Jamaica Violence

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2006 National Black Members' Conference
4 January 2006

This Conference notes:

The senseless execution of Steve Harvey, a gay man who ran Jamaica AIDS Support for Life, an HIV/AIDS organisation on the island. He was abducted and shot dead on 30 November 2005.

Conference further notes that over the last 18 months, that the murders of gay men in Jamaica are receiving more and more international prominence.

According to Human Rights Watch, “Police actively support homophobic violence, fail to investigate complaints of abuse, and arrest and detain [men] based on their alleged homosexual conduct”.

Conference appreciates the move by the Jamaican Deputy Police Commissioner, following an outcry from the United Nations – accusing Jamaica of dragging it’s feet on the issue of violent conduct towards gay men – to appoint an independent monitor to ensure that police are doing their job.

Conference re-affirms it’s view that violence on the grounds of sexual orientation is completely abhorrent wherever it occurs in the world, and that the process to seek out the killer or killers of Steve Harvey must be transparent, but that there should be work undertaken, on the part of the government in Jamaica, to remove the offence of homosexuality from the statute book, a move which could finally lead to equality for LGBT people in Jamaica.

Conference calls upon the National Black Members Committee, and all branches and members, to write to the High Commissioner of Jamaica, as well as the Foreign Secretary, to protest at this latest murder, and demand action to ensure equality for all people living in Jamaica.

We also call upon the NBMC to work with the TUC Race Relations Committee, to ensure that this issue is kept at the forefront of the UK trade union movement.

London Probation Branch.