. Forbes took advantage of her and raped her on four different occasions. She has allegedly contracted an STD from Mr. Forbes.

In the filing documents, Mrs. Marjorie alleges having contemporaneously reported the repeated sexual assaults to her husband. The couple remained silence for fear of reprisals by the Magistrate of the Turks Island Labor Court. The judge continuously forced them into silence with threats of deportation and/or incarceration.

Ultimately, Mrs. Marjory decided to speak out against her alleged aggressor. Panicked, the judge sent her a threatening text message in which he pledged to have her work permit revoked in addition to having her expelled from the Island: “No sex, no more work permit.”

According to the police report, during each rape episode, Mr. Forbes reminded Mrs. Marjorie that Haiti is a poor, miserable and filthy country and that it would be better to remain quiet instead of having to return to Haiti unwillingly.

Nevertheless, on March 17, 2017, Ms. Marjorie revolted and filed a formal complaint against Judge Arthur Forbes. Following her complaint to the police, officials launched a judicial investigation. A hearing is set for July.

In the meantime, Mr. Forbes, the Magistrate, is using his influence to have the victim expelled to Haiti. It has been reported that Mr. Forbes is seeking to have the police officers working on the case transferred and replace them with his protégés.

The victim is in limbo.

With a widespread practice of rape of Haitian women going unpunished in the Turks and Caicos Island, this case provides an opportunity to set an example and send a strong message to rapists and sexual predators. They must understand that in a globalized world, basic human rights must be guaranteed.

So far, we hail the work of the Turks Island police, who have placed Mr. Forbes under arrest. It is understood that Mr. Forbes has made bail pending trial. In all fairness, were it a Haitian judge, the outcome, up to this point, might have been quite different.

Nonetheless, given Mr. Forbes’ stature, we believe that the victim needs our support. We call on everyone to support this Haitian national who decided to say NO against all odds and the likely consequences of standing up for her basic right by serving a powerful man.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs should provide adequate assistance to this woman in need in this neighboring island.

PS: It must be stressed that Mr. Forbes is presumed innocent until found guilty.

Cyrus Sibert, Cap-Haitien, Haiti
10 juin 2017
WhatsApp: 509-3686-9669
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