The international headlines were all covering the story of Gareth Henry for years ago. This was after the police officers beat him up in front of an angry mob of about 200 people in his home country of Jamaica. The police and the mob had chased him including others and found them hiding in pharmacy in Kingston. He had to flee his country a year later seeking refuge and safety.
Gareth Henry was the leader of Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-Flag) before running away from his native country to Canada. This was after he had faced a series of events that were threatening his life. When he reached Canada, he received asylum status, and that is where he currently stays.
Gareth Henry who is 35 years old is an activist for gay rights as well as a social worker in Canada. He and another gay activist from Jamaica are petitioning a case to challenge his former home country at the International Commission on Human Rights.
According to Henry, he had worked for Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-Flag) for four years and during this time he witnessed the death of his 13 friends. He was present to recognize some of the bodies of his dead friends. Gareth Henry became the head of the group after the death of its former leader. Brian Williamson met his death in 2004 through a homophobic attack.
There were several occasions when Gareth Henry suffered violence while police officers were watching. In other occasions, it was the police officers attacking him. The most famous occasion took place on Valentine’s Day after a large mob came after Gay men who were in a group and chased them wanting to kill them. The group found a hiding place in the nearby Pharmacy in Kingston. During this incident, Gareth was among them.
Gareth claimed that they called police during that time, but after they came, they did not do anything to the mob instead they joined the mob in beating the gay group. The four police officers who arrived at the scene started beating Gareth using their guns.
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