Statement on Botham Jean by Chairman of OECS Authority, Prime Minister Dr. Hon. Ralph E. Gonsalves

Statement on Botham Jean by Chairman of OECS Authority, Prime Minister Dr. Hon. Ralph E. Gonsalves

Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Media Statement

Over the last two weeks the people of this region, North America and indeed many other parts of the world have been following the rather sad, perplexing, and horrifying case of Botham Shem Jean, a 26-year-old citizen of Saint Lucia and the OECS.

It is an undeniable fact that Botham Shem Jean was shot and killed while in the sanctity and comfort of his own home on the night of September 06, 2018 by a uniformed officer of the Dallas City Police.

Botham Shem Jean had committed no crime, nor was he contemplating or conspiring to commit any crime. From every indication, Botham Shem Jean was a proud product of our Caribbean Civilization – bright, God-fearing, respectful of others, humane and full of promise.

…and so, it is a great loss that we all feel, and for which we sympathise deeply with his family and friends. The people of our region, from the OECS and beyond, want to let it be known to the United States of America and indeed to the entire world that we stand firmly in solidarity with the family and friends of Botham Shem Jean, and with the Government and people of Saint Lucia in their demand for justice.

We wish to make it clear that our small size or perceived ranking in global affairs should not lead to false assumptions or conclusions about the strength of our resolve and determination in the fight for justice.  

We are dismayed by the despicable attempts by some to smear the character of Botham Shem Jean, and call upon the authorities in the State of Texas and elsewhere in the United States of America to work to ensure that justice prevails in this matter.

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The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) is an International Organisation dedicated to economic harmonisation and integration, protection of human and legal rights, and the encouragement of good governance among independent and non-independent countries in the Eastern Caribbean. The OECS came into being on June 18th 1981, when seven Eastern Caribbean countries signed a treaty agreeing to cooperate with each other while promoting unity and solidarity among its Members. The Treaty became known as the Treaty of Basseterre, so named in honour of the capital city of St. Kitts and Nevis where it was signed. The OECS today, currently has eleven members, spread across the Eastern Caribbean comprising Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and The Grenadines, British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Martinique and Guadeloupe. 

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