ALLANDRES Archer has come forward and withdrawn his name from representing the 26 Haitians who were recently the subject of a court case against the Attorney-General and Minister of Legal Affairs.
The proceedings were initially filed by Archer for and on behalf of the 26 Haitians , contending that a breach of fundamental rights of the individuals had occurred when they were placed in protective custody at the Hugo Chávez Centre for Rehabilitation and Reintegration.
However, reflecting on how he became a part of the case, Archer said, “I was contacted by Attorney-at Law Darren Wade, to give an affidavit to be a witness and it ended up I was the person who was taking the government to court.”
“I never agreed to that; I never wanted no part of it,” he claimed.
Archer, a businessman and ticket agent, had purchased airline tickets which brought the Haitians to Guyana.
“The Haitians were later arrested in a hotel; I also was at the hotel at the time. I got arrested and I was there for 72 hours, then I got released on bail and a few days after this happened, the Haitian Society started making inquiries on what really went on,” he explained.
Archer related that when he was contacted by representatives of the Haitian Society, he was asked to make contact with Attorney Wade to give an affidavit to be a witness to what had occurred.
“I received the people from the airport. I brought them to the hotel, I checked them in, then we got arrested and that was basically what I agreed on. But to take the government to court or to fight on behalf of the Haitians was never my intention,” he said.
When contacted, Attorney Darren Wade confirmed that Archer had indicated that he wanted to withdraw the matter, but “he has not instructed me as yet.”
However, Wade noted on Wednesday that Archer confirmed with him that he was in talks with the Attorney General’s Chambers. Then subsequently he received correspondence from the chamber via email about Archer’s intention not to proceed with the matter.
On December 1, Principal Magistrate Sherdel Isaacs-Marcus, at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court, issued an order for the Haitians to be taken to the nearest port of exit.
This newspaper understands that the foreign nationals, 10 men, nine women and seven children, had arrived in Guyana on November 7, and were reportedly granted a six-month stay.
However, the Haitians allegedly gave incorrect information to immigration officers about where they would be staying while in the country, and days after, they were found at a city hotel and in a minibus on the Linden-Mabura Road, which constitutes a violation of their stay.
The police claimed that they were suspected to be victims of a human- trafficking ring, an allegation the Haitians have consistently denied.
Recently, Home Affairs Minister Robeson Benn disclosed that approximately 33,000 Haitians have been reported as “missing” over a three-year period, following their arrival in Guyana.