Call for protest after death of Jamaican activist
Dear Brothers and Sisters
After the killing of my dear friend Brian Williamson, we continue our writing to create awareness of our situation world wide.
A letter of sorrow and anger have been sent to the HIGH Commisioner for Human Rights to express our concern. A similar letter has been sent to the Prime Minister of Jamaica.
We are asking our members,supporters and allies to read this letter and if you agree to give permission to put your name and the name of
your organization for the benefit of our brothers and sisters in Jamaica.
Educator Activist for Amnesty International USA.
June 20, 2004The Office of the High Commissioner
For Human Rights.
8-14 Avenue de la Paix
1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Telephone Number (41-22) 917-9000
Dear Mr. Commissioner,
Attacks on same gender loving people are by no means an unfamiliar occurrence. In recent years, violence and hostility against this sector have escalated to horrifying proportions in practically every part of the world. What happened in Jamaica is a clear evidence of the reality of what we,LGBT people are confronting every day in many part of the world
We wish to appeal to you in this letter on be half of our brothers and sisters from the LGBT communities all over the world, to take a first step toward changing the climate of violence and discrimination against our LGBT people in many parts of this world, we are asking you Mr Commissioner to initiate a debate on repealing laws that criminalize sexual relations between consenting adults in countries where they exist.
Brazil introduced an historic resolution on sexual orientation at the UNITED NATIONS COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS SESSION IN GENEVA .This resolution spoke to the universality of human rights and the important principle enshrined in international human rights standards that all form of arbitrary discrimination are unacceptable.
We believe that governments are obliged under international human rights standards to tackle discrimination, harassment and homophobic violence. We refuse to believe that our people demands are a matter of charity or second hand thoughts.
After many years of struggle for our existence LGBT people still are not free. Our life is still sadly crippled by the manacles of intolerance and the chains of discrimination. We are still facing harassment, torture, real violence; homosexuality is considered a sin, or an illness, an ideological deviation or a betrayal of one’s culture. Dozen of countries outlaw homosexuality, the mere gay-look leads to being arrested and imprisoned, sometimes even killed. These examples illustrate, laws criminalizing homosexuality not only deprive a sector of the population of basic human rights, and they may also act as a licence to torture or ill-treat those detained.
We are here today writing to you to elucidate our shameful condition. To proclaim the failure of justice, to remind all members of the security consul of the fierce urgency of today. It is no time to embrace our minds in incomprehensive discussions; it is no time to elaborate unmeaning speeches. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the darkness of ignorance to the brightness of tommorow.Now is the time to embrace our nations in the name of brotherhood to fight for the human rights that have been taken away from so many people.
Brian Williamson´s death was not in vain, that was the beginning of the opening of our eyes to reality, that was the beginning of our much forgotten struggle for understanding, for acceptance, that was the beginning to demand our human rights and to stand up for freedom.
We do not need division, hatred, violence och lawlessness in this world. We need unsertanding, justice, wisdom and love---compassion to one another, feeling of justice towards those who do not fulfill the patterns of society----a vision of a world in which every person enjoys all the human rights, enshrined in the Universal declaration of Human rights. We need an end to grave abuses and freedom from discrimination.
Mr. commisioner, we are going to continue to keep our heads up, for our dignity and for our pride.
We appeal to you Mr. Commissioner, to use the power that you posses to bring understanding into the head of states that refuse to see the reality of our LGBT communities. To bring light, dignity, pride and hope into those LGBT people who hide themselves for fear of being prosecuted, hassled, imprisoned and even killed.
We are born homosexuals, Mr Commisioner; we are part of this world. We are part of our LORD creation. The struggle against homophobia, sexism, racism, and all the forces that are destructive should be our main aim to tackle.
With this hope Mr. commisioner, we will go home, thinking that one day, we will be able to hold the hand of our lover without shame or fear of being killed or prosecuted.
Co-ordinator for African-Rapport
Educator activist Amnesty International USA.
More info on being gay in Jamaica, type "gay" in the search engine of the local newspaper Jamaica Gleaner