Tuesday, August 08, 2006


Human Rights Watch asked Jamaican officials Thursday why the prime suspect in the stabbing deaths of a lesbian couple, the latest in a series of apparently homophobic killings there, has not even been questioned a month later. The decomposing remains of Candice Williams and Phoebe Myrie were found June 29 in a sealed septic pit behind the home they shared in Taylor Land, Bull Bay, St. Andrew.

The women had last been seen alive by Williams' mother 11 days earlier. An autopsy revealed that they died from multiple stab wounds. A police inspector told the Jamaica Star that a lead suspect had been identified -- Williams' former partner, Dwayne Lewis, the father of her year-old child.

Lewis had encouraged Williams to experiment sexually with women, a relative told police. His attitude changed when she "slowly progressed from a bisexual to an outright lesbian, which led her to end the relationship," according to the statement. Conflict then arose between Lewis and Williams over custody of the child, the relative said.

"We . . . should apprehend (Lewis) before next week," Inspector Hornet Williams (no relation to the deceased) told the newspaper July 6. "We are now appealing to Mr. Lewis that he come to the station as we need to ask him some questions."

Nearly a month after the bodies were discovered, Lewis has not been questioned, much less arrested, Human Rights Watch director Scott Long wrote Jamaican Minister of National Security Peter David Phillips.

"As you know, Human Rights Watch has documented an atmosphere of homophobic intolerance and violence in Jamaica, and a pattern of indifference or reluctance to investigate such violence on the part of the police," Long wrote Thursday.

"The apparent absence of further investigative steps, including the fact that the alleged suspect has not yet even been questioned, has led local advocates to express concerns to Human Rights Watch about the level of commitment to identifying and prosecuting the murderer," he wrote.

"Recognizing that the women may have been 'killed because they were good friends,' moreover, means recognizing that they may have been victims of a documented pattern of homophobic violence."


sjobs said...

It makes my stomach crawl that in 2006 people all over the world cannot be accepted for who they are and what they choose to do.....


nancy =) said...

everything about this story is absolutly appalling...all of it...

peace, love, and tolerance, baby...