WE CONDEMN RENEWED THREATS TO UGANDAN LGBT RIGHTS DEFENDERS
The Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) international solidarity network and the Violence is not our Culture (VNC) Campaign condemn the recent police raid on a workshop for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) human rights defenders in Entebbe, Uganda. This act is an outright violation of the fundamental rights and freedoms of human rights defenders, which are guaranteed under the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the African Charter, both of which the Uganda government has signed and ratified.
When the topic of “taboos” surfaces in our region, what immediately comes to mind are all issues related to sexu- ality. Then the question becomes, “whose responsibility is it to address such taboos?” My answer: all of us, yours and mine together.
While LGBT folks in the U.S. deal with religious institutions that encourage so-called reparative therapy, antigay advocates in Latin America are taking that quest to a much darker level. For the past decade, lesbians in Ecuador have been forced into what they call torture camps aimed at making them straight.
Iran's gay and lesbian community is struggling to win some recognition by coming out in defiance of a regime that criminalises homosexuality.
A group of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Iranians have posted videos of themselves on Facebook in a campaign to highlight the discrimination against sexual minorities in Iran where homosexuals are put to death.
"It's easy to heap unkind words on our family but nobody has tried putting themselves in our shoes,” said Mak Yah, 50, the mother of medical assistant Mohd Ashraf Hafiz Abd Aziz, 25, the transgender whose application to change his name to Aleesha Farhana was rejected by the High Court here on Monday. Eyes brimming with tears, Mak Yah lamented to the New Straits Times the pain and humiliation she felt when she read the negative comments about her and her husband, Abdul Aziz, 60.
Following the revelation that "Amina" was a hoax two LGBT Syrian Activists speak out. Sami Hamwi, Gay Middle East Syria: Blogging in Syria has been forbidden by law for more than eight years. As internet started to flourish, many Syrians started to use internet spaces and blogs to write personal thoughts, poetry, short stories… etc. unaware of that fact, but they remained safe as the authorities only monitored political and human rights blogs. LGBT bloggers can manage to keep safe only if their blogs were meant for gossip and entertainment, but they might have to face different kind of difficulties if they reported news or engaged into LGBT rights activism. As soon as any blog starts to attract attention, the agony with authorities’ interference starts.
A senior Egyptian general admits that "virginity checks" were performed on women arrested at a demonstration this spring, the first such admission after previous denials by military authorities. The allegations arose in an Amnesty International report, published weeks after the March 9 protest. It claimed female demonstrators were beaten, given electric shocks, strip-searched, threatened with prostitution charges and forced to submit to virginity checks. At that time, Maj. Amr Imam said 17 women had been arrested but denied allegations of torture or "virginity tests." But now a senior general who asked not to be identified said the virginity tests were conducted and defended the practice.
Uganda's reviled anti-gay bill, which mandates the death penalty in some cases, remains in limbo after parliament adjourned without a debate. Edward Ssekandi Kiwanuk, the parliamentary speaker, ruled there was no time to take up the bill this session. He has adjourned the parliament and set no date for its return. A source close to proceedings said parliament could technically come back between now and 17 May but most MPs were leaving for their constituencies. Bills not completed in the old parliament are wiped and must be resubmitted. Update to Uganda: Anti-Homosexuality Bill is Anti-Human Rights and Anti-Democratic: ACT NOW TO STOP IT!