US Coast Guard acted properly - Chang


National Security Minister Dr. Horace Chang is claiming that the US Coast Guard followed correct procedures in the case involving the five Jamaican fishermen who claimed they were subjected to inhumane treatment after being detained in 2017.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which is seeking compensation for  four of the fishermen, claimed they were stripped naked, chained to the decks of US Coast Guard vessels, made to lie in faeces and had their boat burned.

On Sunday night Dr. Chang told RJR News that the fishermen did not file a complaint about their alleged mistreatment by the U.S. Coast Guard.

He claimed that the Coast Guard “responded within (the) legal framework of our agreement with the US Government and we had no complaint from the men involved prior to this report.”

He added that there’s a Superintendent of Police from the Jamaican Constabulary Force, attached to the Jamaican Consulate in Miami to whom they could have made a complaint.

The ACLU also claimed that the fishermen were denied the opportunity to contact their families, some of whom thought they had died.

Dr. Chang reiterated that the US Coast Guard has not breached its agreement with the Jamaican Government.

Steven Watt, a lawyer for the ACLU last week told RJR News that the case involving the Jamaicans was not an isolated incident, asserting that it is a common practice by the US Coast Guard.

He expressed satisfaction with the fact that the men were pursuing legal action against the US Government in the matter, having “acquired effective legal representation.”

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