Main | Thursday, March 31, 2011

PANAMA: Lesbian Couple Jailed For Kiss

Onscreen clip translation by Andres Duque at Blabbeando. He reports:
On Sunday, 32 year old Valentina Hernandez (right) and her 23 year old girlfriend were enjoying a romantic walk down the streets of the historic Casco Antig√ľo colonial district of Panama City when she stopped to give her girlfriend a kiss. Hernandez, a psychologist by profession, reached out to Panamanian newspaper Prensa and shared details of what followed. Hernandez says that a member of Panama's presidential guard who had seen them kiss approached them and accused them of improper behavior. When Hernandez asked him to explain clearly which law they had violated, the guard grew exasperated and called for reinforcement. She says that ten other members of the Institutional Protective Service (S.P.I.) quickly showed up and took her ID and cell phone as they whisked the couple to the local police precinct. Hernandez says that, once they reached the precinct, she was given an intrusive body check by a policewoman. "I felt they touched me everywhere," she said, "They rubbed their hands on my genitals, it was disgusting, my girlfriend was asked to take her pants off." Hernandez says that they were both held behind bars for hours until the authorities asked her to sign a three-page document which they did not allow her to read completely but in which she was told she would free the authorities of any responsibility for their detention. "I signed," she said, "because I did not want to spend a night in a jail cell."

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