Jamaica should take anti-gay crime seriously after double murder

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights condemns brutal murder of two gay men in New Kingston

Jamaica should take anti-gay crime seriously after double murder
10 July 2012

Human rights campaigners are condemning the brutal murder of two gay men in Jamaica and calling on the government to investigate whether the crime was homophobic.

The bodies of the victims, which appeared to have been chopped up and mutilated, were found near several blood stained rocks in New Kingston on 13 June.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has called on the island’s government to investigate whether the men were killed because of their sexuality.

Jamaica is frequently described by human rights groups as one of the most homophobic places in the world and IACHR says the state often fails to look into whether crimes were motivated by homophobia.

‘The ineffectiveness of the state response fosters high rates of impunity, which in turn lead to the chronic repetition of such crimes, leaving the victims and their families defenceless,’ a statement on the organization’s website reads.

‘The IACHR urges the state to take action to prevent and respond to these human rights abuses and to ensure that LGTBI people can effectively enjoy their right to a life free from discrimination and violence…’

Under Jamaican law, sex between men is punishable with up to 10 years in prison and Amnesty International has reported that violent abuse of LGBT people is common.

The IACHR is an autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), which derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights.

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