The report further claimed that the men were forced by the airport police to remove their clothes and were held naked in public view. When THE STAR contacted the Norman Manley International police post, an officer said he could not recall the eight-year-old incident, but was adamant that "Amnesty has libelled us, because none of what they said happened.
We would not do that, we might not agree with or support the behaviour but we would never do that." (Jamaica Star, June 3, 2004)
Leave gays alone
INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS defenders Amnesty International is on Jamaica's case again.This time, however, they are 'licking out' against the alleged mistreatment of homosexuals in Jamaica and has issued a worldwide appeal to force a change.
According to a report carried yesterday on the pro-homosexual website Gay.com UK, the appeal follows increased reports of attacks across the island.
Amnesty's UK Media Director, Lesley Warner is quoted as saying, "we have talked to people who have been forced to leave their communities after being publicly vilified, threatened or attacked on suspicion of being gay. They face homelessness, isolation or worse."
The report also mentioned an incident that took place at Dunoon Park Technical High School in February, when a father allegedly encouraged students at the school to beat his son, whom he alleged was gay. "We are concerned that these reports are just the tip of the iceberg. Many gay men and women in Jamaica are too afraid to go to the authorities to seek help," said Warner.
As a result, Amnesty has asked for people across the world to write to the Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. P.J. Patterson, in a bid to help stop the attacks and ask that he repeal legislation that criminalises buggery.
However, the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA) says they have no knowledge of the alleged increase of offences against homosexuals.
They also add that on many occasions homosexual prostitutes are buggered and go to the centre for medical attention, but refuse police intervention and do not report the incident. They also add that there has been a increase in the number of gay men buggering little children.
On the human rights group's website, amnesty.org, a report entitled 'Crimes of Hate, Conspiracy of Silence', portrays Jamaica as a place where persons of homosexual orientation are unsafe, even with the police.
The report mentions a November 1996 incident where four men were arrested near the Norman Manley International airport and charged with gross indecency. The report further claims that the men were forced by the airport police to remove their clothes and were held naked in public view.
When THE STAR contacted the Norman Manley International police post, an officer said he could not recall the eight-year-old incident, but was adamant that "Amnesty has libelled us, because none of what they said happened. We would not do that, we might not agree with or support the behaviour but we would never do that."
Sadly the misreporting sometimes of my incident is amazing as we were never stripped naked although we were paraded infront of a shouting crowd who wanted to get us by asking the cops to hand us over to them. Were (the four of us) were taken to the Elleston Road police precinct where statements were coaxed out of us without the presence of our lawyer. After we were taken to Half way Tree lockup but there was no space hence we ended up at Remand Centre in Rema.
The case lasted in court for some three years and eight months before it was adjourned sine die, meaning it could have been resurrected if the arresting officer found new evidence. No such evidence surfaced. One person in the group has migrated since to the United States the other three of us are still here in Jamaica working in our various fields as true survivors.
Peace & tolerance