Thursday, February 26, 2015

Amnesty International 2014/5 Report mentions Jamaican LGBT Matters

The latest report from AMNESTY is now available for download. 
Amnesty International’s Annual Report provides a comprehensive overview of the state of human rights in 160 countries over the course of 2014.

The inability of world leaders to deal with the changing face of conflict, including a growing threat from armed group attacks, has left millions of people unprotected and in grave danger, Amnesty International warned as it launched its annual assessment of the world’s human rights.

download HERE

It mentions as usual the LGBT community's struggle and has mentioned the so called promised conscience vote that was missed in April 2014 that was to address the decriminalization of buggery on the duped promise by the Prime Minister. See: 
Human Rights of Most Marginalised Must Be Protected – Portia Simpson Miller at "Justice for All" conference 2014 for more background on the political trick played on us.

Also see: Buggery law conscience vote for parliament soon .............


Consensual sex between men remained criminalized. LGBTI organizations continued to report attacks, harassment and threats against individuals based on their real or perceived sexual orientation, which were not fully and promptly investigated. 

On 14 June a mob attacked a young man at a shopping mall in the town of May Pen because he was allegedly seen putting on lipstick. 

There was no police investigation into the incident. In August, Javed Jaghai, a member of the Jamaica Forum of Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays, discontinued the constitutional challenge he had filed in February 2013 against laws criminalizing sex between men, following the receipt of threats against him and his family. A “conscience vote” by MPs on legislation criminalizing consensual same-sex relations, which the government announced would be held before April, did not take place.

According to the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, 78 countries have laws in effect that are used to criminalize consensual sexual relationships between adults of the same sex.

Other matters:

Levels of homicide remained high, mainly in marginalized inner-city communities, although there was a decrease on 2013 figures. The Jamaica Constabulary Force reported that 699 people had been killed up to 14 September, 15% fewer than in the corresponding period for 2013. 

 Following rising numbers in police killings in recent years (210 in 2011, 219 in 2012 and 258 in 2013), 2014 saw a reduction in the number of police killings according to the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM), an independent police oversight agency. 

By the end of October, 103 civilians had been killed by police, compared with 220 for the same period in 2013. A number of people were killed in circumstances suggesting that they may have been extrajudicially executed. 

Following the death of Mario Deane (latest news on there HERE) in suspicious circumstances in police custody in August, in September the Ministers of Justice and National Security announced a review of the detention system in order to “develop a strategic response to the issue of the treatment of persons in lock-ups and correctional facilities”. The Criminal Justice (Suppression of Criminal Organizations) Act, which is aimed at “disruption and suppression of criminal organizations” became law in April. 

Concerns were raised that this law could be used to
criminalize whole communities by association.
In February a Commission of Enquiry was finally established into the state of emergency of May 2010, when 76 civilians were killed during an operation by the security forces.

The three-person Commission began its work on 1 December. In April the Office of the Public Defender handed over all files pertaining to its investigations into the state of emergency to INDECOM. The files include
the cases of 44 people alleged to have been unlawfully killed by the security forces. Eleven police officers from Clarendon suspected of being part of a “death squad”
were arrested and charged in April by INDECOM. 

They were alleged to have been involved in the murder of nine civilians since 2009. Investigations were ongoing at the end of the year.

Overburdened courts led to continued delays in the justice system. In February, the National Security Minister stated there was a backlog of approximately 40,000 cases. In June, the Chief Justice said that the unavailability of forensic evidence, outstanding statements and ballistic reports, as well as an absence of adequate court infrastructure, human and financial resources, were seriously hampering the
justice system.

also see: 
Mark Wignall on Buggery law review promise was a political sham 2013

Peace & tolerance



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