Toronto - Egale Canada strongly condemns the recent mob attack against three gay men in Jamaica. Egale is particularly concerned by the increasing prevalence and normalcy of such brutal, violent and murderous mob attacks on members of the LGBTQ communities in that country.
On Tuesday, January 29th, a mob of 20 men broke into the home of the young men. According to reports, the machete wielding attackers badly beat and severed limbs of one man who is in critical condition in hospital. A third victim is still missing. Witnesses say he jumped off a cliff to his death.
In 2007, 43 similar mob attacks were reported. In one, a crowd of more than 200 people surrounded a pharmacy in Kingston calling for the men inside to be beaten to death because they were gay.
Jamaica is a key partner for Canada in the Caribbean. "Canada has committed $600 million over the next ten years to Caribbean regional programs and according to CIDA, (Canadian International Development Agency) Jamaica is expected to be the centre of several new programs," said Helen Kennedy, executive director of Egale Canada. "None of these funds are for LGBTQ human rights initiatives and that must change."
All this at a time when the Jamaican government is considering an amendment to its constitution, with a Bill of Rights and Freedoms. The Bill remains silent on providing any rights or protections from discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Egale Canada advances equality and justice for lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and trans-identified people and their families across Canada.
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For more information:
Helen Kennedy, Egale Canada, 416 270-1999
Egale Canada ©2007