Thu | May 24, 2018

Army not alone in war on woman abuse

Published:Saturday | March 18, 2017 | 12:00 AM


We stand in full solidarity with Latoya Nugent, co-founder of the Tambourine Army of Jamaica and executive director of WE-Change, who was arrested by members of the Counter-Terrorism and Organized Crime Division of the Jamaica Constabulary Force on Tuesday, March 14. They have since charged her with use of a computer for malicious communication under the Cybercrimes Act.

Latoya Nugent is a sad reflection on the Jamaican State. We also express solidarity with Nadeen Spence of Mary Seacole Hall, another founder of Tambourine Army, who was also questioned and intimidated by the police.

Why was Latoya arrested? Because she boldly spoke truth to power, using her Facebook page to name persons (some holding high office in various prominent institutions) who were identified by their victims as sexual predators. There will doubtless be people who oppose this kind of action, but we are united in the view that the time had come for more radical action to be taken.

We salute the Tambourine Army for its courage. We support the Caribbean youth-led feminists like #LifeInLeggings, Womantra, CatchAFyah and other emerging women's-rights organisations and those progressive men and men's groups and networks that speak out against violence against women and children such as CARIMAN.

In Guyana, our march, organised by the UG Students Society Against Human Rights Violations, was led by UG student and survivor of domestic violence, Akola Thompson.

Naming and shaming perpetrators is essential. It is they who should be behind bars and not the defenders of human rights.

We call on the Jamaican authorities to drop the charges against Latoya Nugent. All states of the Caribbean should support breaking the silence of victims/survivors of human rights violations and upholding these rights to ensure that justice is done!

Students Society Against Human Rights Violations, et al