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The international court finds that Jamaica has violated the rights of homosexuals

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An international court has found that the Jamaican government violated the rights of a gay man and a lesbian

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – An international court has found that the Jamaican government has violated the rights of a gay man and a lesbian, according to a ruling issued Wednesday, and activists say this could set a precedent in a region known for legal harassment of the LGBT community.

The decision was issued by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in September 2019, but the commission had kept it confidential until Wednesday.

This is now the historic LGBT human rights issue for the entire Caribbean region, said the Human Dignity Trust, a UK-based legal organization that presented the issue to the commission in 2011.

Faith represented Gareth Henry, who lawyers said is a gay man living as a refugee in Canada, and Simone Edwards, a lesbian they say was forced to flee Jamaica.

Henry sought asylum in Canada in 2008 after facing police brutality and repeated attacks by homophobic gangs, including being chased by a crowd of about 200 people who were chanting that gay people should be killed, according to the belief.

Edwards was shot several times outside her home in 2008 by people who tried to kill her and her two brothers, one of whom is also gay, lawyers said, adding that she lost one of her kidneys and part of her liver. saj. She has since been granted asylum in Europe.

Activists welcomed the decision of the commission, which is an autonomous body of the Organization of American States. He called on the Jamaican government to provide full compensation, including financial compensation, but there has been no response so far, Ta Braun, director of the Human Dignity Trust, told the Associated Press.

She said Jamaica has not yet followed any of the commission’s other recommendations.

We urge the Jamaican government to recognize the personal suffering of Gareth and Simone and to expedite the repeal of these discriminatory laws, she said.

A Jamaican government spokesman did not immediately return a request for comment.

Jamaica is one of nine nations beyond the Caribbean that still have laws prohibiting consensual, same-sex, consensual intimacy. These include Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Antigua and Barbuda. Colonial-era laws require sentences ranging from 10 years to life imprisonment, with one involving hard labor.

While laws are rarely enforced, human rights organizations note that violence and harassment still exist in the Caribbean and that members of the LGBT community are often denied housing or employment.

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