By EARYEL BOWLEG
TWO men are expected to appear in court today for charges related to a Grand Bahama incident that left a woman beaten and injured.
Local human rights group, Rights Bahamas called the incident a “hate crime” however police have not characterised it that way.
According to police, on Monday officers were called to the Seagrape, Eight Mile Rock area shortly after 7pm because an altercation had occurred between two men and a woman.
“The female reportedly received injuries as a result of the altercation and was taken to the Rand Memorial Hospital where she was treated and discharged,” a police press release said. “Initial reports indicated that the altercation was a result of a car accident that occurred.”
In a statement yesterday, Rights Bahamas condemned the “vile” beating of the woman and claimed she was attacked because of her sexual orientation. When asked if the woman was targeted for that reason, a police official could not say what was the clear motive.
Rights Bahamas demanded the perpetrators be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and stated that law enforcement must be committed to protecting the most vulnerable.
The statement read: “Around the world, this kind of hate crime – the targeting of a person with extreme violence because of who they are – is denounced as among the most reprehensible modes of human conduct imaginable. Our government should take heed: the appearance of this type of hatred and violence is always a signal of deeper underlying currents within society and a warning of things to come. It must be nipped in the bud immediately and decisively.”
A video of the incident has reportedly circulated on social media and the organisation expressed frustration about the public’s reactions.
“Rights Bahamas also cries shame on the members of the public who have sought to demean and make fun of the victim on social media, a disgusting display of intolerance and hatred that is perhaps more concerning than the incident itself,” the organisation commented.
“What could be funny about a grown man repeatedly smashing a piece of wood into the back of a young woman’s head while his friends punch and slap her? What does it say about us as a people that so many consider this a source of humour and entertainment? What are we to think when so many of the culprits are fellow women, who should be standing together in solidarity to oppose the many injustices faced in common as members of an oppressed gender in this society?”