Advocate

My photo
Kingston, Jamaica
Advocate

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Decade Of Hate And Homophobia In Jamaica: Country Conditions

Jamaica's Flag stained with the blood of Gay victims
JAMAICA: Country Conditions

Jamaican law contains specific prohibitions on certain sexual activities. These prohibitions have been used to target LGBT individuals. The law prohibits “acts of gross indecency” (generally interpreted as any kind of physical intimacy) between persons of the same sex, in public or in private, which are punishable by up to 10 years in prison. There is also a “buggery” law that prohibits consensual same-sex sexual conduct between men, but it is not widely enforced. Homophobia is widespread in the country and through the songs and the behavior of some musicians, the country’s dancehall culture helps perpetuate homophobia. Government officials, religious leaders and news media have been known to make derogatory comments toward the LGBT community, and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is widespread.

The Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All Sexuals, and Gays (J-FLAG) continues to report serious human rights abuses, including assault with deadly weapons, “corrective rape” of women accused of being lesbians, arbitrary detention, mob attacks, stabbings, setting on fire, harassment of LGBT patients by hospital and prison staff, and targeted shootings of such persons. Police often do not investigate such incidents. During one year J-FLAG, received 68 reports of sexually motivated harassment or abuse, which included 53 cases of attempted or actual assault, including at least two killings, and 15 reports of displacements. J-FLAG data shows that young people, ages 18 to 29, continue to bear the brunt of violence based on sexual orientation. This violence creates a climate of fear that prompts many LGBT persons to emigrate, while the “gross indecency” laws mean those who remain are vulnerable to extortion from neighbors who threaten to report them to the police as part of blackmailing schemes.[1]

In 2004 Human Rights Watch published a report about the treatment of people living with HIV/AIDS and the situation for LGBT people in Jamaica, “Hated to Death: Homophobia, Violence, and Jamaica’s HIV/AIDS Epidemic.”[2] The report, which documented a grim landscape of human rights abuses against LGBT people, was undertaken at the behest of local Jamaican advocacy organizations.

Since the Human Rights Watch report, attacks on homosexual people or people perceived as being homosexual or transgender appear to have remained commonplace. For instance, Jamaican gay activist Brian Williamson, 59, was murdered in the same year (2004) and at least 30 gay men are reported to have been murdered in Jamaica since 1997.[3]

In April 2007, a cross-dresser was set upon and severely beaten by an anti-gay mob in Falmouth’s Water Square, Jamaica.[4]

On September 9, 2009 John Terry, a British diplomat was murdered in gay hate attack at his home in Montego Bay, Jamaica. His body was found by his gardener, with a handwritten note on his body describing him as a 'batty man', local slang for a homosexual.[5]

In December 2010, the body of a reported cross dresser was found with stab wounds in St Andrew. However, the murder remains unsolved.[6] The local gay advocacy group in Jamaica, Jamaica Forum for Lesbians,  All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG) reported more than fifty (50) men and women who identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual have faced various human rights violations between January and June 2011. Since January 2011, fifty-one incidents, including mob attacks, physical abuse, home evictions, and discrimination were reported with forty-seven of these meted out to males. Similar to national statistics on crime and violence, young people, 18 to 29 years, continue to be the main victims of violence based on sexual orientation. Young people made more than 30 of the 51 reports.[7]

The Jamaican media reported two homophobic incidents in June 2012 in which violence was threatened or used to injure innocent civilians, simply because they were suspected of being homosexual. On June 21, in Jones Town, Kingston, the police had to intervene  as an angry crowd gathered in front of a house where five homosexuals were staying as reported on CVMTV News (3:15-5:35 of the footage).[8]

Within the same month, members of the LGBT community  reported to J-FLAG that eight gay men have been murdered within the last three months, bringing to the fore the reality that despite progress towards greater tolerance, the LGBT community continues to be at great risk of violence. Among the most recent attacks against the gay community was the savage killing of two young men.[9]

A gay student from the University of Technology was mobbed and beaten by security guards on campus in November 2012.[10] On January 23, 2013 a homeless gay youth was set ablaze in sleep and left to burn by six unknown assailants.[11]

The recent increase in mob violence and attacks against homosexuals living in Jamaica, has unearthed great fears of being mobbed and murdered by foreigners seeking to visit Jamaica for vacation, especially those who identified themselves as gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender, as well as their family members, friends and children.

The assurance and safety of visitors in Jamaica, during the midst of a customary violent mob culture is profoundly uncertain and dangerous. 

Since the brutal murder of Dwayne Jones, 16-year-old transgender woman on July 22, 2013,[12] a mob called for the head of an alleged gay constable on July 31st in Kingston. On August 1st, two homosexual men were mobbed and wounded in St Catherine.[13] On the 10th of August police rescued a transgendered woman after a mob gave chased in Portmore.[14] On August 22, 2013, five gay men were trapped and barricaded by an angry mob in Green Gully Manchester.[15] On August 23, 2013, two men were trapped by a homophobic mob for ‘appearing ‘gay.[16] And on August 27, 2013, 41-year-old gay man was murdered and burnt by unknown assailants. Dean Moriah was stabbed several times before the house was set on fire with him inside.[17]


Coupled with Jamaica’s gross intolerance of homosexuals, anti-gay laws and lynching homophobic mob culture gay and heterosexual tourists (foreigners) are not safe in Jamaica. Help us stand for human rights, Justice and dignity for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Jamaicans. 


NB: The summery of incidents and attacks on gays living in Jamaica, does not include unreported cases/incidents. 


References:


[1] U.S.A Department of State. June 21, 2013. Travel Advisory to Jamaica: Special Concerns for LGBT Travelers http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1147.html
[2] Hated to Death: Homophobia, Violence, and Jamaica’s HIV/AIDS Epidemic. 2004. Report http://www.hrw.org/reports/2004/11/15/hated-death-0
[3] Jamaican gay activist murdered.2004. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3795247.stm
[5] British diplomat murdered in ‘gay hate attack’ at his Jamaica home.2009. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1212528/John-Terry-British-honourary-consul-murdered-Jamaica.html
[6] J-FLAG Calls for investigation into Cross Dresser’s Death.2010. http://jamaica-gleaner.com/latest/article.php?id=24735
[7] Homophobic Violence on the increase in Jamaica.2011. http://www.jflag.org/2011/07/homophobic-violence-on-the-increase-in-jamaica/
[10] Caught on tape! Utech Security Guards Beat Alleged Gay Student.2012. http://jamaica-gleaner.com/latest/article.php?id=40911
[13] Two Homosexual men attacked and mobbed in Jamaica.2013. http://www.minority-insight.org/2013/08/two-homosexual-men-attacked-and-mobbed.html
[15] 5 Gay Men Were Trapped And Barricaded By An Angry MOB.2013. http://www.minority-insight.org/2013/08/5-gay-men-were-trapped-barricaded-by.html
[17] 41-year-old Gay Man Was Murdered and Burnt By Unknown Assailants In Jamaica.2013. http://www.minority-insight.org/2013/08/41-year-old-gay-man-was-murdered-and.html



7 comments:

  1. Hi, I am Monica from Canada, I want to share my testimony. Dr. Dele gave me the possibility to start my new and happy life with Michael. The commitment and Marriage spells worked beyond my imagination. 19th of August will be always in my memory as the start of our new life. We had the most beautiful wedding and I was in the seventh heaven from happiness. I am sure that this feeling will be with us during our whole life and it will never leave us. We will remain grateful forever. Please my friends if you need the help of this man just contact him through Email: otobiokuthagreat@yahoo.com or call +2348169340571

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you design this
    website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you?
    Plz answer back as I'm looking to create my own blog and would
    like to find out where u got this from. thanks

    Feel free to surf to my webpage :: Wet N Wild Lipstick

    ReplyDelete
  3. You may post on the professional credentials for the blog owner. You could express it's outstanding. Your blog experience can springboard your click through.
    Business Sportriats |

    Minds Health |

    Scopar Health |

    4orce 4 Health |

    Health Talking |

    Jarrow Health |

    My Xtra Health |

    Health Talking |

    Health e Tarians |

    Health Contractor |

    ReplyDelete
  4. Very good time! could oughout pls help me to possess a ym detector scanner? Someone employed our acct and may detector protection identify if the cyberpunks additionally watching the wife’s spy cams whilst we are going to chatting? thanks a lot!
    Still and House |

    Lathams Interior |

    Hunky Dory Home |

    Tree House Pastry Shop |

    Future Help Homes |

    Natick House |

    OK Home Windows |

    My Home Today |

    OK Home Exterior |

    Your Next Home Exterior |

    ReplyDelete
  5. Between me and my husband we’ve owned more MP3 players over the years than I can count, including Sansas, iRivers, iPods (classic & touch), the Ibiza Rhapsody, etc. But, the last few years I’ve settled down to one line of players. Why? Because I was happy to discover how well-designed and fun to use the underappreciated (and widely mocked) Zunes are.
    KS Technology |

    The Smart Technology |

    Logi Technology Online |

    Pro Cell Technology |

    Sever River Technology |

    HPP Hardware |

    The Technology Network |

    Technology Management |

    Times & Technology |

    SSP E-Business |

    ReplyDelete
  6. Good website! I really love how it is easy on my eyes and the data are well written. I’m wondering how I could be notified when a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your RSS feed which must do the trick! Have a nice day!
    For Shopping |

    Donna Fashion |

    Fashion Junk |

    Fashion For Women |

    Fashion Council |

    Fashion Fire |

    Fashion Trend |

    California Fashion |

    Busiess East |

    Business Summit |

    ReplyDelete