Following is a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, by Brent Symonette, Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of Foreign Affairs concerning straw vendors detained in New York.
The Government of The Bahamas has engaged attorney Elliot Sagor of the New York law firm Hogan Lovells to assist in matters related to the arrest and detention of nine Bahamian straw vendors in the United States of America.
This will include coordinating efforts with attorneys presently working on behalf of a number of the vendors.
As the legal matters facing the vendors are sensitive in nature, the Government will advise the public of developments when and where appropriate. We will continue to provide family members of the vendors with regular briefings.
It is important that the rights of the vendors are protected.
Accordingly, I wish to reiterate that through the Bahamas Consul General in New York, the Government continues to provide assistance and intensely monitor developments related to the general welfare as well as the protection of the rights of the vendors.
Further, regular reports are being provided to various officials including myself and the Prime Minister.
As the Prime Minister has previously stated, through the U.S. Embassy in Nassau, the Government of The Bahamas has sent a formal note to the U.S. Government regarding the treatment of the vendors.
The Government will continue to provide public updates on its various efforts when appropriate, and in keeping with good diplomatic practices and Bahamian national interests.