Diplomat says the time is now to demand laws against hate crimes in Guyana

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Argentina’s Ambassador to Guyana Felipe Gardella says the time is now for Guyana to introduce laws against hate crimes in light of the recent homophobic attack on Managing Director of the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) Joel Simpson.

“I greatly regret the circumstances, but at the same time it turned out to be an opportunity to demand, now with force, a law on hate crimes,” Ambassador Gardella said in a letter to Simpson condemning the attack.

The Ambassador said there should also be a call for the Police to desist from making it difficult for LGBT persons to lodge complaints and instead make the process easier.

Following the attack on June 16, Simpson visited the Brickdam Police Station to make a report but the ranks there did not take his report and sent him to the Alberttown Police Station instead.

Meanwhile, the Argentine Ambassador also lauded SASOD for the work it has done locally to push gay rights.

He referred to the Equal Rights Coalition (ERC) co-chaired by Argentina, which was launched in 2016 at the Global LGBTI Human Rights Conference in Montevideo.

Joel Simpson, SASOD’s Managing Director

The body is dedicated to the protection of the rights of LGBTI persons.

Guyana is not a member of the body.

Simpson received injuries to his abdomen and arms after he was attacked and beaten by six men at the Bourda Market at around 4am on June 16 as he was ordering food.

He was rescued by the food vendor who pulled him behind the stall to save him from the savage beating.

Prior to the savage beating, Simpson and his friends were bullied by the same men at a night club on Main Street, Georgetown where the men threw beers at them.

The Government on Wednesday condemned the attack in a statement.

Police Commander of ‘A’ Division, Marlon Chapman said no one has been arrested in connection with the incident.

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