... Says en­ter­tain­ers must waive pri­vacy rights

The Star (Jamaica) - - FRONT PAGE - SHEREITA GRIZZLE Staff Re­porter

The United States Em­bassy in Kingston has said that it will re­lease in­for­ma­tion on spe­cific visa de­nial cases in­volv­ing sev­eral Ja­maican artistes if the en­ter­tain­ers waive their pri­vacy rights.

Waiv­ing these rights would make the in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing the de­nial of their visas avail­able to the pub­lic.

How­ever, at­tor­ney-at-law De­lano Franklyn ex­plained that al­though the US Em­bassy made that an­nounce­ment, it is the US author­i­ties that will ul­ti­mately de­cide whether the in­for­ma­tion will be re­leased.

“Be­cause the em­bassy has said it would make the in­for- ma­tion avail­able, then one would have to take their word for it. But the United States Em­bassy, like any other em­bassy, owes no one an ex­pla­na­tion as to why a visa has, in fact, been de­nied,” Franklyn said.

“If the artiste says to the em­bassy, I waive my right, please ex­plain to the pub­lic why I was de­nied my visa, the US does not have to com­ply,” Franklyn said.

Joshua Po­lacheck, pub­lic af­fairs of­fi­cer at the US Em­bassy, said at a Gleaner Edi­tor’s Fo­rum ear­lier this week that Ja­maican en­ter­tain­ers have “never” been de­nied visas, or had them taken away over mat­ters such as as anti-gay lyrics.

“No artiste has ever been re­fused a visa for artis­tic rea­sons, and that in­cludes pro­mot­ing views that are ei­ther lov­ing or re­pelling. The mar­ket may not choose to em­ploy them,” Po­lacheck said.

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