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

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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/

Yuk in Zimbabwe

The Thomson Reuters Foundation has been investigating life for gay men in Zimbabwe.

At 24, Amina has already been chased from his family home, forced to marry – twice – and fathered three children who ask him tough questions about sex and sexuality.

He has been vilified in the national press – snapped at a gay party – and rejected as a disgrace by his parents. Not even the best spiritual healers could ‘cure’ Amina of being gay.

”I‘m a single father of three and a male sex worker,” Amina told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

He also chairs Male Sex Workers in Zimbabwe, a lobby group with 300 members that helps economically disadvantaged gay men.

Amina said he was forced to take up sex work as Zimbabwe’s fractured economy had rendered so many young men jobless. His family forced him to undergo gay cure therapies, none of which worked.

An excellent article.

https://af.reuters.com/article/topNews/idAFKCN1BF0N4-OZATP

Uganda cancels Pride week again

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.

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2017/aug/21/no-gay-promotion-can-be-allowed-uganda-cancels-pride-events-lgbt

Ambassador in court for hate article

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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.

https://www.businesslive.co.za/rdm/news/2017-08-18-ambassador-ordered-to-apologise-to-gay-community-for-his-offensive-column/

Nigerian gays arrested at an HIV awareness event

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.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-40774930

The nastiest place in the world?

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.

http://time.com/4749868/nigeria-gay-wedding-arrests/