Escapees tell their story

For a number of years Your Activist has received word from gay people in Uganda about the persecution they faced. Your Activist’s advice was always to get to a place of safety.

Apollo Kimuli and Barnabas Wobiliya have done just that and have spoken to the Salt Lake Tribune about their lives.

The slurs came at the young boy like barbs.
Sometimes the word hurled his way from other kids was “guera,” meaning “girl” in the dialect of his native Ugandan village. At other times, it was “mudiga,” a word used for gay people, he said.
“I used to talk like a girl … walk like a girl. I used to be in the company of girls, so they called me all sorts of names, because I was expressing like a girl,” said Barnabas, … who remembers being about 10 when the teasing began.

A 2016 report by the U.S. State Department criticized Uganda for its human- and civil-rights failures, including violence and discrimination against women, children and other marginalized groups, including the LGBTQ community.

Your Activist is glad so many people have escaped persecution in Uganda, and hopes that conditions in Uganda will improve soon.

http://www.sltrib.com/news/2017/11/26/gay-ugandan-activists-rebuilding-lives-in-utah-after-fleeing-anti-lgbtq-repression-in-africa/

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Gay Botswana student goes to court for his human rights

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Moreri Sejakgomo | 17164

A 21-year-old University of Botswana student, Letsweletse Motshidiemang, has filed papers in the Lobatse High Court challenging the constitutionality of Section 164(a) and 167 of the Botswana Penal Code, which criminalise homosexuality. Motshidiemang says the law interferes with his fundamental right to liberty, his right to use his body as he sees fit, which includes expressing his sexuality through the only means available to him as a homosexual, and he has a right to equal protection of law and the right not to be subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment. The student wants the court to declare that the said sections interfere with his fundamental right not to be subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment or other such treatment.

“The law violates my fundamental right and freedom to privacy in that it interferes with an intimate and personal aspect of my life that causes no disrespect to the rights and freedoms of others and also causes no harm to the public,” he states. He says arguments that Batswana do not accept homosexuality do not hold any water as evidenced by remarks made by Members of Parliament Botlogile Tshireletso, Duma Boko and some chiefs to the effect that there should be no discrimination based on sexual orientation.

http://www.mmegi.bw/index.php?aid=72831&dir=2017/november/02

More arrests in Egypt

The crackdown on gay people in Egypt has intensified in recent days, according to the Washington Post.

Security forces raided cafes in downtown Cairo and courts delivered harsh prison sentences, further driving the nation’s LGBT community underground.

More than 60 people have been arrested since a concert last month by a rock group where some members of the audience waved a rainbow flag.

Security forces have also detained people at their homes in the middle of the night and used apps and online chat rooms to entrap those perceived to be gay.

Some cafes frequented by the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community have been shut down.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/with-midnight-raids-and-chat-room-traps-egypt-launches-sweeping-crackdown-on-gay-community/2017/10/17/6a8397fc-b03e-11e7-9b93-b97043e57a22_story.html?utm_term=.a92032a75fa2

Hiding in Algeria

Algeria’s LGBT community celebrated TenTen, its national day of solidarity, on October 10. France 24 report on Algeria’s rainbow weddings, used to avoid being detected as gay.

Every year, hundreds or even thousands of gay people across Algeria get married in such “rainbow weddings”, because of social and familial pressure. In a country where homosexuality is a crime – punishable by two months to two years in prison, along with a heavy fine – marrying a person of another gender has become the alternative to coming out, when the latter leads to ostracisation from society.

http://www.france24.com/en/20171011-gay-lesbian-algeria-rainbow-marriage-lgbt-prejudice-discrimination

Pressure on Egypt to respect human rights

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File photo, dated 2014 | AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty | 17162ga

Associated Press reports that Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have called on Egyptian authorities to halt their crackdown on people suspected of homosexuality following the waving of the LGBT rainbow flag at a recent concert in Cairo, and to end anal examinations of people detained on suspicion of homosexuality to determine whether they were engaged in same-sex sexual relations. The practice is torture and is “abhorrent” and scientifically unsound.

Egypt is known to have arrested at least seven people last week after footage of the rainbow flag during a September 22 concert by Lebanese indie rock band Mashrou’ Leila (whose lead singer is openly gay) was posted on social media.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/egypt-to-conduct-anal-exams-on-men-suspected-of-gay-sex-report/

Tunisia won’t look up your bum any more

AFP reports that Tunisia has banned forced anal examinations to determine sexual orientation, the North African state’s minister for human rights said on Friday.

The authorities carry out the tests on suspected homosexuals but “these exams can no longer be imposed by force, physical or moral, or without the consent of the person concerned”, Mehdi Ben Gharbia told AFP.

Foreign and local rights groups have condemned the practice of forced anal exams as “cruel” and “inhuman”. In Tunisia sodomy is punishable by jail.

http://www.news24.com/Africa/News/tunisia-bans-forced-anal-exams-for-homosexuality-20170922

Zanzibar arrests gays

Twenty people have been arrested in Zanzibar for alleged homosexuality.

“They are implicated in homosexuality. We arrested them and are busy interrogating them. The police cannot turn a blind eye to this practice,” said regional police commander Hassan Ali Nasri on state television. The twelve women and eight men were arrested in a hotel where they were undergoing training from an NGO that works on HIV/AIDS education programmes. In February, Tanzania announced it was stopping many privately run health centres from providing AIDS-related services, which Health Minister Ummy Mwalimu said promoted homosexuality.

http://www.africanews.com/2017/09/16/tanzania-20-arrested-in-zanzibar-for-homosexuality/