Swedish film crew attacked in Jamaica

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

A Swedish film crew who recently visited Jamaica to make a film about the country’s human rights issues claim they were attacked by locals and harassed by police.

Jamaican LGBT rights campaigner Maurice Tomlinson said that they crew “got a first-hand look at our notorious homophobia and police excesses.”

On Saturday 21 May the crew travelled to an inner-city community in Kingston to interview two gay men. The vehicle in which the men and the crew were travelling was set upon by an angry mob wielding machetes and other weapons, demanding that the gays leave the area.

No one was hurt, and the crew managed to capture the faces of some of their attackers on film.

Mr Tomlinson, quoted by Paul Canning on LGBT Asylum News, said: “When the crew tried to record some images in downtown Kingston on Wednesday 25 May, a policeman confiscated their equipment on the grounds that they did not have a permit. At the police station, colleagues convinced the confiscating cop to return the crew’s camera equipment.

“The cop also apologised and advised that he was only trying to prevent foreign film crews portraying Jamaica in a negative light. Sadly, such arbitrary action has only reinforced the perception of wanton extrajudicial behaviour on the part of our police.”