Jamaica's best-known gay activist was murdered in Kingston June 9. Brian Williamson, 59, was found lying in a pool of blood in his bedroom with multiple knife wounds.
'The condition of his body ... and his visibility as a gay man lead us to suspect this is a hate-related crime,' the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays said in a statement.
Police say the murder was more likely related to robbery, pointing out that Williamson's room was ransacked and his safe was missing. They are looking for two men who were seen at the residence shortly before the crime.
Williamson's roommate, Desmond Chambers, said of one of the suspects: 'I have seen him here about six times [and] anything him want, Brian give him. Brian give him money, Brian give him food and help him to purchase [newspaper] to sell on the road.'
The head of Amnesty International USA's gay-rights program, Michael Heflin, commented, 'Brian Williamson was a courageous individual prepared to speak out for one of the most marginalized and persecuted communities in Jamaica: the gay and lesbian community.'
Jamaica is considered one of the world's most homophobic nations, a fact that was noted in the report on Williamson's murder in the Jamaica Observer newspaper.
'Jamaica has an international reputation for being highly intolerant of homosexuals and has, in the past, fallen under pressure from the international community, especially Britain,' the paper said. 'Some local artistes have been banned from performing in other countries because of their strong anti-homosexual lyrics.'