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Kenya: Landmark Decriminalise Same Sex Case #Repeal162

By | Kenya, News | No Comments
Exciting news from Kenya from the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission: #Repeal162
 
In 2013, the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (NGLHRC) embarked on an arduous strategic litigation journey that began when we sued for our right to register as a non-governmental organization. We came up against the opposition of Kenya’s NGO Board, the Attorney General and an organized religious front that attempted to curtail our constitutional rights.
 
We won that case and established that sexual and gender minorities are protected under Kenya’s 2010 Constitution.
Five years later, NGLHRC continues its work in public interest litigation with its most important case to date. In January, our case seeking to decriminalize consensual same sex received a mention at the High Court and was granted a hearing date. On February 22nd and 23rd this petition, challenging the constitutionality of Sections 162 a), c) and 165 of the Penal Code, will be heard in front of a three judge bench. If successful, the petition has the potential to drastically change the lives of many in Kenya’s LGBTIQ community by removing an outdated law used to criminalize, discriminate, harass and extort them.
 
All eyes will be on Kenya during this historic hearing.
 
2018 is also set to be the year that NGLHRC receives judgements on its two other strategic litigation cases, currently in the appeals phase:
• Petition 51 of 2015: Freedom from cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment under Article 25 of the Constitution of Kenya heard this week is set to receive a judgement on March 15th, 2018.
• A hearing date for our registration case, Petition 440 of 2013: Freedom Of Association Under Article 36 of the Constitution of Kenya is scheduled to be heard on the 15th of March 2018.
Landmark cases like this do not come cheap. By far, the costs of strategic litigation are our biggest financial burden year in year out. But cases like these not only change lives but also rewrite history. The impact of this kind of work is something NGLHRC, our partners and our community believe strongly in.
 
Which is why we need your support.
What we need:
 
1. DONATE: All of February and March we will be fundraising to offset our litigation costs with the goal of raising a million shillings. We know we can do this with your help. To donate, visit our M-Changa page.
[As an added bonus, the first 30 donations of Ksh 5,000 and above will receive a free NGLHRC coffee mug and sticker as a thank you (delivery within Nairobi).]
 
2. SHARE: Tell your friends, family and co-workers about us. Give the people in your life who support LGBT rights an opportunity to make an impact.
 
3. SPREAD THE WORD: Talk about our case. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and participate in our #Repeal162 campaign.
 
As always, we couldn’t do this work without you.
 
Shukran,
The NGLHRC Team

UGANDA: VIOLENT BREAK-IN TARGETS HUMAN RIGHTS GROUP

By | News, Uganda | No Comments

 

We stand in solidarity with our Ugandan colleagues after this cowardly attack. 
 
(Nairobi, February 9, 2018) – Ugandan rights organization Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum (HRAPF) was the target of a violent break-in on the night of February 8, 2018, Human Rights Watch said today. HRAPF works to protect the rights of marginalized groups including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people, and sex workers. The group reported that unidentified assailants broke into its office overnight, disabled parts of the security system, and slashed two guards with machetes, severely injuring them.
 
The break-in continues a string of burglaries and attacks on the offices of independent nongovernmental groups in Uganda, including a previous attack on HRAPF in May 2016, in which a security guard was beaten to death and documents were stolen. The Uganda police neither identified nor arrested suspects in that attack. According to DefendDefenders, a Kampala-based regional human rights organization, over 30 organizations in Uganda have experienced similar break-ins since 2012. No one has ever been prosecuted for any of the attacks.
 
“In failing to effectively investigate attacks on nongovernmental groups, the Uganda police send a clear message that human rights defenders are on their own, and cannot count on the authorities for basic protection,” said Maria Burnett, East Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “We are deeply concerned that the pattern of attacks and consistent lack of police investigations is a tactic to intimidate Uganda’s outspoken human rights activists.”
 
Following a series of attacks on nongovernmental organizations in 2016, including the attack on HRAPF, Human Rights Watch and 30 Ugandan and international human rights organizations sent a letter to the inspector general of police, Gen. Kale Kayihura, expressing grave concern about the wave of break-ins and assaults. The letter requested the police to issue a public statement clarifying the steps police had taken to investigate the attacks, and how the police would ensure that human rights defenders who had been attacked, including the HRAPF defenders, would be effectively protected from further acts of violence. The inspector general did not respond or issue such a statement.
 
The targeted groups work on a range of sensitive issues. HRAPF, for example, provides pro-bono legal aid services to LGBTI people and sex workers and conducts research and advocacy, including with the Uganda police. On February 8, the day of the attack, HRAPF staff had held a training session for police officers in the Elgon region on the rights of LGBTI people. Organizations working on land rights and the rights of journalists and women have also experienced break-ins, and in some cases, their security guards were attacked.
 
As a party to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Uganda is obligated to uphold a resolution adopted at the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights in May 2017 to take “necessary measures to provide human rights defenders with a conducive environment to be able to carry out their activities without fear of acts of violence, threat, intimidation, reprisal, discrimination, oppression, and harassment from State and non-State actors.”
 
The United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution in November 2017 calling on countries to actively support the work of human rights defenders, including by “duly investigating and condemning publicly all cases of violence and discrimination against human rights defenders.”
 
“The Uganda Police Force should respect its obligations under African and international law to protect human rights defenders,” Burnett said. “Police indifference to attacks targeting activist groups needs to end.”
 
https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/02/09/uganda-human-rights-group-targeted-violent-break

Egypt: police raids private party, nine men arrested

By | Egypt, News | No Comments

As reported in ILGA World’s weekly LGBulletIn:

~~~
Tuesday, January 16
Egypt: police raids private party, nine men arrested

 

Nine men have been imprisoned after police raided a private party in Egypt, Gay Star News wrote.

According to reports, law enforcements claimed they raided a house party in Alexandria after they received information saying ‘weird’ young men were frequently visiting an apartment, and found alleged evidence that sex parties were being held at the address.

The men were believed to be engaging in ‘debauchery’ – a behaviour that the head of Alexandria Security Directorate described as a ‘threat to public security’.

The arrests come amidst the ongoing crackdown against rainbow communities and civil society in general in Egypt, which started to intensify last September as seven persons were arrested and charged with “inciting immorality” for raising a rainbow flag at a concert in Cairo. At least 63 citizens were arrested in the weeks following the incident.

As ILGA’s State-Sponsored Homophobia reports, “sexual relations between consenting adult persons of the same sex in private are not prohibited in Egyptian law. However, as recorded the Law on the Combating of Prostitution, and the law against debauchery have been used liberally to imprison gay men in recent years.”

This latest incident is part of a government crackdown on the LGBTI community that began last year:

Namibia: Horrific hate crime against trans woman

By | Namibia, News | No Comments
A horrific hate crime against a trans woman in Namibia. PAI stands in solidarity with our Namibian sisters, siblings and brothers against this unspeakable incident. Content warning: transphobic violence.
 
It all goes unspoken, unnoticed and unattended as Trans Diverse experiences of violations lead to self victimization and ridicule..
 
Mary (not real name) a self identified Trans Woman prepares herself for the evening as she had plans with friends for dinner and thereafter a social setting to just chill awaited …
 
Mary prepared herself and heads off for dinner .. Spends the evening in great and loving company until she heads out to a common chill spot..
 
The night streams through with lots of fun and assertive interactions until Mary decided to call it a night…
 
Mary heads out to catch a cab at around 3am… The cab driver was so friendly and willing to take her to her destination..
 
AS they departed from the Bar the driver took the route to the local club Chez Ntemba and picked up two male passengers.. The drive was peaceful until the car came to a stop right before the City Police office “There is a off turn to your left on Simon Dr Vet street or bridge” says Mary..
 
She continues explaining “The next moment I see the two passengers grabbing my cellphone and the accessories I had… And then one guy grabs me and says “it’s people like you who have caused so much evil and devil things”… ” Today I will show you how to be a man” and there all hell broke loose… They forced themselves on me while one had an object in his hand as he grabbed my private parts… They rapped me and cut a few wounds on this toy between my legs”
 
Mary’s tears started rolling down her cheeks as she narrated her ordeal… She fumes as she cries and speaks out loud in reflection of previous experiences she had… “I can’t… this is just too much.. Why me?”
 
Trans Diverse persons in Namibia have endured and experienced gross violations, as Mary again chose not to report her case because she sees no relevance to advance a case that will not move anywhere…
 
Mary continues to share “I want nothing to do with any legal process or anything- I want nothing” she says as SHE sits back in her seat, eyes swollen from crying yet tears linger within..
It took so much to break through to Mary to atleast take up health services however we finally got to an agreement. Upon accessing services at Katutura Hospital- a whole process took place which spiralled so much fear in navigating the health care team and system itself to ensure access to services were attained for Mary.
 
The nurse’s and doctor found themselves in a situation where we first had to do instant sensitization and calming. This approach was to ensure Mary is still comfortable irrespective of the reactions we got.
 
This again is a manifestation that Trans Woman are still treated with phobia based on their bodies. Additionally Trans Diverse persons continue to disregard the need to access services for their wellbeing as they are entitled to it due to a number of reasons put forth by them.
 
“There is also this persona and fear that sharing my ordeal again would make me become a sample size of documentation in advocacy whilst cases are only taken while the services end once recorded” says Mary..
 
Something urgent needs to be done to raise awareness on safety in public and in private spaces… and how one can ensure that their wellbeing is taken care of as a whole…
 
By: Linda RM Baumann
18h45
21 January 2018
(Incident happened on Wednesday 18 January 2018- sharing and crafting the story is based on the comfort of the survivor… )
# RespectAllSurvivors #MaganoBshares

KENYA: Group seeks to quash parts of Penal Code outlawing gay sex

By | News, South Africa | No Comments

 

A group seeking to quash some provisions of the Penal Code that make it illegal for consensual gay and lesbian sex will call expert witnesses to support their case. Appearing before a Bench of three judges yesterday, Senior Counsel Paul Muite said they would call a psychiatrist to explain sexual orientation and why the State should not regulate matters of intimacy. …

https://www.businessdailyafrica.com/economy/Group-seeks-to-quash-parts-of-Penal-Code-outlawing-gay-sex/3946234-4269210-enpyb3/

South Africa: Wits’ CSiW Institute’s Call for Papers – Enslavement, Conflict & Forced Marriage in Africa

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Wits’ CSiW (Conjugal Slavery in War) Institution’s Call for Papers on “Enslavement, Conflict and Forced Marriage in Africa: Research Methods, Research Ethics, and the Political Economy of Knowledge Production” taking place at the University of Witwatersrand, 25-28 June 2018. We encourage PhD students, early career scholars, and other practitioners (esp. based in Africa) to apply.

This is the second Institute sponsored by the Conjugal Slavery in War research Partnership, which includes community-based and university partners. We look forward to a rich and diverse set of exchanges on the politics, methods and ethics of research in this area. If you have any questions, please email wits2018@gmail.com

The English call for proposals: CSIW jozi institute pitch final

The French: CSIW jozi institute pitch final_FR