Uganda honors the work of this blog’s activist writer

The Ugandan government has honored LGBTI right-to-health activist / human rights defender / journalist Kikonyogo Kivumbi “in recognition of  his valuable services to Uganda.”

Kikonyogo Kivumbi (right) at his first meeting the Country Coordinating Mechanism board in 2015, where he represented LGBTI people, men who have sex with men (MSM), sex workers and intravenous drug users. At left is his elected alternate, Jude Ayebare.

Kikonyogo Kivumbi (right) at his first meeting the Country Coordinating Mechanism board in 2015, where he represented LGBTI people, men who have sex with men (MSM), sex workers and intravenous drug users. At left is his elected alternate, Jude Ayebare. (Photo courtesy of Uhspa Uganda)

Kivumbi, the executive director of Uganda Health and Science Press Association (Uhspa Uganda), is the Kampala-based correspondent for the Erasing 76 Crimes blog.

He said the award was for his “humble contribution” between 2014  and 2017 as a member of the board that helps to oversee Uganda’s fight against AIDS, the Country Co-ordinating Mechanism (CCM) of the Global Fund. Kivumbi was elected to that board as a representative of the nation’s key populations that are most at-risk of contracting AIDS, including sex workers and sexual minorities.

Award for the entire community

Right-to-health activist Kikonyogo Kivumbi at a meeting about health policy with current Ugandan Vice President Edward Ssekandi. (Photo courtesy of Uhspa Uganda)

Right-to-health activist Kikonyogo Kivumbi at a meeting about health policy with current Ugandan Vice President Edward Ssekandi. (Photo courtesy of Uhspa Uganda)

“[The award] is written in my name,” Kivumbi said. “But this win for the entire LGBTI and sex workers community in Uganda.”

“It is an award for all our allies who stood with us. They were mocked, ridiculed and called filthy and disgusting because they came out to openly demand access to health for all without discrimination.”

Kivumbi worked hard to ensure that openly self-identifying LGBTI, sex workers and other key populations would have a voice on the Global Fund board. That goal is consistent with the Global Fund strategy of striving for inclusion and non-discrimination in all countrywide health program.

The work of the CCM board

The CCM board is hosted by the Uganda Aids Commission (UAC) under the office of the Ugandan president. It is responsible for coordinating submissions of proposals, processing requests for continued funding, selecting principal recipients as well as overseeing all Global Fund to fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) grants.

The Uganda CCM is a national multi-stakeholder public-private partnership. The Uganda CCM comprises of members from the central government, civil society organizations (CSOs), the academic sector, the private sector, UN agencies and others.

After leaving the board, Kivumbi said, he has taken on the role of mentor for other right-to-health activists.

Specioza Kazibwe (right), former Ugandan vice president, and right-to-health activist Kikonyogo Kivumbi (left) at a dinner honoring people promoting improved access to health care for Ugandans. (Photo courtesy of Uhspa Uganda)

Specioza Kazibwe (right), former Ugandan vice president, and right-to-health activist Kikonyogo Kivumbi (left) at a dinner honoring people promoting improved access to health care for Ugandans. (Photo courtesy of Uhspa Uganda)

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Source: 76crimes

Anti-gay Cameroon landlord fails to evict gay tenant

A gay man named Deon tried to be a model tenant, but his anti-gay landlord still wanted to evict him. Then the neighbors got involved.


EXCLUSIVE REPORT. Reporting like this depends on your support. Help us combat anti-LGBT discrimination


By Steeves Winner

Deon (a pseudonym) always paid his rent on time. He was quiet and well-behaved, and frequently found himself under observation by the landlord, who lived upstairs.

Deon tells what happened:

In the week of Aug. 20, 2018 in the Damas district of Yaoundé, Cameroon, Deon’s anti-gay landlord made clear that he did not like him entertaining male visitors late at night.

Deon responded that the landlord had no reason to intrude in his private life as long as Deon abided by the terms of the lease and did not disturb public tranquillity.

His visitors are part of his private life and no one needs to take any interest in them, he said.

On August 23, at a time when Deon was away from home, the landlord argued with one of Deon’s friends who had come for a visit. The landlord called him a “man-woman.”

Growing angry, the friend threatened the landlord and told him to butt out of his private life.

Location of Bafoussam in Cameroon. (Map courtesy of Wikipedia)

Location of Yaoundé in Cameroon. (Map courtesy of Wikipedia)

When Deon returned, the landlord told Deon to leave the premises and not return. The landlord’s reason: Deon was keeping strange company.

In response, Deon said nothing. He just went to his room and locked himself in.

The next morning, the landlord started knocking on the door by shouting that he wanted every homosexual to leave his house.

Deon reminded him that his lease would not expire until November. He said he would demand a refund if he was forced to leave before then.

At that, the landlord spat at him and hit him with a stick. Deon defended himself. The two men struggled until neighbors intervened and separated them.

Deon decided not to file charges against the landlord for verbal and physical aggression. Instead, he agreed to let neighbors arbitrate.

Under the neighbors’ persuasion, the landlord acknowledged that he had made a mistake. Deon was allowed to stay in the house. So far, peace reigns in the house where men formerly fought and insulted each other.

Looking ahead, Dean said, “I do not intend to leave because I feel good about this place. My sex life does not involve anyone other than me, so I have to educate people around me to accept me.

“Anyway, it would be useless to move,” he added. “Wherever I went, it would be the same. It’s better for me to stay where I am already known and accepted.”


Steeves Winner, the author of this article, is an activist for LGBTI rights in Cameroon who writes under a pseudonym. Contact him at steeves.w@yahoo.com

Related articles:

 

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Source: 76crimes

Nigeria: ‘Preposterous’ rationale for 57 gay arrests

“Preposterous” is the response of a West African religious network to last weekend’s arrest of 57 people on homosexuality charges at a Lagos area hotel.

State police Commissioner Imohimi Edgal (left); arrested suspects (right) (Photo courtesy of Akahi News)

State police Commissioner Imohimi Edgal (left); dozens of arrested suspects (right) (Photo courtesy of Akahi News)

Witnesses and party-goers said they came to the hotel to attend a wedding and a birthday party. But police raided the hotel, arrested men, spared women and declared that the men were homosexuals who had gathered for a gay initiation ceremony.

The Interfaith Diversity Network of West Africa stated:

This was a birthday party that had both males and females in attendance. The police barged into the party and arrested the males, including taxi drivers and food vendors outside the venue, and trumped up vague charges of a cult initiation into homosexuality. A charge that is preposterous and lacks evidence.

One unflinching question that should create doubts in our mind is why were the females in attendance not also arrested? This further proves the arrested persons are just victim of circumstances.

Many denials

Local media quoted many of the suspects denying the police allegations that the gathering was anything other than a normal party attended by both men and women. They particularly denied that it was a homosexual initiation (whatever that would be — apparently a weird homophobic fantasy about homosexuality as a cult).

This is the Premium Times report, which includes some of the police allegations and many suspects’ denials:

Nigeria Police storm hotel, arrest 57, accuse them of homosexuality

The police in Lagos said they arrested 57 men for alleged homosexual activity at Kelly Ann Hotel/ Event Centre in Egbeda, Lagos, on Sunday morning.

State police Commissioner Imohimi Edgal: The raid was based on information from a "reliable source." (Photo courtesy of Vanguard News)

State police Commissioner Imohimi Edgal: The “gay arrests” in the raid were based on information from a “reliable source.” (Photo courtesy of Vanguard News)

Imohimi Edgal, the state police commissioner, told journalists during a press conference Monday that police, led by the divisional police officers of Shasha and Idimu, acting upon an information provided by a reliable source stormed the hotal at 2 am.

“On arrival, young men numbering about 80 were met in a hall taking different types of drinks including banned substance like Tramadol, Shisha laced with substances suspected to be Marijuana,” Mr Edgal added.

“When the men sighted the police, they took to their heels but the police arrested 57 of them.”

One of the arrested suspects, Wealth Olasunkanmi, a 25-year-old graduate of Mass Communication from the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye, told journalists they were attending a birthday party.

“It was a birthday party and majority of us don’t know one another. I was invited by my friend Muyiwa for the party, and we were not only guys in the party, few ladies were with us and other ladies were in the hotel rooms getting dressed for the party. Since it was a party, a social gathering, there were lots of males than females.

‘Police just barged in’

“The police just barged in and arrested people, I was outside the hall buying a drink when I was arrested. They also arrested few ladies but they let go of the ladies. The police didn’t allow us know our offence until we reached the police station yesterday. At first, the police told us that they found some illegal drugs with us such as shisha, tramadol and others but those that owned this came out and claimed possession of it, it is not a general thing.

“They also accused us of being homosexuals, I am not one, I went there to party. They also accused us of being initiated but no initiation material was founded with us or at the venue.”

Another suspect, Samuel Rotimi, 22, said, “We were contributing gate pass for the party when the policemen emerged. It was a birthday party and there were ladies there too, we are not gays.”

James Brown, 20, said he went to perform at the party when he was arrested.

“I went there to work and get paid. The party was on Saturday and it is (was) meant to be overnight. I was arrested and have been denied to even take my drugs which is for medical reasons.”

Smart Jones, another suspect, said he had gone to have fun on Saturday night and on seeing the activities in the hotel, decided to go in.

“I am not gay and I don’t know any of them, it was even when we got to the police station that I got to know that it was a birthday party.”

Daniel Sokari, 23, said he had come to the hotel to lodge on his way back from a pageant, ‘Mr Tourism Nigeria’, which was held in Lekki.

“I left there (Lekki) at 6 pm, there was traffic due to the Third Mainland Bridge closure, we took alternative route which was a long tour that was why I got to the hotel late to lodge.

“I live in Rivers State and only came for the pageantry. I was at the reception when the police came and they told me to lie down which I gladly did since I knew I had not committed any crime. But I was accused of being a gay.

“All efforts to explain to the police and show them the evidence of my invitation to the pageantry and pictures proved abortive,” he added.

This is the full statement from the Interfaith Diversity Network of West Africa (IDNOWA):

Statement from IDNOWA

Logo of the Interfaith Diversity Network of West Africa

Logo of the Interfaith Diversity Network of West Africa

Aug. 28, 2018 — Interfaith Diversity Network of West Africa (IDNOWA) is a religious-based network that is inclusive of all individuals irrespective of their ethnicity,race,sexuality or gender identity. We stand for the protection of fundamental freedom of every individual irrespective of their sexual orientation and identity.

Our organisation was founded on the bed rock principle that God is love and God loves every human being; every human being is created equally and in the image and likeness of God.

Recently, there have been various reports from different parts of Nigeria where government officials and state actors abuse innocent citizens of Nigeria because of their perceived sexual orientation.  Most of these arrests are unlawful as the due process of the law wasn’t followed and there is no substantive evidence for prosecuting the victims other than fabricated theories and hearsay stories. Fear and bigotry are enshrined in laws that infringes on the rights of human beings as stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which most countries have adopted and domesticated.

On the 26th of August 2018, 58 young men were arrested in a party at Kelly Ann Hotels in Egbeda, Lagos. This was a birthday party that had both males and females in attendance. The police barged into the party and arrested the males including taxi drivers and food vendors outside the venue and trumped up vague charges of a cult initiation into homosexuality. A charge that is preposterous and lacks evidence. One unflinching question that should create doubts in our mind is why were the females in attendance not also arrested? This further proves the arrested persons are just victim of circumstances.

Rights have been violated

The rights of these individuals have been violated as they are being tortured and paraded as criminals on national and local television and other news outlets.

IDNOWA firmly opposes the criminalisation and acts of violence on citizens based on their perceived sexual orientation. We stand in solidarity with every person irrespective of how they choose to identify in affirming the dignity and equality of all persons. We are calling out to all civil societies, human rights defenders and every individual who has the capacity to join us and speak against this menace and oppression against citizens of Nigeria.

Human Rights are universal and everyone is entitled to enjoy this right.

Related articles:

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Source: 76crimes

Uganda: Homophobic archbishop will retire

The homophobic Anglican Archbishop of the Church of Uganda,  Stanley Ntagali, has said he will retire on March 1, 2020.

Archbishop Stanley Ntagali greets at Entebbe Airport on his return from England on Jan. 16. (Photo courtesy of the Church of Uganda)

Archbishop Stanley Ntagali in 2016. (Photo courtesy of the Church of Uganda)

Local Ugandan media is reporting that Archbishop Ntagali will leave the top leadership position in the Church of Uganda in 2020 when he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 65.

Archbishop Ntagali made the revelation while addressing the provincial assembly of the Church of Uganda on Friday at All Saints Church Nakasero in Kampala.

“On March 1, 2020, I will be clocking 65 years and, as you know, our constitution requires us to retire at 65,” he said.

On Friday, the Anglican Church officially commissioned the 11-storey Church House on Kampala Road, which was opened by Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda as the representative of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.

While commissioning the building, Archbishop Ntagali said it is meant to ensure sustainable flow of rental income for the church so it will not  depend only on offerings from Christians.

Archbishop Ntagali has been a vocal opponent of homosexuality and of churches that do not discriminate against LGBTI people.

Under his leadership, the Church of Uganda in 2016 boycotted a top Anglican Communion summit in the Zambian capital Lusaka over failure by the top church leadership in Canterbury to disassociate itself from the practice.

Related articles:

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Source: 76crimes

Cameroon: two men kiss in public. Result: a beating

In Cameroon, some people’s views of homosexuality are “evolving,” says the CamerounWeb news site. But that didn’t help two men who kissed in public last week. Beating homosexuals is acceptable for too many in Cameroon.

Yaounde street scene like the location where two alleged homosexuals recently underwent a beating. (Photo from multiple online sources)

Yaounde street scene (Photo from multiple online sources)

CamerounWeb.com reported:

Yaoundé: two alleged homosexuals beaten in Nkozoa

The two men were surprised kissing next to their vehicle, eyewitnesses reported. Motorcycle drivers and residents of Nkozoa, a neighborhood on the outskirts of Yaoundé, confirmed that the two alleged homosexuals were beaten.

“One of them was wearing make-up, women’s clothing and shoes,” said a motorcycle driver who was at the scene.

Witnesses agree that several angry individuals beat up the two alleged homosexuals on the night of Monday to Tuesday [Aug. 20-21] after the two men returned from a trip and kissed before separating.

“The driver came to drop his boyfriend and we saw how the two men kissed in front of the door of their vehicle. We beat the devil out of them,” added another motorcycle driver.

The two alleged homosexuals managed to escape their grasp and run away. No resident of the neighborhood was offended by what was done to the pair, witnesses said.

Cameroon is one of the [33] African countries that criminalize homosexuality.

Article 347-1 of the Cameroon Penal Code provides punishment of “imprisonment from six (06) months to five (05) years and a fine of twenty thousand (20,000) to two hundred thousand (200,000) FCFA [about U.S. $35 to $350 for] any person who has sex with a person of his sex.”

Although homosexuality is still criminalized, attitudes about it are evolving for some people. However, for a majority of Cameroonians, it’s an unpleasant experience to see two people of the same sex holding hands.

Related articles:

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Source: 76crimes

10,000 march against anti-gay laws (boosted by this blog)

Ten thousand people marched through Amsterdam last month to seek the repeal of 76 countries’ anti-gay laws. Many of them wore “Erasing 76 Crimes” T-shirts as they carried placards honoring 59 heroes of the worldwide struggle for recognition of the human rights of sexual minorities.

Marchers wearing black T-shirts with "Erasing 76 Crimes" on the back carry the flags of nations of anti-gay laws. (Photo courtesy of Pride Walk)

Marchers wearing black “Erasing 76 Crimes” T-shirts carried the flags of nations with anti-gay laws. (Photo courtesy of Pride Walk)

In a “Flags of Shame” protest, marchers carried the flags of dozens of countries with anti-LGBTI laws.

The ambassador of Canada, co-chair of the international Equal Rights Coalition (ERC), spoke to the crowd. Among the demonstrators were 125 participants from 14 embassies of countries that are members of the ERC. Protesters included three ambassadors, two consul-generals, other high-ranking officials, and some 100 diplomatic staff members.

Two of the honored Heroes of Our Community at Pride Walk 2018 were activists whose court challenges overturned anti-gay laws in their countries: Caleb Orozco of Belize and Jason Jones of Trinidad. (Photos courtesy of Pride Walk)

Two of the honored Heroes of Our Community at Pride Walk 2018 were activists whose court challenges overturned anti-gay laws in their countries: Caleb Orozco of Belize and Jason Jones of Trinidad. (Photos courtesy of Pride Walk)

 

Troop of marchers attired in Erasing 76 Crimes t-shirts. (Photo courtesy of YouTube)

Troop of marchers attired in Erasing 76 Crimes T-shirts. (Photo courtesy of YouTube)

During the closing ceremony, Pride Walk organizer Hans Verhoeven expressed thanks to the Erasing 76 Crimes blog for its work. The blog helped compile information about countries with anti-gay laws and nominated many of the LGBT rights movement’s heroes. March organizers honored a total of 59 activists from Africa, the Americas, the Middle East and Asia. Those activists represented the thousands of “Heroes of Our Community” working for justice throughout the world.

Pride Walk 2018.

Pride Walk 2018.

Pride Walk was celebrated on July 28, marking the beginning of Pride Week in Amsterdam.

The 76 countries targeted in the march were the 74 countries with anti-homosexuality laws and two countries (Russia and Lithuania) with anti-“gay propaganda” laws.

Pride Walk 2018 honored Caribbean activist Maurice Tomlinson and Nigerian activist Mike Daemon, both of whom often write for this blog. (Photos courtesy of Pride Walk)

Pride Walk 2018 honored Caribbean activist Maurice Tomlinson and Nigerian activist Mike Daemon, both of whom often write for this blog. (Photos courtesy of Pride Walk)

Related articles about last year’s Pride Walk:
Speakers at Pride Walk 2018 included the Canadian ambassador, Sabine Nölke, and protest organizer Hans Verhoeven. (Photo courtesy of Pride Walk)

Speakers at Pride Walk 2018 included the Canadian ambassador, Sabine Nölke, and protest organizer Hans Verhoeven. (Photo courtesy of Pride Walk)

Dozens of marchers carried the rainbow banner. (Photo courtesy of YouTube)

Dozens of marchers carried the rainbow banner. (Photo courtesy of YouTube)

Banner at the front of  marchers carrying the flags of nations with anti-gay laws. (Photo courtesy of YouTube)

Banner explained why marchers were carrying the flags of nations with anti-gay laws. (Photo courtesy of YouTube)

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Source: 76crimes

500 protesters demand freedom for activist singer

More than 500 Ugandans and their allies protested in London for the release of opposition politician/singer Robert Kyagulanyi, whose stage name is Bobi Wine. They also demanded equality for all Ugandan citizens, including LGBTI people.

Protesters in London demand an end to repression in Uganda and the release of singer and opposition politician Robert Kyagulanyi, whose stage name is Bobi Wine. (Photo courtesy of the African Equality Foundation)

Protesters in London demand an end to repression in Uganda and the release of singer and opposition politician Robert Kyagulanyi, whose stage name is Bobi Wine. (Photo courtesy of the African Equality Foundation)

The protest on Thursday (Aug. 23) in London focused on Ugandan corruption and repression in general, but specifically on the mistreatment of Kyagulanyi.

Kyagulanyi was arrested on firearms charges on Aug. 13 after his driver was shot by security forces during a political campaign visit to the town of Arua. Those charges were dropped on Thursday, but he was immediately re-arrested and charged with treason in connection with an incident of rocks being thrown at President Yoweri Museveni, also in Arua on Aug. 13.

Kyagulanyi is seeking his release on bail so his family can fly him out of the country for medical treatment of injuries he has suffered while in custody.

Protests against his mistreatment and the government’s handling of the case have been held at several locations in Uganda as well as in Nairobi and London.

Organizers of Thursday’s demonstration in London reported:

Outside the Ugandan embassy and the official residence of the UK prime minister, the protesters held placards with messages demanding for an end to dictatorship, torture, corruption and imprisonment of singer-politician Bobi Wine and others in Uganda by the Museveni regime. They demanded equality for all citizens including LGBTI people.

Additionally, the messages included demands for the UK to impose sanctions on the Ugandan regime; for the UK to stop colluding with Uganda’s tyrant Museveni, putting an end to 33 years of terror in Uganda; and for the Ugandan army to stop murdering and torturing civilians.

Protesters in London demand an end to repression in Uganda and the release of singer and opposition politician Robert Kyagulanyi, whose stage name is Bobi Wine. (Photo courtesy of the African Equality Foundation)

Protesters in London demand an end to repression in Uganda and the release of singer and opposition politician Robert Kyagulanyi, whose stage name is Bobi Wine. (Photo courtesy of the African Equality Foundation)

The protest was held just an hour after Bobi Wine (the stage name of Ugandan member of parliament Robert Kyagulanyi) was presented before a general court martial and a magistrates court in the northern part of Uganda.

The protesters were entertained by Ugandan UK-based musicians who sang the inspiring songs by Hon Bobi Wine. It was refreshing to see that some people came with their families, including younger children dressed in red, a colour that symbolises the people power movement in Uganda.

Protesters outside Uganda House in London on Aug. 23 demand an end to repression in Uganda and the release of singer and opposition politician Robert Kyagulanyi, whose stage name is Bobi Wine. (Photo courtesy of the African Equality Foundation)

Protesters outside Uganda House in London on Aug. 23 demand an end to repression in Uganda and the release of singer and opposition politician Robert Kyagulanyi, whose stage name is Bobi Wine. (Photo courtesy of the African Equality Foundation)

Protesters danced to the social, economic and political transformation music composed and song by  Bobi Wine. They echoed the famous lines of the Freedom song by the jailed musician:

“We are fighting for Freedom.

See our leaders becoming misleaders.

See our mentors becoming tormentors,

Freedom fighters becoming dictators.

They look on the youth and say we are distractors.

We are fighting for freedom.

The fight for democracy requires everybody to get involved no matter your age, gender, sexual orientation, job, tribe, among others.”

According to Ugandan human rights activist Edwin Sesange, “Bobi Wine is using his music to change Uganda. Even though Bobi previously had a different view toward the LGBTI community, he has apologised and his views have evolved. He has composed many songs calling for tolerance and respect for all Ugandans, irrespective of their differences. He is the kind of politician Uganda and the world needs now.”

Prince Dickson Wasajja, the chairman of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) UK , told the crowd:

“The Ugandan government should stop using the state machinery to persecute, torture, murder and silence opposition politicians. Even though the government lost interest in the case in which Bobi Wine was charged for possession of guns and ammunition, it is a public secret known many in Uganda and internationally that these guns were planted to implicate Hon Bobi Wine. This primitive act should stop, and this is the time for tyrant Museveni to go.”

Protester Godfrey Kawalya said:

“It is very sad to see that the Hon Bobi Wine was rearrested immediately after being set free by the infamous Uganda general court martial. This is not the kind of Uganda that United Kingdom should call their closest ally. I therefore call on the UK government to impose sanctions on the dictator and expel Uganda from the Commonwealth for its escalating abuse of the basic human rights.”

Protester Josephine A. called on the protesters to lobby their members of parliament to continue putting pressure on the UK government to put sanctions on Uganda for its abuse of human rights and to demand a peaceful transition in Uganda.

Related articles:

 

 

 

 

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Source: 76crimes

Cameroon: Blog readers again help feed 3 gay inmates

The three ill-fed victims of Cameroon’s anti-gay law at Yaoundé’s central prison will soon receive another delivery of much-needed food thanks to generous readers of this blog.

Three sketches represent the three gay prisoners at Yaoundé's central prison. Cameras are not allowed in the prison.

Three sketches represent the three gay prisoners at Yaoundé’s central prison. Cameras are not allowed in the prison.

The three young men are serving sentences for no crime other than being homosexual.

Two of them, Olivier and Albert, are nearing the end of four-year prison sentences. They are partners, ages 26 and 24, who both trained for careers in the restaurant business, had saved up money and opened a small eating establishment in Yaoundé.


HELP US HELP THEM

Support this blog’s work on behalf of homophobia’s victims in Cameroon and elsewhere.


But in 2014 a homophobic neighbor reported them to police. They were arrested, tried and convicted of violating Article 347-bis of Cameroon’s penal code, under which same-sex intimacy is punishable by a prison sentence of six months to five years.

Eric, a 24-year-old singer and dancer, has been serving an eight-month sentence, also for violating Article 347-bis. He was charged with homosexuality by police who arrested him in January outside a cabaret where he was performing. They found lubricating gel in his possession and photos of naked men on this phone.

Like Olivier and Albert, he is scheduled to be released in late September.

Prisoners get only one meal a day, so they need the supplementary nutrition that support for this blog’s Not Alone / Pas Seul project make possible.

The donations have come from Mexico, the United States, France and Luxembourg.

Readers were also invited to send the prisoners some words of encouragement in addition to the food.  Reader/donor Kenneth Fyrsterling has already sent a long message of encouragement to the prisoners, which this blog published in French and in English.

The budget for the August-September delivery is 100,000 CFA francs (about US $175). Of that, 20,000 was donated in cash in Cameroon. The remaining 80,000 is in the process of being transferred from the foundation’s account in the United States to activist journalist Steeves Winner in Cameroon.

Food prepared for delivery on Aug. 7 to gay prisoners at Yaoundé Central Prison in Cameroon. (Photo courtesy of Steeves WInner)

Food at Camfaids headquarters before the previous delivery on Aug. 7 to gay prisoners at Yaoundé Central Prison in Cameroon. (Photo courtesy of Steeves Winner)

The money will be used to purchase a month’s worth of  rice, tapioca, sugar, bouillon cubes, tomatoes , onions, pasta, cooking oil, etc., and for the expenses of making sure that it is delivered to the prisoners as planned.

The food will be delivered to the prisoners by the LGBTI advocacy group Humanity First Cameroon, this month’s partner organization in the project. The previous month’s delivery was made by the LGBTI advocacy group Camfaids (the Cameroonian Foundation for AIDS). Cooperating with sometimes-squabbling local advocacy organizations is part of the goal of the project.

The food purchase and verification of the delivery will be overseen by Winner and by Jason Mballa of Adepev (the Cameroonian group  Action for the Development and Fulfillment of Vulnerable People). Mballa is a member of the project’s local advisory committee for the Pas Seul / Not Along project.

For more information about each of the three prisoners, read these articles in the blog:

For more information about the Pas Seul / Not Alone project, read:

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Source: 76crimes

Malaysia: Plea to stop Aug. 28 caning for same-sex love

“Malaysia’s new government should stand against discrimination and brutality and foster a culture of tolerance and equality,” says Graeme Reid, director of the LGBT rights program at Human Rights Watch. “As part of that effort, it should seek to abolish all laws against same-sex conduct and end the cruel practice of caning once and for all.”

Location of Brunei and Malaysia. (Map courtesy of SitesAtlas.com)

Location of Malaysia. (Map courtesy of SitesAtlas.com)

HRW issued this statement:

Malaysia: Two Women Face Caning for Same-Sex Conduct

Criminalizing LGBT Relations Fosters Intolerance, Discrimination

(Bangkok, August 22, 2018) – Malaysian authorities should drop the case against two women for same-sex relations before their scheduled caning on August 28, 2018, Human Rights Watch said today. A court convicted the two on August 12 of violating a state Shariah law that criminalizes sex between women and sentenced each to six strokes of the cane and an RM 3,300 (US$800) fine.

The Malaysian government should ban the punishment of caning, which constitutes torture under international human rights law, Human Rights Watch said.

“The scheduled caning of two women is the latest blow to Malaysia’s LGBT community, which had hoped for better protection under the country’s new government,” said Graeme Reid, director of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights program at Human Rights Watch. “This prosecution and punishment will only fuel the recent wave of homophobia and transphobia in Malaysia.”

Under Malaysia’s Constitution, each state is empowered to enact laws governing offenses by Muslims against Islamic precepts.

The state of Terengganu, like most states in Malaysia, has outlawed sexual relations between women, or musahaqah. Local media quoted the prosecutor in the case as saying this will be the first time women have been caned for same-sex relations in the state.

Caning is considered cruel and inhuman punishment under international law and should be abolished, Human Rights Watch said. The criminalization of sexual relations between women also violates Malaysia’s obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), which Malaysia ratified in 1995. At the conclusion of Malaysia’s most recent CEDAW review in March 2018, the CEDAW Committee called on Malaysia to “amend all laws which discriminate against LBTI women, including the provisions of the Penal Code and Syariah laws that criminalise same-sex relations between women and cross-dressing,” and “to prohibit the whipping of women as a form of punishment.”

Fuziah Salleh, Malaysian deputy minister, says LGBT people are unwanted as role models for  children. (Photo courtesy of  Pkrnegeripahang.blogspot.com)

Fuziah Salleh, Malaysian deputy minister, says LGBT people are unwanted as role models for children. (Photo courtesy of Pkrnegeripahang.blogspot.com)

The case comes at a time when the new government’s position on the rights of LGBT people in Malaysia is under intense scrutiny. On August 8, the government minister for religious affairs ordered the removal of portraits of a transgender rights activist and an LGBT rights activist from a display of photographs of Malaysians at the Georgetown Festival, citing the government’s policy of “not promoting LGBT rights.” Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Fuziah Salleh defended the action by saying LGBT people are unwanted as “role models for their children.” A mufti, or Islamic law jurist, from Penang, likened LGBT activism to fighting “for the freedom of animals.”

In addition to the discriminatory state Shariah (Islamic) laws, section 377A of the federal penal code, a British colonial relic, outlaws “carnal intercourse against the order of nature,” defined as oral or anal intercourse between a man and another person of any sex, punishable by up to twenty years in jail and a whipping. Section 377D of the penal code also outlaws “any act of gross indecency with another person” – historically intended to refer to same-sex conduct – punishable by up to two years in prison.

“Malaysia’s new government should stand against discrimination and brutality and foster a culture of tolerance and equality,” Reid said. “As part of that effort, it should seek to abolish all laws against same-sex conduct and end the cruel practice of caning once and for all.”

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Source: 76crimes

Protesters: Uganda must free tortured activist singer

Protesters in London are demanding an end to the torture and detention of Ugandan activist singer/politician Robert Kyagulanyi. The protest is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. tomorrow (Thursday, Aug. 23) in London.

Poster seeks the release of Bobi Wine (Ugandan member of parliament Robert Kyagulanyi)

Poster seeks the release of Bobi Wine (Ugandan member of parliament Robert Kyagulanyi)

The opposition politician/singer, whose stage name is Bobi Wine. was arrested on firearms charges last week after his driver was shot by security forces.

He is supported by the LGBT community. Although he supported Uganda’s short-lived, harsh Anti-Homosexuality Act in 2014, he changed his mind in 2016 and began calling for tolerance.

This is the statement from the protesters:

Uganda: Stop the torture of singer Hon Robert Kyagulanyi also known as Bobi Wine & other opposition activists

Museveni regime is seeking to destroy all political opponents

Join our peaceful protest in London against dictatorship, torture, corruption and imprisonment of singer Bobi Wine and other opposition activists in Uganda by the Museveni regime

Date: Thursday 23 August 2018
Time: 12:30pm
Venue: Uganda High Commission
Address: 58-59 Trafalgar Square (south side) London WC2N 5DX
Nearest tube station: Charing Cross.

The protest is organised by Ugandans in the United Kingdom and their allies.

According to the Chairman of The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) UK and Europe Chapter Prince Dickson Wasajja, on 13 August 2018, Ugandan state agents shot and killed Yasin Kawuma, a driver of one of the famous opposition politicians, Robert Kyagulanyi. They have been arresting opposition politicians on trumped-up charges. The victims have been brutally tortured. Some of the women have been heavily kicked in the stomach, and their internal organs are reported to be damaged (says protest organiser)

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni

He adds, since then, many journalists and innocent people have been tortured by the Uganda People’s Defence Forces under the command of President Yoweri Museveni, who has been in power for the last 33 years. Some of the arrested Members of Parliament like Hon Robert Kyagulanyi and Hon Zaake have been tortured beyond recognition. They have been detained in military barracks, with limited medical care and access to their loved ones.

Bobi Wine’s wife, Mrs Barbie Kyagulanyi, said:

“We nearly lost Bobi Wine and others to torture by the state operatives. Bobi Wine cannot stand on his own, his face is swollen and deformed. He has many wounds all over his body, he was carried into the room where we saw him, he speaks with difficulty and has great pain in the left side ribs and hips. Bobi Wine should be getting expert medical care in a hospital not in the military barracks.”

She continued: “Bobi Wine is in a bad physical shape after being tortured by the state operatives but he has not lost his resolve to fight for a better Uganda.”

Robert Kyagulanyi at political rally in March 2018. (Photo courtesy of SoftPower News)

Robert Kyagulanyi at political rally in March 2018. (Photo courtesy of SoftPower News)

Hon Bobi Wine’s brother Eddie Yawe says Bobi Wine is not a violent person. He uses music to inspire people to change however the government has resorted to violence against a decent a musician who uses music as a medium for social, economic and political transformation change. I call upon the music fraternity both local and international to offer support to the cause.

Medard Segona, a lawyer and politician representing Kyagulanyi, said:

“He is in great pain. He can’t talk, he can’t walk, he sits with a lot of difficulty, his face is swollen and cannot see because of the torture. He couldn’t speak when the charges were read to him and I believe he didn’t know what was going or understood the charges read to him during the court martial proceedings last week.”

The Inter-Religious Council of Uganda urged the government to ensure that everyone arrested is treated with dignity in accordance with their rights and that they access justice through open courts of law. It is unfortunate that in a country whose national motto is “For God and My Country”, people with different political orientations cannot tolerate each other.

Many people who know how President Museveni operates believe that the practice of planting evidence against political opponents and others has been going for many years and it has to stop.

African LGBTI activist Edwin Sesange (Photo courtesy of WorkersLiberty.org)

African LGBTI activist Edwin Sesange (Photo courtesy of WorkersLiberty.org)

According to Edwin Sesange, a Ugandan human rights activist and director of the African Equality Foundation:

“Uganda is a signatory to many international human rights conventions which prohibit torture, including the UN Convention Against Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatments or punishments. Additionally, Article 24 of the Uganda constitution 1995 enshrines the freedom from torture and Article 44(a) reaffirms that under no circumstance should any person be tortured in Uganda. In 2012 the Ugandan government enacted the Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Act. However, all the above conventions are being violated by the government assisted by the army and other State forces in Uganda. Therefore, it is impossible to achieve equality under such a regime.”

Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has expressed support for the protest and the campaign against President Museveni’s despotic rule:

“This escalating repression has echoes of Zimbabwe twenty years ago. Museveni is the new Mugabe. He fixes elections and violently represses the opposition. The vicious assault, arrest, torture and detention of the popular signer Bobi Wine is symptomatic of the current wave of repression. Uganda should be suspended from the Commonwealth. I stand in solidarity with all Ugandans who are striving for democracy and human rights.”

Ugandan signers show their support for Bobi Wine, delivering gifts to his wife. (Ashraf Kasirye photo courtesy of New Vision)

Ugandan signers show their support for Bobi Wine, delivering gifts to his wife. (Ashraf Kasirye photo courtesy of New Vision)

Protest coordinator Miss Belinda Atim states that. “The UK government has been forthright on violations of human rights by other countries. However, they have been silent on Uganda. We, therefore, appeal to them to demand the following from the Uganda government:

  1. Immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners.
  2. Medical treatment and compensation for all torture victims.
  3. The rule of law.
  4. Free and fair elections.
  5. An immediate end to the killing, torture, framing and illegal detention of innocent Ugandans.
  6. An end to corruption and embezzlement of public funds”.

One of the organisers of the protest, Mr Godfrey Kawalya, said,

“For the past 33 years, the UK government has failed in its duty of care to protect the people of Uganda against the ruthless, dictatorial, corrupt, murderous and torturous regime led by Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. The tyrant uses the state machinery against political opponents by planting evidence on them, using this to justify their arrests, torture and illegal detention. Many Ugandans have been murdered and incapacitated by the regime with no action from the UK government and the international community. This is the time for action against dictatorship in Uganda. I appeal to every person to join our cause to end dictatorship and gloss human rights violation in Uganda.”

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Source: 76crimes