They came to The Bahamas because it is better in The Bahamas. They went swimming on Cabbage Beach on Paradise Island. Only thing was it was the independence holiday dan the incompetent authority aka the competent authority Dr. Hubert Minnis had closed the beaches. Police arrested Rana Mohamed Kenaway, Miriam Mohamed and Ikrane Kanane at their Airbnb on Wednesday morning after a video of them scaling a fence to Cabbage Beach went viral. When they went to court in handcuffs, so dangerous were they, that they explained themselves and the magistrate discharged them. Bahamians were incensed at the double standard and the PLP had this to say from Chairman Senator Fred Mitchell:
15th July 2020
The discharge today of three tourists in the magistrate’s court for violating the beach closure Order is a major embarrassment for the government and was a colossal waste of time and resources of both the police and the courts.
So nonsensical are some of these Emergency Orders by the so called Competent Authority that the government is challenged and hard pressed to get the law enforcement officers to enforce some of them or to understand what they are.
We note the decision of the police to place handcuffs on the persons charged. We have made the point before that the use of these and other restraints when there appears to be no violence or record of flight seems over the top and may be unconstitutional. In any event it is a terrible image for tourism in The Bahamas. The Tourism Ministry must be having a fit.
Needless to say, this trial will attract international attention. Tourists who visited The Bahamas because of its advertised sun, sand and sea tourism product were hauled before the courts for enjoying sun, sand and sea all because of a bad decision by a singular Competent Authority. This incident will do more harm than good to the country’s tourism product and brand, not to mention our international reputation.
The PLP again calls on the Competent Authority to allow expert medical and scientific evidence to drive all of his decisions if he is to expect continued cooperation from an increasingly exasperated and frustrated public.