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/

Common sense arrives in Tunisia

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.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/tunisia-medical-council-anal-tests-homosexuality-abuse-gay-rights-men-lgbt-document-lgbt-a7680631.html

Abbey can’t prove he’s gay, says Home Office

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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.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/ugandan-man-deportation-lgbt-asylum-seeker-home-office-amber-rudd-abbey-kyeyune-a7624901.html

Tanzania: the new terrorists

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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.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/04/02/britain-under-pressure-to-review-200-million-aid-for-tanzania-af/

http://www.dw.com/en/tanzania-threatens-to-publish-gay-list/a-37616326

Coast not quite so ivory as previously thought!

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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.”

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/ivory-coast-authorities-refuse-explain-why-two-gay-men-were-sentenced-18-months-jail-1603210

Cameroon’s crisis

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.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-cameroon-lgbt-idUSKBN14G0AC?il=0

Let off for Christmas

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.

http://www.njherald.com/article/20161209/AP/312099752

Ugandan gays flee

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ABC | 16498ga

Uganda is one the most intolerant places in the world for homosexual people. Many have fled to neighbouring Kenya and are now refugees, waiting to be relocated to a country that will protect them, reports ABC.

Many of them now live in poverty.

The conditions are not much better than Uganda and it is a tough existence. Some turn to prostitution, others make handicrafts, but living and working in dense settlements means there are very few secrets. It is also dangerous.

Umar Walusimbi escaped from Uganda to Kenya.

“Now I’m also here in Kenya. Life is not OK.” Recently he was attacked while walking home. “They called me, “You gay — where you going? Give us money”. They slapped me, I fell down. They wanted even to burn me. They do everything to me.”

This cannot continue.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-11-29/gay-refugees-flee-uganda/8074964

They really like us, don’t they

African states have launched a bid at the United Nations to halt the work of the first U.N. independent investigator appointed to help protect gay and transgender people worldwide from violence and discrimination.

The 47-member U.N. Human Rights Council created the position in June and in September appointed Vitit Muntarbhorn of Thailand for three years to investigate abuses against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people.

“We … call for the suspension of the activities of the appointed Independent Expert pending the determination of this issue,” Botswana’s U.N. Ambassador Charles Ntwaagae, speaking for the 54-member Africa group, told the committee. The group was concerned that “non-internationally agreed notions such as sexual orientation and gender identity are given attention, to the detriment of issues of paramount importance such as the right to development and the racism agenda.”

Ntwaagae said that sexual orientation and gender identity “are not and should not be linked to existing international human rights instruments.”

The UN does not have a great record on protecting our rights. In June a group of 51 Muslim states blocked 11 gay and transgender organizations from officially attending a high-level U.N. meeting on ending AIDS, which led to a protest by the United States, Canada and the European Union.

http://www.voanews.com/a/african-nations-seek-halt-work-united-nations-gay-rights-investigator/3581758.html

Ugandan police busy investigating bottoms

Gay Activist has been reporting outrageous treatment of gay men in Uganda for years.

Ugandan police are using implements to inspect men anally to determine whether they have been engaging in gay sex, reports the Daily Mail.

In January 2014, Jackson Mukasa was asleep in his home in Kampala when he heard a large gang chanting ‘the homos are in there!’ The gang had brought the police with them, who burst into the private house.

Mukasa and a friend who was staying with him were arrested and taken away for questioning. Both of them were subjected to anal examinations without their consent. “We were questioned, beaten again, forced to admit to homosexuality. They took us to a clinic in Kampala where we were examined. It is so painful. The doctor puts a machine up your rectum. It hurts so much, and there is blood.”

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3896042/In-Uganda-gay-men-say-police-use-torturous-method-prove-homosexuality.html