We Are Gay UK

Haitian LGBT+ activist found dead, foul play suspected

According to OutRight Action International (ORAI) one of Haiti‘s most prominent LGBT+ advocates, Charlot Jeudy, was found dead at his home in Pétion-Ville outside of the capital of Port-au-Prince on the morning of Monday, November 25th.

The organisation claims that the cause of his death is still unknown and that an autopsy must be undertaken to determine what killed Charlot.

ORAI fears that Jeudy’s death made have been a hate crime as he had reportedly been receiving threatening and anonymous phone calls.

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Jessica Stern, Executive Director of OutRight Action International, commented:

I knew Charlot as a bold LGBTIQ leader and fierce advocate fighting for the rights of his community. Even though the cause of death is yet unconfirmed, we fear it is part of a larger pattern of anti-LGBTIQ violence underway in Haiti, potentially focused on people visible within LGBTIQ organizations. We call on on the police to carry out an immediate, credible and transparent police investigation into the death of Jeudy Charlot. Haiti must protect LGBTIQ people from violence.

FACSDIS, an organization that works to safeguard the rights of the LBTIQ community, is reporting unprecedented violence and attacks against people based on their perceived sexual orientation and gender identity. Four members of FACSDIS were victims of an attack on October 17, 2019, where several members sustained physical injuries.

OutRight received evidence of a further incident: an angry mob threatened at least three members of FACSDIS on November 18.

As a result of these and other attacks, LGBTIQ community members in Haiti are remaining at home, afraid to leave for work or school or to buy groceries, and some members of the community have even sought temporary relocation to flee the violence.

Neish McLean, Caribbean Program Officer at OutRight Action International, commented:

As a part of OutRight’s work with KOURAJ and other partners in Haiti, Charlot and I worked closely together. I’ll remember Charlot for his fierce and unrelenting work to end the violence and discrimination against LGBTIQ people in Haiti. His warm smile and tenacity will be missed deeply. His legacy will live on in the work reflected by the courage and perseverance of those who remain.

Kennedy Carrillo, Caribbean Research Officer at OutRight Action International, commented:

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Charlot was one to never be silenced and his tenacity and commitment to the fight for LGBTIQ justice and equality will not be forgotten. Now more than ever we must loudly condemn his death and the continuous attacks on the LGBTIQ community in Haiti.

LGBT Rights In Haiti

In Haiti homosexuality and sex between people of the same sex is legal however many LGBT+ people face opposition from the strongly religious population. Roughly 80 per cent of Haiti’s population is follow Catholism, followed by Protestantism and Islam.

There are many reported hate crimes against visible LGBT+ people.

Complaints have been levied against the police force who, according to some, do not take crimes against LGBT+ people seriously.

LGBT+ people have no protections in law to protect them from discrimination and Haiti does not recognise same-sex couples or marriage.

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