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TCI Human Rights Commission Responds to Congressman Guy Reschenthaler’s Description of TCI’s Detention Houses


The Turks and Caicos Islands Human Rights Commission has penned a statement debunking Congressman Guy Reschenthaler's scurrilous description of the Turks and Caicos Island’s places of detention.

 

The following is the statement:

The Turks and Caicos Islands Human Rights Commission (The Commission) makes this following statement to advise the general public and to clarify statements made by certain visiting to the Islands.


The Commission diligently carries out its mandate to inspect detention facilities housing individuals in police custody, prisons, detention centers, or immigration detention, as outlined in the Turks and Caicos Islands Constitution and the Human Rights Commission Ordinance. From January to March 2024, the Commission conducted thorough inspections and assessments of the Immigration Detention Center on Providenciales and His Majesty Prison (HMP) on Grand Turk.


These assessments included interviews with detainees, inmates, and facility management, along with comprehensive examinations of infrastructure and conditions of the facilities.


The Commission is pleased with the progress and efforts implemented at HMP under the leadership of the Superintendent and his team. Despite some proposed recommendations, the treatment of incarcerated individuals and the provision of essential necessities like food and water have consistently met at least the minimum human rights standards.


Despite statements made by certain visiting US delegates on general media the Commission is not aware of and have not received any reports from the United Nations (UN) referencing sanctions or any inadequate standards of prisons and detention centers in the Turks and Caicos Islands. The Commission stands by its assessment that the facilities meet at least the minimum standards set by the UN but in many cases exceeds those standards.


The Commission will continue to conduct quarterly inspections of all detention facilities throughout the fiscal year 2024–25. By year-end, evaluations of police stations on Providenciales and outer islands will also be completed.


While monitoring remains a core function, the Commission remains committed to public education and awareness-raising on human rights. Additionally, the Commission aims to provide human rights training opportunities to stakeholders to foster engagement and understanding, in addition to its pursuit of compliance from government entities.


The Commission will continue to provide updates on its activities and progress as it works toward its objectives.

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