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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

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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/

Apply for ISHR’s Human Rights Defender Advocacy Programme

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From ISHR (International Service for Human Rights):

Hi all,

I wanted to share the call for our big summer training programme, the Human Rights Defender Advocacy Programme (HRDAP) – deadline 11 December 2017.

As you may know, HRDAP is a two-week training taking place in Geneva in English. As well as receiving training modules on all the UN human rights mechanisms from a range of experts, participants will have the opportunity to build networks in Geneva and around the world, carry out lobbying of UN member States and UN staff, and learn from peers from all regions working on a variety of human rights issues.

HRDAP brings together defenders from across the globe, in particular LGBTI defenders, defenders working in migrant rights, in business and human rights, and defenders working to reclaim civil society space for WHRDs in restrictive environments.

 

While the focus is Geneva, the learnings are much more widely applicable. And I think it’s important to emphasise the value of an advocate getting two weeks away from their national context, surrounded by other individuals facing similar challenges in different places, helping to build solidarity and understanding. A few former ‘HRDAPers’ are on this mailing list and can hopefully back me up on that!

Please do share this call with defenders you think would benefit from the programme! And please get in touch if you know of strong candidates who’ve applied so we can be sure to consider them closely.

Many thanks,

NEWSLETTER: November 2017

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We’re proud to bring you our latest newsletter, filled with highlights of the last month’s news from around Africa, as well as the excitement and opportunity that next year brings in the form of the 4th Regional Conference.

The registrations for the conference open tomorrow, the 17th of November. Click here tomorrow to register for the conference: http://www.panafricailga.org/register/

Download the newsletter here: November Newsletter 2017

Update on Egypt: Horrifying new law to be passed

By | Egypt, News | No Comments

Since the 2 October arrests, the situation in Egypt continues to worsen. There will now be a bill passed into Egyptian law that will make Egypt one of the most anti-LGBTI countries in the world. According to an article on intomore.com, Egypt will be “enacting one of the world’s most sweeping and extreme pieces of anti-LGBTQ legislation following a harsh crackdown on the local queer community.

On Wednesday, member of parliament Ryad Abdel Sattar introduced a bill that would criminalize homosexuality in the North African nation, where sodomy isn’t prohibited current under law. Being found guilty for engaging in “perverted sexual relations” results in a one- to three-year prison sentence. Any subsequent conviction means five years behind bars. But the legislation goes much further than that. Similar to Russia’s anti-gay propaganda law, the bill attempts to totally extinguish LGBTQ life in Egypt. “Individuals that incite same sex relations… even if they don’t perform the act itself, will be punished to prison for a period no less than one year and no more than three years, as well as shutting down the venue,” the bill reads, specifically calling out spaces that “host” or “facilitate” LGBTQ events.

Multiple violations of the law, as in the prohibition against sodomy, entail a five-year sentence. The law also targets any media, whether audio or video, which is viewed as promoting homosexuality. Egypt’s Supreme Council for Media Regulation banned any mention of LGBTQ issues in news, radio, or television broadcasts earlier this month, unless the subject of discussion is repentance for sin. The bill’s ban on media promotion would likely function similarly, blocking any remotely positive mention of queer people. Anyone found guilty of circulating pro-LGBTQ propaganda will recieve a punishment of up to three years in jail, even if they aren’t queer or transgender.” Read more here.

Lastly, the extremely broad law prohibits Egyptians from carrying “any symbol or sign of the LGBTQ community,” a clear response to the hoisting of a rainbow Pride flag at a Mashrou’ Leila concert last month. The legislation also states that it’s illegal to “produce, sell, market, or promote such products.” Any violation results in a prison sentence of between one and three years.

Pan Africa ILGA continues to call on other countries to put pressure on Egypt to uphold the human rights treatise it is a signatory to. We stand with our Egyptian brothers, sisters and siblings.

As part of the efforts of the Alliance of Queer Egyptian Organizations (AQEO) in Advocacy and Lobbying, they’ve shared an overview and analysis of the context in which the Egyptian Parliament will be presented with a bill to criminalize homosexuality for consideration and voting, thus constituting one of the worst laws criminalizing sexual orientation around the world.

Also attached with this email a video produced by AQEO to promote the rejection of this law on a large scale.

Please post and share in your circles.

Overview of the new Anti LGBT+ Law in Egypt

Update on the Tanzanian arrests

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An update on the situation in Tanzania following the arrest of 13 activists. PAI is outraged at the lack of response to international pressure to release the 13, and we will continue to agitate for the rights of the detainees. You can help by signing the petition and sending the emails to be found in our last post on the situation.

27 October 2017
JOHANNESBURG

PRESS STATEMENT
The Initiative for Strategic Litigation in Africa confirms that three of its lawyers who were arrested in Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania on Tuesday 17 October 2017, and placed in unlawful detention from Friday 20 October 2017, were deported earlier this evening from Tanzania. It bears emphasis that no criminal charges were brought against them from the date of their arrest.

The remaining 9 are still being detained.

ISSUED BY ISLA

Tanzania arrests and detains 13 more activists on trumped up charges of ‘promoting homosexuality’! – Reprisals for Challenging the Government

By | News, Tanzania | No Comments

The government of Tanzania continued its clampdown on civil society and its affront to the rule of law, as thirteen activists were arrested on Tuesday, 17th October and charged with ‘promoting homosexuality’. These arbitrary arrests follow the arrest of 20 people on the 15th September in the Zanzibar territory, signalling a pattern on the part of Tanzanian government agents of violating the rights of its citizens on suspicion of homosexuality by illegally arresting, detaining and mistreating them. The group included local activists and lawyers who were attending a litigation strategy meeting to challenge Tanzania’s ban of the supply of HIV/AIDS prevention materials.

In a statement to MambaOnline, Amelia Motsepe, a representative for the Johannesburg-based Initiative for Strategic Litigation in Africa (ISLA), explained that two members of the group are South African, including Sibongile Ndashe, ISLA’s Executive Director. In her interview with MambaOnline, Motsepe said, “We do fear for their safety. We are not even sure in which police station they are.” Motsepe further denounced these arrests for being “irregular”, “malicious” and said that the offence of ‘promoting homosexuality’ does not exist in any statute in Tanzania.

MambaOnline goes on to report that the government is threatening to perform forced anal examinations on the detainees. These examinations have been used before in Tanzania and other countries in Africa, and are not only a flagrant violation of human rights, but are a form of torture. The Independent Forensic Expert Group (IFEG) has explained that “Anal examinations to ‘detect homosexuality’ have no scientific value, are unethical, and constitute cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and possibly torture. Sexual identity and orientation is not a disease or a crime and health professionals have no business diagnosing it or aiding State officials in policing and punishing people on the basis of their sexuality”. The International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT) joins the IFEG in condemning this cruel, inhuman and degrading practice as unethical and a clear violation of the UN Convention against Torture which Tanzania has ratified.

“The right for human rights defenders (HRDs) to promote, and protect human rights include the right to complain about and criticise the policies and actions of the government and its agents. Tanzania’s arrest and ill-treatment of HRDs for doing their job is an act of tyranny and a violation of fundamental rights and freedoms,” says Monica Tabengwa, Director of Pan Africa ILGA,

Pan Africa ILGA condemns these actions in the strongest terms and calls on organisations to join us in compelling the Tanzanian government to:

  • Immediately cease any plans to perform anal examinations on the arrested.
  • Immediately release those detained.
  • Uphold its constitution and the international treaties it is a signatory to by ceasing its unlawful arrest of its citizens on suspicion of homosexuality or incitement of homosexuality.

We call on all our members and human rights organisations to:

  • Sign the petition.
  • Sign and send the letter below to put pressure on the Tanzanian Government.

 

For more information on the current situation, the press statement released by the Initiative for Strategic Litigation in Africa and the Community Health Services and Advocacy group:

PRESS STATEMENT by ISLA and CHESA 
Dar-es-Salaam, 20 October 2016 – On Tuesday, 17 October 2017, a legal consultation convened by the Initiative for Strategic Litigation in Africa (ISLA) and Community Health Services and Advocacy (CHESA) was raided by the Tanzanian Police. The consultation was convened in order to get more instructions and evidence on a case that we plan to file before a court. The case concerns a challenge to government’s decision to limit the provision of certain health services that it had previously provided.

Thirteen people were detained and released on bail with no charges made. On Wednesday, the Regional Commissioner of police issued a press statement, referring to the “arrests” and stated that twelve people who were promoting homosexuality had been arrested. This mischaracterisation of a legal consultation where lawyers and their clients were discussing a very specific case to be referred to the court is unfortunate. The police had a copy of the concept note and the agenda of the consultation. Three lawyers were part of the group that was detained include ISLA’s executive director, Sibongile Ndashe. The bail was revoked on Friday 20 October 2017 with the view of starting the investigation afresh. All thirteen people are back in custody.

The Tanzanian Constitution enshrines the right to seek legal redress when fundamental rights have been violated (Art 30(3)). The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ rights, which Tanzania is a signatory to, also recognises an individual’s right to an appeal to competent national organs against acts violating his fundamental rights as recognised and guaranteed by conventions, laws and customs in force (Art 7(a)). Tanzania is a signatory to a number of international human rights treaties that recognizes these and other related rights.

We view this as an attempt to intimidate citizens from approaching judicial institutions when their rights have been violated, to create an environment where lawyers are afraid to provide legal representation and to ultimately create an environment where it is unthinkable to hold the state accountable for human rights violations. There is no legal basis for these proceedings. We call upon Tanzanian authorities to discontinue the ongoing persecution of lawyers and their clients. Allow citizens to access legal representation without intimidation and allow the foreign nationals whose passports have been seized to leave the country.

Issued by CHESA and ISLA

 

 

To show your support, please add your logo, signature and name at the bottom of the following letter, and send to the following authorities. Feel free to adapt, as you deem appropriate.

 

October 23, 2017

To the Hon. George Mcheche Masaju

Attorney General of the United Republic of Tanzania

Email: g.masaju@bunge.go.tz; ag@agctz.go.tz

 

To the Hon. Bahame T.M. Nyanduga

Chairperson, Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance

United Republic of Tanzania

Email: bahame.nyanduga@chragg.go.tz

 

To the Hon. Adv. Pansy Tlakula

Chairperson, African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights

Email: pansy.tlakula@gmail.com

 

To the Hon. Soyata Maiga

Vice- Chairperson, African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights

Email: cabinetsoya@afribone.net.ml; soyatam@yahoo.fr

 

To the Hon. Solomon Ayele Dersso

Commissioner, African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights

Email: Solomon.dersson@gmail.com

 

Your Excellencies,

We are writing regarding the recent arrests of thirteen persons, including three lawyers and their clients that were recently carried out by the Tanzanian Police.

On Tuesday, 17 October 2017, a legal consultation convened by the Initiative for Strategic Litigation in Africa (ISLA) and the Community Health Services and Advocacy (CHESA) was raided by the Tanzanian Police. The consultation was convened in order to get more instructions and evidence on a case that the two organizations planned to file before a court concerning a challenge to government’s decision to limit the provision of certain health services that it had previously provided.

Thirteen people, including two South African citizens, one Ugandan citizen, were detained. Among the arrested persons are ISLA’s executive director, Sibongile Ndashe, and CHESA’s director, John Kashiha. No one was charged but all were granted bail.

On Wednesday, the Regional Commissioner of police issued a press statement referring to the “arrests” and stated that twelve people who were promoting homosexuality had been arrested. On Friday 20 October 2017, the bail was revoked for everyone for no reason. They were advised that a fresh investigation process was starting and everyone was taken to custody.

The mischaracterization of a legal consultation where lawyers and their clients were discussing a very specific case to be referred to the court as “promotion of homosexuality” is unfortunate and concerning. The police had a copy of the concept note and the agenda of the consultation.

Even more alarming is that three lawyers who were part of the group, including Sibongile Ndashe, were arrested together with their clients.

The Tanzanian Constitution enshrines the right to seek legal redress when fundamental rights have been violated (Art 30(3)). The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ rights, which Tanzania is a signatory to, also recognizes an individual’s right to an appeal to competent national organs against acts violating his fundamental rights as recognized and guaranteed by conventions, laws and customs in force (Art 7(a)). Tanzania is a signatory to a number of international human rights treaties that recognizes these and other related rights.

The arrest of the thirteen people mentioned above is an attempt to intimidate citizens from approaching judicial institutions when their rights have been violated. Furthermore, the arrest of lawyers while they are advising their clients on the steps to be taken to seek legal redress is clearly aimed at creating an environment where lawyers are afraid to provide legal representation and to ultimately create an environment where it is unthinkable to hold the state accountable for human rights violations.

We are strongly convinced that there is no legal basis for these proceedings, as demonstrated by the press statement released by the Regional Commissioner of police, and that the arrests are arbitrary and politically motivated.

Therefore, we call upon Tanzanian authorities to immediately release the thirteen individuals who are currently arbitrarily detained; to allow citizens to access legal representation without intimidation; to discontinue the ongoing persecution of human rights defenders, lawyers and their clients and refrain from such future actions; and to allow the foreign nationals, whose passports have been seized, to leave the country.

Sincerely,

[name and signature]