Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Now, compare that with your quality engagement and time spent with the opposite sex. I'll bet all the money I lost in Cash Plus that when the situations are objectively compared, many men will find that they spend more time and energy dedicated to activities with other men than with women. Isn't that funny? But, as I'm never tired of saying, we are a case study in contradiction. Is true, man! Many Jamaican men seem to be violently homophobic, yet passionately 'homosocial' at the same time. Check it, dem burn fire on men who sleep with men but di only company dat dem keep is men.
Some roughneck, macho men seem totally happy to spend 20 hours of one day socialising with a bag a man and then share the remaining four hours with a woman. And, those four hours are likely to involve maybe 15 minutes of talk, 45 minutes of sex and three hours of sleep. In fact, one man made it clear to me that, as far as he's concerned, the main thing to do with the opposite sex was sex.
When asked if he talks or plays with his lady, he said he hardly talks, he mainly sends text messages. Quoting an old joke, he said the only game he plays with his girlfriend is strip poker, with the aim being for her to strip and for him to 'poke her'. He went on to seriously assert that men, who spend a lot of time with women, are sissies. What do you think?
I think it's kind of sad. Plenty men just don't treat social, emotional or intellectual engagement with women as a central part of their life. It's like they marginalise their dealings with women to the extent that any relationship with a woman that doesn't involve sex, gets minimal time, limited space and zero value. And, the women, with whom we share conjugal relations, sometimes only get personal attention when it's time for them to ease our sexual tension.
You know, there are men, who have no genuine women friends? You realise that there are men out there, who can only see women as objects of potential conquest? And, some of those same men love and idolise other men, who they describe as their 'God, dads and general'!
Some men work all day with men, spend evening chilling and talking with other men, then spend the weekend playing with men again. They eat and drink with men, 'par and link' with men, then smoke and joke with men again. That's how I see it yah and I don't care who vex. Some men do every single thing with other men - except sex - and the one deggeh-deggeh thing dem do with women is sex.
But, guess what happen in the process? We miss out on opportunities to learn, grow and build mutual respect with our sisters. Look nuh, I love sex, I adore women and I value the many things I can share with them. Yeah, man, that's one of the reasons why I'm a big fan of co-education. If it does nothing else, mixed-sex schooling helps boys to learn, from early, that there are many fulfilling experiences to share with girls, including, but not limited to sex!
How you see it? firstname.lastname@example.org
26 November 2008
Jamaica: More executions will not reduce crime
Jamaica’s crime epidemic must be solved with reforms to the police and the justice system, not with more death, said Amnesty International after the Jamaican House of Representatives voted a motion to retain the death penalty.
“Supporting the death penalty to tackle Jamaica’s spiralling violence and crime is like trying to put out a fire with petrol,” said Kerrie Howard, Americas Deputy Director at Amnesty International. “In order to put that fire out, its root causes need to be tackled.”
Amnesty International called on the Jamaican government to prioritize policy changes to reduce crime and convert these changes into effective action. These include implementing recommendations from the strategic review of the Jamaica Constabulary Force and the Justice Sector Reform Review and expediting the passage of legislation to establish an independent commission to investigate police abuses and an Office of Coroner to examine alleged police killings.
"We all agree that crime is an issue that must urgently be addressed. However, executions offer only an illusion of effective action being taken and do nothing to lessen suffering in Jamaican society," said Kerrie Howard.
Notes to Editors
The vote emerged in the light of discussions around the new Charter of Rights and Freedoms Bill, which seeks to replace Chapter III of the Jamaican Constitution dedicated to the protection of fundamental rights and freedom of persons. The purpose of the vote was to decide whether provisions allowing for the death penalty as an exception to the right to life, should be retained or deleted from the Charter.
Following the vote at the House of Representatives, the Senate will also shortly debate and vote the motion.
The last execution in Jamaica was carried out on 18 February 1988. There were more than 190 prisoners under sentence of death at the end of 1988. Currently there are nine prisoners on death row. This reduction is principally attributable to three events:
In 1992 the Jamaican Parliament amended the Offences Against the Person Act to classify some murders as non-capital. The amendment applied retroactively and resulted in the commutation of sentences to life imprisonment of a number people who had previously been mandatorily sentenced to death.
In 1993 the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (currently Jamaica's highest court which sits in England) decided, in the case of Pratt and Morgan v. the Attorney General of Jamaica, that executing a person who has spent a prolonged period on death row violates Section 17 of the Constitution of Jamaica, which prohibits "inhuman or degrading punishment or other treatment".
In compliance with the guidance set out in this case, death sentences of people who have served five years on death row in Jamaica are commuted to life imprisonment. As a result of the 2004 decision of the JCPC in Lambert Watson v The Attorney General of Jamaica, mandatory death sentences are no longer allowed in Jamaica. Following this decision, new sentencing hearings were held and many death row prisoners had their sentences commuted.
Jamaica, along with the rest of the English-speaking Caribbean nations, voted against a global moratorium on the death penalty at the 62nd UN General Assembly in December 2007.
The world is turning away from the use of death penalty. Since 2003, the United States has been the only country in the Americas to carry out executions and has dramatically decreased in the number of executions in recent years. 137 countries have now abolished the death penalty in law or practice and only 24 nations carried out executions in 2007. Huge swathes of the world are now free from executions.
For more information please call Amnesty International's press office in London, UK, on +44 20 7413 5566 or email: email@example.com
International Secretariat, Amnesty International, 1 Easton St., London WC1X 0DW, UK
EU should take criminals, gays
Your editorial on November 24 said, inter alia:
"...In fact, though, our parliamentarians would do well to pay close attention to opinion not just locally but internationally. For example, the European Union (EU) - to which countries like Jamaica and its Caribbean neighbours and Caricom partners are closely connected through aid, trade, history and a huge diaspora - have long made its opposition to the death penalty abundantly clear..."
This is plain bullying by the EU. If they are so concerned for these criminals, they should offer to take them from Jamaica and let them serve the punishments for their crime that is in accordance with human rights as practised in the EU. This would be putting action to their words!
The same goes for gays - take them in the EU where they would freely practise their chosen lifestyle and enjoy full "human rights".
Remember, the Europeans led by Britain violated human rights by the institution of slavery for 430 years, because it suited their objective and development at the time.
Jamaica needs to send a message that for the time being in a religious country, as Jamaica is often described, Moses' law is necessary and any good that will arise from it.
Development is being sidetracked because of criminality and fear, and by the way, suppresses human rights!
Norman R Lee
20 Calm Waters Crescent
Brampton, Ontario L6V 4R9
The 2009 calendar and poster features Olympian Melaine Walker, her mother and grandmother; Olympian Kerron Stewart and her mother; Olympian Aleen Bailey; Miss Jamaica World Brittany Lyons and her mother, Mary Claire Lyons, and her grandmother; Special Olympian Esther Pair and other influential women in the Jamaican society.
"We chose this year to feature women, their daughters and granddaughters because we know that HIV respects no generation and that women are at enormous risk," Christine English, head of the calendar team said during the launch at the JASL office in Kingston. "We have incorporated the Olympic theme in celebration of our women who have done so well and we have used the verses from the Bible: "The race is not for the swift, but for those who endure to the end."
Miriam Maluwa, UNAIDS country representative for Jamaica, The Bahamas and Belize, explained that women and girls were twice as likely to acquire HIV from an infected partner during unprotected intercourse.
"In the context of HIV, women face double jeopardy because the epidemiological data shows that half of all persons living with HIV are women. Also there are about 14 million women and girls living with HIV," she said. "In the Caribbean, we know that there are about 92,000 women living with HIV."
She said the links between HIV and gender equality have increased vulnerability to infection among women.
She added that cultural and social norms often restricted women from very basic information related to sexual and reproductive issues.
At the same time, Andrea Chin-See, JASL board member, said the rates of infection were highest among girls between mid-teen and early to mid-20s. Additionally, she said unequal sexual relationships make it harder for our women to negotiate condom use.
"For us here at JASL, and I dare say for all those in any kind of HIV planning, the now popular Jamaica phrase 'is woman time now' takes on a whole new and different meaning," she said.
Data from the health ministry also indicates that 134 women were diagnosed with HIV/AIDS between January and June last year, while 63 women died during the same period last year.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Media Contact: Hossein Alizadeh, 212-430-6016, firstname.lastname@example.org
(New York, November 24, 2008) - In an unexpected move, the National Assembly of Burundi passed a law on Friday November 21, 2008, making same-sex acts punishable by between 3 months and two years in prison, along with a substantial fine. The following day, the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) and the Association pour le Respect et les Droits des Homosexuels (ARDO) issued strongly worded letters to the entire membership of Burundi’s Senate, asking them to vote against the legislation, which would criminalize homosexuality for the first time in the history of the country. The Senate may vote on the bill as early as tomorrow and if it passes Burundian President Nkurunziza will likely sign it into law.
IGLHRC and ARDO also wrote to President Nkurunziza, asking him to veto the legislation should it be presented to him for his signature. Both groups encourage others to contact Burundian authorities to protest the measure.
“Imprisoning people simply because of who they love offends every principle of human rights practice, which is to ensure dignity and respect for all people,” said Paula Ettelbrick, IGLHRC’s executive director. “This is less about sexuality and more about the visibility of a growing community of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Africa refusing to be treated as dirt. These laws are meant to silence and terrorize our community and must be stopped.”
Burundi—a small country in the Great Lakes region of Eastern Africa bordered by Rwanda to the north, Tanzania to the south and east, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west—has been locked in an ethnically-based conflict for much of its post-independence history. A negotiated peace settlement, brokered with the assistance of a number of African states, has led to the installation of a multi-party government. The last few years have seen a certain level of reconstruction in the country, increased stability and the emergence of a nascent civil society.
The government of Burundi’s latest move comes in the context of considerable hostility to homosexuality in the region; two-thirds of African nations maintain criminal penalties for consensual same-sex behavior. In recent years several countries, including Nigeria and Uganda, have threatened to strengthen laws against homosexuality. New criminal codes in Zimbabwe broaden the definition of sodomy to include “any act that involves physical contact… that would be regarded by a reasonable person to be an indecent act.” Several nations, including Burundi, have enacted legislation criminalizing same-sex marriage, though little or no advocacy to promote such marriages has taken place. These laws appear to be emerging in response to an increasingly visible, outspoken, and organized sexual rights movement.
The United Nations has condemned laws that criminalize homosexuality as being violations of the rights to privacy and equality and has called upon member states that maintain such laws to review them. Members of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights have condemned physical attacks on and the imprisonment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
International and local human rights defenders have expressed grave concern not only about the nature of the current legislation in Burundi, but also about the way in which it has been promulgated. “The government has moved this bill quickly and unjustly through the legislative process,” said a representative of ARDO. “The whole process has happened over the course of a weekend, with no input from civil society or general discussion about the issue of homosexuality and freedom of expression within Burundi.”
If the current legislation passes, it is likely that the country’s HIV prevention efforts will suffer. Burundi has made commendable efforts to fight HIV and AIDS during the last decade. But IGLHRC’s 2007 report on HIV and AIDS in Africa, Off the Map, demonstrates how laws that criminalize homosexuality drive communities underground, making men who have sex with men less able to access HIV-related prevention information. UNAIDS, the Global Fund and other key international institutions concur.
An action alert related to this issue will be posted on IGLHRC’s website on November 25, 2008. For an update on the status of the legislation in Burundi, or to take action, visit: http://www.iglhrc.org/.
The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) is a leading human rights organization solely devoted to improving the rights of people around the world who are targeted for imprisonment, abuse or death because of their sexuality, gender identity or HIV/AIDS status. IGLHRC addresses human rights violations by partnering with and supporting activists in countries around the world, monitoring and documenting human rights abuses, engaging offending governments, and educating international human rights officials. A non-profit, non-governmental organization, IGLHRC is based in New York, with offices in Cape Town and Buenos Aires. Visit http://www.iglhrc.org for more information
Monday, November 24, 2008
The campaign aims to increase knowledge and awareness of human rights among the largest number of rights holders so that they can claim and enjoy their rights. Many governments, civil society, educational, cultural and human rights institutions have taken the opportunity during 2008 to reaffirm their commitment to the values and principles of the UDHR and to disseminate information about the Declaration.
As part of the commemorative year, the High Commissioner for Human Rights proposes that the week of 6 – 12 October 2008 be designated as “Dignity and Justice for Detainees Week”. OHCHR calls on all partners to pay special attention to the civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights of persons deprived of their liberty in prisons and other places of detention.
A number of public information documents, including a special logo, more than 360 translations of the UDHR, photographs and background information as well as a list of ideas for activities, are at your disposal to help you commemorate this anniversary. All documents are downloadable and printable for your convenience. They may be helpful in any event you may be preparing.
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Thanks for your Donations
thank you for your donations via Paypal in helping to keep this blog going, my limited frontline community work, temporary shelter assistance at my home and related costs. Please continue to support me and my allies in this venture that has now become a full time activity. When I first started blogging in late 2007 it was just as a pass time to highlight GLBTQ issues in Jamaica under then JFLAG's blogspot page but now clearly there is a need for more forumatic activity which I want to continue to play my part while raising more real life issues pertinent to us.
Activities & Plans: ongoing and future
- To continue this venture towards website development with an E-zine focus
- Work with other Non Governmental organizations old and new towards similar focus and objectives
- To find common ground on issues affecting GLBTQ and straight friendly persons in Jamaica towards tolerance and harmony
- Exposing homophobic activities and suggesting corrective solutions
- To formalise GLBTQ Jamaica's activities in the long term
- Continuing discussion on issues affecting GLBTQ people in Jamaica and elsewhere
- Welcoming, examining and implemeting suggestions and ideas from you the viewing public
- Present issues on HIV/AIDS related matters in a timely and accurate manner
- Assist where possible victims of homophobic violence and abuse financially, temporary shelter(my home) and otherwise
- Track human rights issues in general with a view to support for ALL
Information & Disclaimer
Individuals who are mentioned or whose photographs appear on this site are not necessarily Homosexual, HIV positive or have AIDS.
This blog contains pictures that may be disturbing. We have taken the liberty to present these images as evidence of the numerous accounts of homophobic violence meted out to alledged gays in Jamaica.
Faces and names witheld for the victims' protection.
This blog not only watches and covers LGBTQ issues in Jamaica and elsewhere but also general human rights and current affairs where applicable.
This blog contains HIV prevention messages that may not be appropriate for all audiences.
If you are not seeking such information or may be offended by such materials, please view labels, post list or exit.
Since HIV infection is spread primarily through sexual practices or by sharing needles, prevention messages and programs may address these topics.
This blog is not designed to provide medical care, if you are ill, please seek medical advice from a licensed practioner
Thanks so much for your kind donations and thoughts.
As for some posts, they contain enclosure links to articles, blogs and or sites for your perusal, use the snapshot feature to preview by pointing the cursor at the item(s) of interest. Such item(s) have a small white dialogue box icon appearing to their top right hand side.
Recent Homophobic Incidents
CLICK HERE for related posts/labels and HERE from the gayjamaicawatch's BLOG containing information I am aware of. If you know of any such reports or incidents please contact email@example.com
What to do if you are attacked (News You Can Use)
Try to reason with the attacker: Establish communication with the person. This takes a lot of courage. However, a conversation may change the intention of an attacker.
Do not try anything foolish: If you know outmanoeuvring the attacker is impossible, do not try it.
Do not appear to be afraid: Look the attacker in the eye and demonstrate that you are not fearful.
This may have a psychological effect on the individual.
The police 119
Crime Stop 311
Steps to Take When Contronted or Arrested by Police
b) Only give name and address and no other information until a lawyer is present to assist
c) Try to be polite even if the scenario is tensed) Don’t do anything to aggravate the situation
e) Every complaint lodged at a police station should be filed and a receipt produced, this is not a legal requirement but an administrative one for the police to track reports
f) Never sign to a statement other than the one produced by you in the presence of the officer(s)
g) Try to capture a recording of the exchange or incident or call someone so they can hear what occurs, place on speed dial important numbers or text someone as soon as possible
h) File a civil suit if you feel your rights have been violatedi) When making a statement to the police have all or most of the facts and details together for e.g. "a car" vs. "the car" represents two different descriptions
j) Avoid having the police writing the statement on your behalf except incases of injuries, make sure what you want to say is recorded carefully, ask for a copy if it means that you have to return for it