Last edited: February 05, 2005

Anti-Gay Singer Jailed, February 3, 2005

By Newscenter Staff

Kingston, Jamaica—A Jamaican dancehall singer whose lyrics call for the killing of gays has been jailed but not over his incitement to hate.

Sizzla was convicted of using profane language at a concert. He was sentenced to two weeks behind bars by a Kingston judge who said that he was determined to stop performers from using profanity.

The charges were brought under a British colonial-era law that prohibits indecent dress or expression.

Sizzla, whose real name is Miguel Collins, is one of a number of reggae artists whose music is filled with anti-gay lyrics.

His hit tune Pump Up has the line “Shot battybwoy, my big gun boom (Shoot queers, my big gun goes boom)”.

Last year he was denied a visa to the UK. Sizzla was to have performed five concerts in Britain. Following complaints by LGBT rights groups two of the venues cancelled but owners of the other sites, including one in London, refused.

Then, following the murder of a gay man in a London park, police announced they were beginning a criminal investigation into the music of Sizzla, and another anti-gay reggae singer, Elephant Man, to see if they violate Britain’s anti-hate laws.

No charges were ever laid, but the government said it would not give Sizzla a visa.

He has refused to apologize for his incitements to murder lesbians and gay men. At a concert in Chicago in April 2002 he told the audience: “I won’t take back my words…I kill sodomites and queers, they bring AIDS and disease upon people…shoot and kill them”.

Last summer Sizzla performed a concert in Montreal, but he was only allowed into Canada after he signed guarantees with the government that he would not perform music that promotes homophobia.

The Rastafarian singer was arrested Dec. 25 after swearing while performing in eastern Jamaica. He was released on bail pending the court hearing.

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