Foreign Affairs Minister, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, says the Government of Jamaica will be carrying out a review of protocols surrounding the 1997 US Jamaica Maritime Counter Narcotics Cooperation Agreement, better known as the Shiprider Agreement.
Minister Johnson-Smith says the evaluation is being conducted to ensure that the rights of Jamaicans are fully protected.
The Foreign Minister was addressing a media conference at her Ministry’s Headquarters in New Kingston today.
Stevian Simmonds reports.
Minister Johnson Smith says the decision to review the Shiprider Agreement was prompted by a lawsuit filed recently on behalf of five Jamaicans who were prosecuted in the United States under the amended agreement.
The Jamaicans say they were detained and abused when they were merely fishing in Haitian waters.
But, the US Coast Guard says the Jamaicans were treated in a humane manner and were detained on suspicion of drug smuggling.
Minister Johnson-Smith says it’s noteworthy that the Shiprider Agreement under which the five Jamaicans were prosecuted overseas makes provision for the protection of human rights.
The Foreign Affairs Minister told the media conference that justice emanating from the lawsuit will be allowed to take its natural course.
But, she says the government will be seeking some assurances from a US delegation which is to arrive in the island soon.