Students examine the human rights context for LGBTQ+ people in Uganda, analyze tactics for bringing about change for marginalized people, and look at transitional leaders who have brought about social change.Learn More
Protections for Detained At-Risk Gay Man
Precautionary Measures In Place for Gay Teen Detained Pre-Trial in Dominican Republic’s Most Dangerous Prison
RFK Human Rights has requested precautionary measures on behalf of 18-year-old gay man C.M.T. (whose identity will be kept confidential for safety concerns), who was detained pretrial for eight months in La Victoria, the oldest and most dangerous prison in the Dominican Republic, despite being sentenced to a center for correction and rehabilitation.
While in La Victoria he was violently raped and subsequently denied appropriate medical attention. Beyond that, authorities denied him essentials such as toilet paper and soap, and he was held in a cell without a bed and forced to “rent” one from one of the other inmates, who also extorted him for “protection” money. Guards refused to provide C.M.T. with ample protection from attacks. Although C.M.T. was ultimately moved to the original center for correction and rehabilitation that he was sentenced to, irregularities in his legal process and similar conditions at the new facility mean that he remains at risk. RFK Human Rights continues to push for his release.
Why is This a Key Case?
LGBTQ+ people face increased risks when detained—most especially of sexual violence from other inmates but also from the prison personnel whose job is to protect them. While this is in no way limited to prisons in the Dominican Republic, C.M.T.’s case demonstrates how a state’s inadequate legal and procedural protections can mean life or death for LGBTQ+ and other already marginalized individuals and communities.
How is RFK Human Rights Supporting C.M.T.’s Case?
The organization, along with partners Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition and Fundación Sigue Mis Pasos, submitted a request for precautionary measures to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights for C.M.T in March 2019. Measures were granted in April 2020.
What is the Status of the Case?
Active precautionary measures are currently in place, with RFK Human Rights monitoring implementation.
Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition
Our collaboration secured precautionary measures on behalf of C.M.T., a gay man who was at risk while detained in prison.
Fundación Sigue Mis Pasos
Our collaboraton secured precautionary measures on behalf of C.M.T., a gay man at risk when detained in the oldest and most dangerous prison in the Dominican Republic.
For More Perspective
CAMPAIGN—#JusticiaParaVicky: The historic case of Vicky Hernández et al. v. Honduras
In the midst of the June 2009 Honduran coup d’état, with the streets of San Pedro Sula closed to all but military and police forces, 26-year-old trans woman Vicky Hernández’s body was found with a gunshot wound to the head.
Vicky’s story—and the impunity the state has granted her killers—is all too familiar in Honduras. In the decade since Vicky’s extrajudicial execution, more than 300 LGBTQ+ people have been targeted and killed for their gender identity; of those, only 67 cases have been prosecuted, resulting in fewer than 20 convictions.
Vicky Hernández et al. v. Honduras, litigated by Red Lésbica Cattrachas and RFK Human Rights, was the first case involving lethal violence against an trans person to reach the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.
On June 28, 2021, exactly 12 years after Vicky’s murder, the Court made a landmark ruling holding the government of Honduras accountable for her death and issued a series of reparations, including financial support for Vicky’s family, that set a legal precedent for LGBTQ+ rights throughout the region.
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Meet three of our trans activists who are making a difference.Learn More