RSS FeedFacebookSearch
Gary Younge
Jamaican gay activist shot dead after being abducted

"It seems as though his homosexuality might have been a factor in the murder," said one friend. "I can't say for sure it was the reason he was targeted. But the other two didn't defend their identity. Steve did and he was killed."

Mr Harvey worked primarily with sex workers and gay people to combat the high rates of HIV in Jamaica, where the number of those infected doubles every few years and now stands at 1.5% of the population.

"Steve wasn't afraid to stand up and did work with a lot of people who are hardest to reach," said one gay activist who did not wish to be named. "It's a loss to the gay community and the HIV/Aids effort. There are always shades of grey when it comes to the motives for these kind of murders. But it seems homophobia was an element."

In a population of 2.7 million people, Jamaica has seen almost 1,400 murders this year alone, giving it a per-capita murder rate close to Colombia's. But gay people have been singled out for attack and, according to a recent Human Rights Watch (HRW) report, get little protection from the government or the police. "Violence against men who have sex with men - ranging from verbal harassment to beatings, armed attacks and murder - is pervasive in Jamaica," according to Hated to Death, a report released by HRW last November. "High-level political leaders foster an atmosphere of violence toward men who have sex with men."

Homosexuality is illegal in Jamaica and homophobia finds popular expression in many dance hall tunes which openly call for the murder of gay men.

Last year Jamaica's most prominent gay activist, Brian Williamson, was found murdered at his home with multiple stab wounds to his neck and face and his throat cut. With the safe missing and the room ransacked, the police insisted that it had been a robbery. But human rights campaigners believe Mr Williamson, a co-founder of Jamaican Forum for Lesbians, All-sexuals and Gays, was killed because of his sexual orientation.

Peter Tatchell, of the British gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender group, OutRage, said: "It is thanks to the efforts of Steve and his colleagues that many Jamaican men and women - both gay and straight - have not contracted HIV. They have helped save hundreds of lives."

© Gary Younge. All Rights reserved, site built with tlc
Stranger in a Strange Land – Encounters in the Disunited States
book review
'It often takes an outsider to look inside. This is especially true of the United States.'
 follow on twitter
RT @SynergiCC: On Thursday, watch out for the release of @JamesNazroo's presentation on #BLM, #racism and #health harms in the UK. #FromPle
This is basically the thread I put out last night...but soooo much fancier-looking.
@tjr_london In Paris for the Josephine Baker ceremony I'm afraid.
RT @BritishVogue: As she leads Barbados towards republicanism, charismatic Prime Minister Mia Mottley talks to @GaryYounge about shaking of…
RT @MCRSociology: As #JosephineBaker is elevated to the pantheon today, @garyyounge writes on race, racism and republicanism in contemporar…
@PriyamvadaGopal Thanks @PriyamvadaGopal . Where would I find a comprehensive account of that conference or start l…
"African Americans enjoyed an honorary, if contingent, racial status: free to write about racial atrocities in Amer…
@chakrabortty What a lovely message. I miss those days. I miss you (not sure I miss the office as such. In Farringd…
6/ "Mine is a name with a story from afar, that doesn’t have to be told, that is not often misspelt and that doesn’…
© Gary Younge. All Rights reserved, site built with tlc
Buy valtrex online with free samples Tadalafil online us How to get a cipro prescription from your doctor Antabuse buy Buy discount vardenafil Where can you buy cialis Buy sildenafil generic online