The Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) denounces the attacks on Ms. Keoma Hamer by the Prime Minister of Antigua & Barbuda, Mr. Gatson Brown. Ms. Hamer is a young mother and Guyanese national experiencing unimaginable trauma and torture from the disappearance and alleged theft of her twin baby girls who were born at Holberton Hospital in Antigua on “September 7, 2004″ while her flight was in transit there. Ms. Hamer’s medical records disappeared within days of her delivery. When her family returned to pay the $1,000.00 medical bill, hospital staff said no record of her existed and refused the funds.
Antigua is quickly establishing itself as the child abduction capital of the Caribbean region. Visitors and tourists should therefore be gravely concerned about the likelihood that if they travel to Antigua while pregnant, their babies and medical records may be stolen and the Prime Minister and government will be complicit by refusing to conduct a credible investigation and ensure the administration of justice.
Ms. Hamer and several other patients and nurses have attested to seeing the babies alive at birth. They allege that the twins were stolen. Ms. Hamer has been on a fifteen-year search for her twins. Recently, two young girls were identified as the potential twins. Ostensibly, one resides in Antigua and the other in the US. If the allegations are true, this matter involves child abduction and human trafficking – international crimes. Prime Minister Brown has not commented on, and seems disinterested in, the allegation that babies and medical records have disappeared from a government institution.
The Prime Minister in an official statement on December 27, 2019, disparaged Ms. Hamer as an “unknown woman” and a liar whose babies died in 2004. he offered not independent evidence of this. In subsequent social media posts, the Prime Minister, without providing any evidence, claimed that Ms. Hamer’s story “bears no resemblance to reality.” His attacks are an assault on women and mothers, and deserve stern repudiation. This is beneath his office. No Prime Minister who ascribes to the creed of human dignity and is in a balanced state of mind can be so callous and irresponsible. CGID calls on Prime Minister Brown to apologize to Ms. Hamer for his insensitive attacks.
Prime Minister Gaston Brown apparently traffics in fiction from an alternate reality and continues to misguide himself about the facts in this case. He is holding out Dr. Joseph John’s disputed letter of October 7, 2004, as evidence that Ms. Hamer had a spontaneous abortion or miscarriage. Ms. Hamer and several other patients and nurses of the then Holberton Hospital have attested to seeing the babies born alive on “September 7, 2004,” and taken away. These eye witness accounts discredit Dr. John’s account which also states an incorrect birth date. Moreover, Dr. John’s letter establishes that he was not present the time Ms. Hamer gave birth. Rather he attended to her on September 9, 2004, two days she birthed the twins. Consequently, Dr. John’s opinion was predicated on alleged falsified medical records, which erroneously stated that the babies died at birth.
The responsible course of action the Prime Minister must pursue is ensure a thorough and independent investigate by a distinguished juris who can make a finding of fact which answers the following questions:
(1) Ms. Hamer never received an account of what happened to her babies. What happened to the babies? Why were no photographs taken? Why weren’t the purported remains shown to the mother and handed over to relatives as Ms. Hamer requested? Where were the purported remains buried?
2. Within a few days of her discharge, the medical records disappeared. Holberton Hospital claimed it possessed no records or evidence that Ms. Hamer was admitted or treated at its facility. What happened to the medical records? Where are they? Is this how the state of Antigua is governed?
3. The Prime Minister alleges that Antigua Police conducted DNA tests on the identified child and the purported parents, and that the results concluded that the persons tested were the child’s biological parents. However the alleged DNA tests were done in secrecy and lacks transparency. We reject these results as unreliable. Ms. Esther Amos, the reputed mother, stated on ABS television on December 27, 2019, that she provided a DNA sample that shows that she is the biological mother.
4. How were the DNA samples obtained by the Police? Did the Police collect them from the said identified child and reputed parents, or did the parents voluntarily provided the samples to the police unsupervised? Who verified that the correct child provided the DNA specimens? Who supervised the collection of the DNA samples as well as the chain of custody of the samples from collection to delivery to the lab? Which laboratory conducted the tests and where are the documented results?
5. Ms. Keoma Hamer was not DNA tested, why? Why wasn’t Ms. Hamer or her representatives invited to witness the collection of the DNA samples?
6. Did the Antigua Police investigate the pregnancy records of Ms. Amos, the issuance of the child’s birth certificate as well as her school records? Did the Police interview former nurses and patients of Holberton Hospital? Did the Police interview Dr. John and Dr. Abbott? Did the Police investigate allegations that the parents previously claimed that the child was adopted?
The Prime Minister has callously remarked that Ms. Hamer’s claim is a lie, and that her babies were born dead. He has unfortunately prejudiced this investigation with premature conclusions before the so-called police investigation has concluded. The government of Antigua and Barbuda has lost all credibility on this matter and may be seen as complicit in a cover-up. We are therefore calling for an independent investigation into this matter by a jurist. We urge that all parties in this case be treated fairly, justly and with respect; including Ms. Hamer and Ms. Amos.