Sunday, December 06, 2009

Jamaica: File on Tatchell's UK Meeting;
Email on Steve Harvey

The first response from the Jamaican Ministry of Foreign Affairs after I filed my Access to Information request informed me there was nothing in the archive, regarding violence against gay Jamaicans.

The ministry said:

Having researched the relevant files, we regret to inform you that such records do not reside within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade.

Then late last week, the ministry produced nine pages of documents responsive to my request. The ministry did respond to my query as to why these pages didn't show up before, and was the ministry sure this was all it had relevant to the request.

The lack of files on the ceaseless foreign news coverage of the anti-gay violence, along with regular reports of gay human rights violations and government inaction from the US State Department and non-governmental organizations, is quite telling. This dearth shows there isn't much discussion by the Jamaican Ministry of Foreign Affairs about the global condemnation of how the country treats its gay citizens.

However, the government was concerned about a meeting in London, at which longtime global gay advocate Peter Tatchell was speaking. Very nice to know the Jamaicans care enough about the actions of Peter and others in the UK, to send someone to take notes. Peter said:

Good work on getting the info from the Jamaican Foreign Ministry, and very interesting that a Ministry lackey was sent to one of our meetings. We must have got to them.

But the thin pickings are not surprising. The government and police are mostly indifferent to homophobic violence. They don't keep statistics. But good try.

Oh, and the ministry found a single, short email about the murder of gay leader Steve Harvey.

Here are all of the pages released to me. Many thanks to Andres Duques for converting the pages into JPEGs. Click them to enlarge.


Meeting report, page 1

Meeting report, page 2

Meeting report, page 3

Meeting report, page 4

Meeting report, page 5

Meeting report, page 6

Meeting report, page 7

Meeting report, page 8

Meeting report, page 9

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