Haiti’s leading LGBTQ rights activist found dead under suspicious circumstances

Via Facebook

34-year-old Charlot Jeudy, the leading gay rights activist in Haiti, has been found dead in his home by his own brother. Fellow activists suspect he may have met with foul play.

Jeudy rose to prominence as a LGBTQ rights advocate in 2009 when he founded Kouraj, a social group for queer people to meet and congregate together. Doing so was a bold step in Haiti, where queer people don’t enjoy any legal protections. Kouraj came under fire just a year later, when Christian groups began offering aid to the country following a major earthquake. Public sentiment turned on the community, and Jeudy altered the purpose of Kouraj to push for legal inclusion for queer people.

Earlier this year, Jeudy had expressed fear over his safety following the Port-au-Prince International Jazz Festival, where attendees began openly carrying the Pride Flag. He also reported receiving threatening phone calls for his activism.

Related: In Haiti, Gay Couple’s Engagement Party Attacked By Angry, Bomb-Throwing Mob

The Maimi Herald reports that Jeudy’s brother–who remains unidentified for fear of reprisal–discovered his body Monday morning. The two had spent Sunday evening together. The next morning, Jeudy’s nephew called his father to say that Jeudy hadn’t woken up, and was laying in bed without moving.

“I shook him, turned him around, nothing,” his brother said. “I always told him to be careful because Haiti is not like other countries.”

Jeudy’s brother, together with other friends and family, have begun to push for a full police investigation into his death. At the time of this writing, none have speculated on the cause.

Jeudy’s friends and family join several international human rights organizations and government embassies, as well as Haitian President Jovenel Moïse in calling for a thorough police investigation into his death. “I wish the causes of his death will be clarified quickly,” Moïse said via tweet.