28 homosexual Jamaicans who were persecuted due to their sexual orientation, have victoriously gained political asylum in the United States.
The individuals were assisted by Immigration Equality, a network of pro-bono attorneys which strives to secure asylum for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders, because they were persecuted in their country as a result of their sexual orientation, gender identity or HIV-status.
The success of their claims reflects the degree of of persecution suffered by homosexuals in Jamaica.
The Immigration Equality spokesperson said:
“By offering them a safe haven, the United States is not only saving their lives, but benefiting from the talent, skills and service these asylees bring to our country. We are proud and honored to help them begin life anew here in their adopted homeland.”
The organization is reported to have 97 additional cases filed in 2010 and several filed previously that are awaiting review.
Jamaica is infamous for its intolerance and violence against homosexuals, known throughout the Caribbean as “buggering” remains a criminal offense in Jamaica and is punishable by up to 10 years in jail.