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Bahamas: Govt. defends shantytown eradication plan, asks court to dismiss any reference to “ethnic cleansing”

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — As counsel for the government defended its shantytown removal policy in the Supreme Court yesterday, lead attorney Kayla Green-Smith asked the court to disregard all references by the applicants that the government was seeking to ethnically cleanse Haitian communities.

The substantive trial on the issue of the demolition of unregulated homes in these communities continued before Supreme Court Justice Cheryl Grant Thompson.

Attorneys Fred Smith, QC, and Martin Lundy represent the applicants, including 117 shantytown residents.

The respondents in the matter are Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis, Minister of Labour Dion Foulkes, Minister of Public Works Desmond Bannister, Attorney General Carl Bethel, Bahamas Power and Light and the Water and Sewerage Corporation.

“We the respondents wish to restate, [we] object to any reference to the term ethnic cleansing,” she advised the court.

“My lady, if you would recall during the court of the applicants’ presentation they made reference to this whole concept of… alleging that the respondents were engaged in that process.

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