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Vincentian diplomat Sehon Marshall will have to return home from the United Nations to explain a damning allegation of domestic violence to the Ralph Gonsalves administration.
Days after Marshall, a counsellor of the island’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations reportedly punched his wife Xandra Marshall – who is also a diplomat – in the mouth, the Government has issued a recall for the embattled diplomat.
According to reports in the New York Post newspaper, police officers responded to an incident at the family’s home last Friday – a day before International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women – when Mrs Marshall was allegedly slapped in the face by her husband, in front of her mother.
Marshall was not arrested because he has diplomatic immunity.
The Prime Minister said his administration is treating the matter “with utmost seriousness and is considering all the alive legal options in this matter”, adding that his government takes a very strong position against domestic violence.
“The government unreservedly condemns domestic violence,” Gonsalves said on local radio.
The incident has sparked strong reaction from the opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) which said it was deeply concerned about allegations of domestic abuse and violence against women.
“We in the NDP categorically condemn any and all forms of violence against women,” said the party which had called for Marshall to be recalled.
In addition to recalling Mr Marshall, Gonsalves ordered Mrs Marshall, the deputy Counsellor General in New York, not to report for work until further notice.
“I really regret that this matter has happened to a young, promising family…including the three children which they have: ages 13 and nine and three, and this must be a difficult and challenging time for everybody concerned,” he said.