Jamaican woman files suit against the government of Guyana

by November 11th, 2019

A Jamaican woman has filed a suit against the government of Guyana, in relation to claims of being jailed for several months, after being initially released from prison.

54-year-old Sandra Russell had been sentenced to eight months imprisonment and fined 135 thousand dollars for the possession of 70 grams of cannabis, last year.

According to reports in the St. Lucia News Online, Russell’s sentence was reduced to three and a half months and she served her time at the New Amsterdam prison.

Further reports are that last November Russell was released from prison into the custody of a female immigration officer, who told her that she would be deported to Jamaica.

However, this did not happen.

Russell‘s attorney, Darren Wade has filed a multi-million-dollar lawsuit against Guyana, for the wrongful imprisonment of his client, who was released from prison and kept an additional eight months at the East La Penitence police station.

She was released on ten thousand dollars bail in July this year.

Russell believes that the Guyana police force and immigration officers, in the execution of their duties, unlawfully breached, infringed, encroached and contravened her fundamental right, having been subjected to false imprisonment.

Among the grounds outlined in the lawsuit, is that the police and the immigration had no legal authority to hold Russell beyond 72 hours without seeking an extension from the courts.

Further claims are that whilst in custody Russell had no proper bedding, there was inadequate food, and that the lockup had inadequate space and lighting, as well as poor ventilation.

The lawyer said his clients fundamental rights as guaranteed under the constitution were breached, encroached on and infringed by the Guyana police force and immigration officers.

Russell is suing Guyana for 10 million dollars, per day, for everyday she spent unlawfully in custody; 20 million dollars for inhumane and degrading treatment; 20 million dollars for the breach of freedom of movement, as well as 50 million dollars for false imprisonment.

Guyana’s attorney general, commissioner of police, and chief immigration officer, are all listed as respondents in the lawsuit.