Jamaican police seize, burn donations to LGBT youths

Published: December 3, 2013

Jamaican police on Dec. 1 seized and burned food and clothing that concerned citizens had donated to LGBT youths who have been living in the sewers of New Kingston, activists say.

The youths moved into the sewers after being evicted first from their families’ homes and then from abandoned buildings.  The donations were part of an effort to help the men, with the goal of providing them with housing and basic social services.
The destruction of the donated goods occurred during a police crackdown that resulted in the arrest of eight homeless young men on robbery charges.
A human rights activist who spoke by telephone with one of the arrested youths on Dec. 1 reported the following information, provided by Rick (not his real name):
Police burned their clothes, as they had also done on a previous raid, including clothes that LGBT rights activist Maurice Tomlinson had given to them.
Police also burned canned food that was donated to them last week.

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