Guyana: Social Protection Ministry condemns attack on Joel Simpson

The Ministry of Social Protection (MoSP) has condemned the recent attack on activist Joel Simpson, while saying that members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community should be accepted for who they are.

In a press release issued last week, the ministry said it wishes to place on record its view that the attack was completely unwarranted and a veiled threat to silencing critical civic voices on national issues, thereby reducing the scope for genuine advocacy in Guyana.

The recent attack is a stark reminder that despite the many gains that have been made over the last decades, LGBT+ people continue to face the threat of violence, the ministry said, while noting that the administration is committed to protecting and promoting the dignity and freedom of every human being as it believes that every individual has rights that are inherent and inviolable.

It noted that the constitution guarantees the respect of human dignity and protection from cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, as well as totally prohibits the violation of the right to freedom from torture and ill treatment, which is a non- delegable right.

The MoSP added that now, more than ever, is the time for Guyanese to stand together in support of each other. “LGBT people should be able to feel safe at work, in the streets and to be accepted for who they are,” the release added. Read more via Stabroek News