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Friday, 18 October, 2002, 09:06 GMT 10:06 UK
'Homophobes stabbed and slashed me'
Caribbean beach
The Caribbean image tourists chiefs prefer to promote
Homosexuals from Jamaica are coming to the UK to flee oppression and abuse.

Recent reports suggested the numbers of gay men and women leaving the Caribbean and looking for a better life in Britain were reaching the hundreds.

The BBC spoke to David - not his real name - who has settled in England after a lifetime of abuse in Jamaica.

I was working in security and had to use a portable radio a lot. Every time I would get on the airwaves people would shout 'hey, gay boy, get off the radio'.

People are constantly at you.

I was arrested for allegedly abusing a boy - something I was wrongfully accused of and something I would never dream of doing ever in my life.

'Terrified'

It was so hard. They locked me up and the policeman told all the other inmates I was gay.

I was terrified - gay men get killed in prisons.

I was hit, I was slapped. The policemen beat me and hit me so hard I am still completely deaf in my right ear.

On the streets I had my throat slashed and when I went to hospital I could not tell them I was gay or they would not have treated me.

I was always looking over my shoulder thinking someone was going to attack me or shoot me.

It is just not possible to live a normal life in Jamaica if you are gay.

The Jamican high commissioner declined to comment on David's claims.

See also:

17 Dec 98 | Americas
15 Feb 01 | Americas
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