The Ugandan government has cancelled a week of gay pride celebrations in the country for a second consecutive year.
On 16 August Simon Lokodo, the state minister of ethics and integrity, issued a directive shutting down a gala in Kampala, accusing the organisers of attempting to stage an illegal gathering aimed at the “recruitment, exhibition and promotion of homosexuality”.
“It’s true I ordered the police to stop and shut down all the gay pride events. No gay gathering and promotion can be allowed in Uganda. We can’t tolerate it at all,” said Lokodo. “We know they are trying to recruit and promote homosexuality secretly. But it’s worse to attempt to stand and exhibit it in public arena. This is totally unacceptable. Never in Uganda.”
Your Activist invites readers to join in his own and long standing personal total boycott of any goods and foods from Uganda.
Jon Qwelane | Robert Botha/Business Day | 17152
South Africa’s High Court has ordered Jon Qwelane‚ a former journalist and ambassador to Uganda, to “unconditionally” apologise to the gay and lesbian community for homophobic statements he wrote in a newspaper column nine years ago, and dismissed his constitutional challenge of the Equality Act.
Earlier the Equality Court had ordered Qwelane to apologise to the lesbian and gay community and pay a fine of 100,000 Rands.
There were 350 complaints about his offending statements. After Qwelane failed to apologise for his utterances in the column, the South African Human Rights Commission approached the High Court .
Qwelane appealed against the Equality Court ruling and filed a new case that questioned the constitutionality of the Equality Act.
Today the High Court found the statements Qwelane made in his July 2008 column titled “Call me names‚ but gay is not ok”‚ were hate speech and are hurtful and harmful to the LGBTI community.
Judge Dimpheletse Moshidi ordered Qwelane to write his apology within 30 days‚ publish it in the Sunday Sun and send proof of publication to the court. He was also ordered to pay costs of the proceedings‚ including postponements.
More than 40 men were arrested at an HIV awareness event in Lagos, Nigeria over the weekend “for performing homosexual acts”, according to local police.
The arrested people are due to appear in court.
Homosexual acts are punishable by up to 14 years in jail in Nigeria, while gay marriage and displays of same-sex affection are also banned.
Some parts of Nigeria are under Sharia law where gay people face the death penalty.
Nigeria is a Commonwealth country with a population of around 170 million people.
A group of 53 people have been charged in Nigeria after they were arrested last week from what police say was a party celebrating an unofficial gay wedding.
The group pleaded not guilty to charges relating to conspiracy, unlawfully assembly and membership in an unlawful society.
The defendants were mostly students who are alleged to have been illegally detained for more than 24 hours.
LGBT-rights activists refute the police’s report that the men were celebrating a same-sex wedding, saying the event in the northern city of Zaria was a birthday party.
Forced medical examinations for homosexual men have been banned by Tunisia’s medical council.
Same sex relationships are banned in the north African country, where doctors perform anal “tests” on people suspected of being gay.
The National Council of the Medical Order has now decreed that doctors must tell people they have a right to refuse the examinations.
“Tunisian doctors have taken a courageous step in opposing the use of these torturous exams,” said Neela Ghoshal, senior LGBT rights researcher at HRW. “To ensure that forced anal testing in Tunisia ends once and for all, police should stop ordering the exams, and courts should refuse to admit the results into evidence.”
Your Activist hopes that this the start of a more reasonable future for gay people in Tunisia.
Abbey Kyeyune | 17056
Abbey Kyeyune, a gay Ugandan-born asylum seeker currently living in Manchester, is facing deportation to his place of birth, where homosexuality is punishable by life imprisonment.
Mr Kyeyune says Home Office officials decided he had failed to sufficiently “prove” his sexuality.
He fled Uganda after his family members discovered that he was having a relationship with another man, and became physically violent towards him. Ugandan authorities had issued a warrant for his arrest. He also discovered that his boyfriend had been arrested and detained because of his sexuality.
Updated guidance on LGBT asylum claims was recently published by the Home Office, which forbids “detailed questioning in regard to sexual practices” and requests for “sexually explicit evidence”.
However, Mr Kyeyune’s Home Office interview occurred before this new guidance was in place.
Undated | Uncredited | Picture Alliance/DPA
On Saturday, Tanzania announced it will publish a list of gay people allegedly selling sex online. Just days ago the government shut down dozens of AIDS clinics which it accused of promoting homosexuality.
Deputy Health Minister Hamisi Kigwangalla wrote on Twitter that his government was investigating “the homosexuality syndicate” and would arrest and prosecute those involved in the gay sex business. “I will publish a list of gay people selling their bodies online,” Kigwangalla wrote. “Those who think this campaign is a joke, are wrong. The government has long arms and it will quietly arrest all those involved. Once arrested, they will help us find others.”
Tazanian men suspected of being gay have been detained and taken to hospitals for an anal examination to find out if they are homosexual.
Tanzania is still in the Commonwealth.
Last year there was pressure on the UK Government to review its foreign aid to Tanzania, which was around £200,000,000 a year.
File photo | Al Jazeera/EPA | 17019
Ivory Coast’s authorities have refused to explain why Yann and Abdoul, two gay men, were sentenced to 18 months in prison in November 2016, as homosexuality is supposed to be legal there.
This is the first time gay men have been prosecuted for acts related to their sexuality in Ivory Coast.
Yann and Abdoul were arrested in October last year after Abdoul’s uncle, who walked in on the pair having sex, filed a complaint for “public indecency” with the gendarmerie.
In court, the men admitted the facts, stating that they had been lovers for a long time and that they did not see how their conduct constituted an offence.
The prosecutor accused the pair of an “unnatural and indecent act”, arguing that sexual intercourse between people of the same sex should be “sanctioned”.
Gay couples can be prosecuted for public acts of indecency. Speaking from Sassandra prison, Yann said the pair were “convicted in an unjust manner”. “If there is no law that that condemns it, I don’t understand how we could have been convicted.”
Gay rights groups brave abuse and violence to fight HIV in Cameroon, reports Reuters.
Fleur listens intently to the speaker talk about gay sex before slowly raising his hand. “Can we catch AIDS by swallowing sperm?” he asks, prompting laughter from his peers at the group discussion held by Alcondoms, an organization promoting the rights and health of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
It is serious business.
Cameroon has the second highest HIV prevalence rate in West and Central Africa (Nigeria is worse) and men who have sex with men are hit the hardest according to UNAIDS. One in 25 people in Cameroon are living with HIV, but almost a quarter of men who have sex with men in Yaounde have the HIV virus.
In Douala, the economic capital, two in five men who have sex with men are infected, according to the state’s national AIDS control committee.
Cameroon’s gays live in fear.
The fear of discrimination and threat of five years in prison are driving MSM and LGBT people away from hospitals and state programs, according to civil society groups who say they fill the gap by providing condoms, counseling and healthcare. Animosity is growing between a largely conservative society and a younger generation less concerned by homosexuality in a country which prosecutes people for being gay more aggressively than almost any other nation in the world. 50 people were convicted of homosexuality between 2010 and 2014, for acts ranging from cross-dressing and wearing make-up to a man texting ‘I love you’ to another man, according to data collected by The Cameroonian Foundation for AIDS.
Gay Activist wishes them success, health and their human rights for 2017.
A Moroccan judge has acquitted two teenage girls put on trial for homosexuality. LGBT rights groups in Morocco have long argued that same-sex relationships should not be a crime.
The girls, who are 16 and 17, had faced up to three years in prison according to a law forbidding “lewd or unnatural acts with an individual of the same sex.”
One of their mothers reported them to the police in October.
The judge in Marrakech ruled that the girls must remain under parental authority until they turn 18. Rachid El Ghorfi, their lawyer, expressed relief at the acquittal. “They should have never been in front of the prosecutor or the judge.”
Women and girls are seldom charged under Morocco’s laws prohibiting homosexual activity.