Rather Than Explore Jamaica’s Widespread Anti-Gay Human Rights Abuses, U.S. State Deparment Merely Copy/Pasted Old Reports

We’re not ready to say Michael Petrelis’ discovery — that the U.S. State Department is filing annual reports on Jamaica’s gays by simply copy/pasting the same material from year-to-year — is a smoking gun showing a lack of actual investigations and follow-ups, but if there was real progress to report on how American officials are working to prohibit, or merely document, the human rights abuses against LGBTs there, you would think they would update their own files. Or do the identical year-over-year reports merely indicate there’s been no progress in safeguarding Jamaica’s gays in the past few years?

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  • paulcanning

    Oh! You Americans!

    As usual, Michael has ‘mis-spoken’. Here’s a comment he graciously agreed to add:

    diplo said…

    I think you’re misunderstanding the nature of these worldwide annual reports (which come out on a range of mostly congressionally mandated topics – human rights, religious freedom, trafficking in persons, etc.). They are not “reporting” in the journalistic sense, nor are they meant to be (embassies have neither the staff nor the latitude to carry out field work or even to do extensive secondary research).

    Instead, they are markers of progress (or, as here, its lack), laid out according to a fairly rigid formula that embassy officers are strongly discouraged from altering. So if they are the same from year to year, its that the official issues being covered – laws, official practices, etc. – haven’t changed significantly.

    I would add that it’s a bit rich for you to criticise anyone for not doing updates on The Situation In The Rest Of The World. Four gay men were driven by a mob into the ‘safety’ of a Jamaican police station the other day. Did Queerty (or any other US gay news outlet) report it?

  • paulcanning

    NB: formatting was lost so should add that the last par is mine.

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