Showing posts with label gay Violence. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gay Violence. Show all posts

July 27, 2016

In Singapore A Man Fights For His Life After Unauthorized Naked Vid Shown













A Singaporean man who recently discovered his nude video was circulating online has hit back against online bullies.
Lokies Khan, a 24-year-old online personality, claims that he discovered a video that he shot privately started getting passed around on Tumblr without his consent or prior knowledge.

SEE ALSO: 78-year-old describes heart-rending realities of living as a trans woman in '70s Singapore

The virality of the media was heightened by people making GIFs from his video, he said.

The openly gay blogger later started receiving comments online calling him a "slut" and a "disgrace to the gay community," he added.

In response, Khan decided to film a four-minute long video with online LGBTQ publication Dear Straight People, directly addressing his critics. In the video, he addresses how his privacy was violated, and that the issue of privacy invasion shouldn't be disregarded.

"I have been swamped with messages since the video came out, which has been extremely positive and supportive," Khan told Mashable.

There however remain those accusing him of trying to gain sympathy through the video, he added. He maintains that his intention is to reach out to others who find themselves in similar situations.


"The issue here was, somebody took what was meant to be private and intimate, and abused it. I’m not the only person in this world who takes nudes. But having it leaked by somebody else other than yourself without your knowledge, is [an] absolute violation,” he said.

Mashable.com





June 30, 2016

Gay Men Chased from Their Homes After Signing Memorial Book on Orlando Victims


   
  

                                                                                         
Image result for ivory coast gay men
  

Signing condolences to
the family of victims of the Orlando Massacre above.
      U.S. EMBASSY IN COTE D'IVOIRE

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast -- Gay men in Ivory Coast say they've been assaulted and forced to flee their homes after the U.S. Embassy published a photo of them signing a condolence book for victims of this month’s/// killings at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
The photo, published on the embassy's website, shows the faces of six men with the caption "LGBTI community signing the condolence book." It was taken at the embassy on June 16, the same day Prime Minister Daniel Kablan Duncan and other officials signed the book in honor of the 49 people killed in the Orlando attack.

The photo has been widely shared on social media and two of the men said that in the days after it was published an angry mob punched and kicked them while shouting anti-gay slurs. The men spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity for their safety.

Four of the six men, including the two attacked, said they have fled their homes under pressure from family and friends who had been unaware of their sexual orientation.
The men said they were not contacted before the photo was published. However the U.S. embassy did contact the heads of three Ivory Coast organizations that advocate for the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, according to press officer Elizabeth Ategou. Those activists gave their approval, but they were not in the photo or at the embassy event.

Ategou said the embassy "deeply regrets that any individuals were attacked based on any kind of orientation they might have." She said the embassy was in contact with the men and encouraged them to report the attacks to police.

The head of one gay rights group who approved the photo, and who also insisted on anonymity for his safety, said he would not have approved it had he known those pictured would be identified so explicitly as members of the "LGBTI community."
The photo remained on the embassy's website Wednesday. Ategou said the embassy had received no requests to take it down.

Same-sex relations are not a crime in Ivory Coast, but there are no legal protections for sexual minorities. In January 2014, a mob ransacked the Abidjan headquarters of the country’s most prominent gay rights organization.

The U.S. Embassy in Abidjan has strengthened ties with the country’s LGBT activists following an Obama administration memorandum in 2011 that empowered "all agencies engaged abroad" to promote and protect the human rights of sexual minorities.


cbsnews.com

June 3, 2016

Gay in Bangladesh is to Survive Abuses Wrapped on Machete Attacks




"People in Dhaka are now saying that Xulhaz made us gay," says the frightened voice across the line. "Xulhaz and Tonoy did not make anyone gay. We are gay because that's the way we were born. There's nothing anti-Bangladeshi or unnatural about being different, but the prejudice is steep."

This is the first time that Mahbub Rabbi Tonoy's friend, who I will not name for his own safety, has lost anyone close to him. It's 2 AM in Dhaka, but he has been unable to sleep properly since Tonoy, an activist, was murdered, alongside former US embassy employee Xulhaz Mannan, by half a dozen machete-wielding extremists in Bangladesh on April 25. The Bangladeshi government claims that the extremists were homegrown, while al Qaeda and ISIS, along with religious extremist groups in Bangladesh, take credit for the dozens of public executions around the country. Extremists have issued warnings that the killings will continue, and that those who report on LGBT issues will be hunted down. Many members of the LGBT community remain in hiding as a result of these attacks, and the prejudice displayed by many of the country's ordinary citizens.

Mannan and Tonoy were both involved in Roopbaan, Bangladesh's only LGBT magazine. Over the last year, Roopbaan became very visible in Bangladesh, starting a nationwide youth leadership program, an online platform, a film festival, and an HIV awareness and testing program called Pink Slip.

"My bosses laugh at the fact that Xulhaz and Tonoy were unmarried. They say the two 'deserved' their fate because they were homosexual. My bosses don't even know that I am gay, and neither does my family," the friend confides. "Imagine having to hide grief like this? Now I have nothing. No life. No future."

Since the murders, two terror cells were uncovered, and an alleged killer was arrested. However, for those of us who knew Mannan and Tonoy, memories of traveling freely around Dhaka, eating biryani, playing card games, attending gallery exhibits and classical music concerts, or sitting under the bamboo groves in the botanical garden have become soiled. After the murders, gay friends felt there is little solidarity with their cause within the country. Sometimes, causes like free speech and LGBT rights are derided as being part of a Western hegemony, but this is just muddying the rhetorical waters: Foreign powers do not need to manipulate people into wanting to be able to walk down the street without harassment and speak without being killed.

The double homicide marked the first time in the three-year-long wave of radical Islamist murders that the gay community has been targeted. For those of us who knew the two men, the aftermath has been a reminder of the hierarchies placed on which lives are deemed worthy of mourning in Bangladesh. Vigils were held in Paris, London, and New York after the murders, but none were held in Bangladesh.
When the machete attacks on Bangladeshi intellectuals began three years ago, Bangladeshi authorities were initially silent.

The government only spoke up after the death of blogger Niloy Neel at his home in the fall of 2015. And even then, Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh's prime minister, called the writing of bloggers "filthy words." "You can't attack someone else's religion," warned Hasina. "You'll have to stop doing this. It won't be tolerated if someone else's religious sentiment is hurt."

In this climate, it isn't surprising that the attacks have continued. Just days before the murders of my friends, a university professor with a love of classical music was killed. In quick succession following these murders, a Buddhist monk, a Hindu tailor, and a homeopathic doctor were also hacked to death. After a law student in Bangladesh was murdered this May, the government wondered whether the death could be justified based on the online writings of the student.

These deaths showcase how expendable life remains in the country. Terrorists falsely claiming Islam as their guide cannot be further justified by Bangladesh's government.

"We are being attacked on all sides. Locals are allowing it. Those who condemn the murders are being silenced." —A friend of Mahbub Rabbi Tonoy

Amid this targeting of minorities, Bangladesh's government seems either incapable or unwilling to effectively condemn the murders. Blaming homegrown extremism at the hands of its opposition parties, the government has also vilified the legacies of the murder victims instead.

After Mannan was murdered, US Secretary of State John Kerry shared his security concerns about growing extremism with Sheikh Hasina over the phone. Soon after, US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Desai Biswal traveled to Bangladesh to discuss security issues, meeting with Bangladesh's Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal. Afterward, Khan was reported as saying, "Our society does not allow any movement that promotes unnatural sex. Writing in favor of it is tantamount to criminal offense as per our law."

This, then, has been the government's response to a murder epidemic: to blame the victim, and legitimize the slurs hurled at marginalized communities.

"The government wants to hold onto its religious base by wrongfully suggesting that we are not Muslim," says one of Roopbaan's co-founders, who, like Tonoy's friend, also wishes to remain anonymous. "This pacifies the extremists and legitimizes the killings.

"Tonoy refused to talk about the threats, although he received dozens of threats," says Tonoy's friend. "Now we are being killed, and talking about how scared we are or writing about it is criminal? We are being attacked on all sides. Locals are allowing it. Those who condemn the murders are being silenced."

These fears are palpable in a country where freedom of speech is increasingly under assault. Recently, Bangladesh's government tightened the noose by announcing that it has proposed plans to create a "Cyber Threat Detection and Response Network." The $19 million scheme, if approved, would promote around-the-clock online surveillance of citizens, effectively allowing the government to block and remove any online content it deems unfit for national viewership.

This allocation of resources is misguided, given Bangladesh's more pressing problems—66 percent of the country's girls are married before they reach the age of 18, and poverty is rampant. Sustainable measures to tackle these issues have not been scaled up adequately to create widespread impact: Consider that half of Bangladesh's roughly 163 million are female. This means more than 40 million women are married before they reach 18. Poor feeding practices, alongside teenage pregnancies, arise in intergenerational stunting in a staggering 41 percent of the overall population, across all social demographics. These problems arise even though the government depends heavily on foreign aid and nonprofits to provide basic services such as vaccines, education, and health interventions, and received $2.6 billion in 2013 alone.

Despite this, the plans to monitor content on social media and international sites, under the guise of tackling "cyber crimes," continues, raising concerns. Some believe it to be a ploy by the supposedly liberal Awami League government to curb freedom of speech. Late last year, the government blocked social media sites for 22 days, and in the fall of 2013, YouTube was blocked for several months.

Individuals have been targeted as well. In December 2015, the administrator of a popular satirical Facebook page, "Moja Losss" ("Lost Fun") was arrested for allegedly mocking the government. The arrest came in the form of a raid carried out by Bangladesh's super paramilitary force, AK-47s in hand. Mahfuz Anam, the prominent editor of Bangladesh's largest English daily the Daily Star, was slapped with 79 sedition and defamation charges amounting to an alleged $17 billion, as of February.

Little has been made of social media's instrumental role in aiding growing fanaticism in Bangladesh. Ten days before the murders of Mannan and Tonoy, a Facebook group called "Voice of Bangladesh" promised violence if the LGBT community took part in the annual April New Year's parade.

Citing the Facebook group, police ordered Mannan to stop the community from participating in the national parade. The next day, on April 14, four gay activists were arrested when they did not comply and marched in the rally. Mannan stayed in the police precinct until his friends were released from custody.

"Why should I be scared?" Mannan wrote to me last year. "I'm human, and I cannot hide who I am."

The question as to why Facebook would even allow such a group to exist remains unanswered. Those within the LGBT community in Bangladesh and in West Bengal, repeatedly reported this group to Facebook, but it remains active. (Facebook did not respond to a request for comment.)

Meanwhile, another social media group called "Salauddiner Ghora" ("Salauddiner's Horse"), which is affiliated with extremist groups, released a YouTube video of the gruesome aftermath of Mannan's murder. The video shows Mannan's lifeless body being dragged by curious onlookers outside his home prior to police arrival. Mannan's mother—a severe Alzheimer's patient who was forced to witness the murders—is then seen covering the protruding gray matter, pushing it back into Mannan's head.

This graphic video remains online, even though human rights groups lodged complaints to YouTube. Salauddiner Ghora lauds the public executions on Facebook and Twitter. They have even published faces of the next targets, while suggesting anyone involved in the future killings of "non-believers" will go to heaven for "doing the work of God."

"These pages are in Bengali. Is that the reason why these social media sites haven't responded?" asks Roopbaan's co-founder.

Earlier this week, the original Salauddiner Ghora Facebook group was finally taken down. But, as of Wednesday, a new one has been started.

Following the April arrests, Mannan called for a top-level security meeting with all the leaders and allies of the LGBT community. They began to check in with one another daily. They curtailed going to events at night.

Mannan delivered a last youth leadership lecture on Roopbaan just a week before his murder, in tandem with a photography art exhibit in Dhaka. Unaware that he was being followed around, he took an open rickshaw to his house.

"Just the fact that we were being watched for weeks is chilling," says Roopbaan's co-founder, who was with Mannan at the time. "Despite our fear after the arrests, we spoke normally and had a good time. It was the last time I saw him alive."

"Tonoy's last production was a theatrical representation of Siraj ud-Daulah, the last king of Bengal before the British invaded the country and began colonizing it," says his friend. "He performed it on Saturday. Then Sunday was Tonoy's birthday. He treated his friends for dinner, but he refused to cut a cake because he cut two cakes last year. If we had known it was his last night, we would have stayed with him longer. He was murdered the next day. Now we are scared to visit his grave or reach out to his family."

Despite the murders, the extremism, and the victim-blaming, many in Bangladesh's LGBT community remain committed to furthering the dialogue.

In the last two years, Bangladesh's first lesbian comic book Project Dhee was launched, alongside theatrical performances and art exhibits, poetry anthologies, and a documentary film about the Rainbow Rally, a diversity-promoting New Year's Day celebration started by Mannan. Bangladesh even recognizes "hijras"—a term used in the region to refer to trans people—under the law.

"Why should I be scared?" Mannan wrote to me last year. "I cannot live in fear. I'm human, and I cannot hide who I am."

But the persecution has unquestionably made life harder for many, and resulted in severe chaos.

"There is a lot of misinformation going around. Many [unaffiliated Bangladeshis] who are panicked are claiming affiliations with us so as to receive asylum in countries like Germany. They have never worked directly with anyone in the LGBT community in Dhaka, and it is regrettable that they are taking advantage of this situation," says one of Roopbaan's two surviving co-founders.

"When will the government do something to help us? After we have all been killed?" asks Roopbaan's other surviving co-founder. "We deserve to be protected, not exiled and silenced, alongside remaining voiceless forever."

Raad Rahman is a communications, advocacy, and partnerships specialist who has consulted extensively with UNICEF in Bangladesh.

October 5, 2015

Honduras Gets Help on It’s Violence Problem against Gays



                                                                                 
 Protest against the unprecedented violence against gays in Honduras
  
The Catrachas Network, a Honduran advocacy group, has received a $24,000 grant through the State Department that will allow it to undertake a study coverage of LGBT-specific issues in the country’s media. This funding will also allow the organization to publish a guide for journalists who want to report on these topics. “They’re now a direct partner of ours,” said Nealon, referring to Catrachas. Tim Wolff, director of “The Sons of Tennessee Williams,” a film that highlights New Orleans’ gay Mardi Gras, traveled to Honduras in late May at the invitation of the embassy to meet with university students and local advocates. Gay Long Beach (Calif.) Mayor Robert Garcia has also visited the country through the State Department’s Speaker Program.

 The U.S. Agency for International Development is also working with advocates on how to improve the relationship they have with the Honduran government. Francisco Martínez of the Honduran Secretary of External Affairs and Vice Minister of Human Rights and Justice Karla Cueva on Friday both spoke at the opening of an LGBT rights conference at a Tegucigalpa hotel the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund has co-sponsored. Representatives of the Honduran government on Thursday attended a reception with advocates from across Latin America who are attending the conference. Randy Berry, the special U.S. envoy to promote global LGBT rights, and García also took part in the event. Luis Velásquez and José Gaspar, two Honduran LGBT rights advocates, turned their backs to Martínez and Cueva as they spoke at the conference. -

Local activists who took part in a conference they organized in Tegucigalpa on Thursday complained that existing laws do little to deter anti-LGBT discrimination. Many of them remain critical of the Honduran government for not doing enough to address discrimination and violence. “They have a conciliatory tone towards the LGBTI community and towards vulnerable groups in general,” Velásquez told the Blade after he and Gaspar protested Martínez and Cueva. “But the state’s actions are rather repressive.” - See more at: http://www.washingtonblade.com/2015/10/03/u-s-seeks-to-promote-lgbt-rights-in-honduras/#sthash.8OtTWGSS.dpuf

The Honduran constitution bans discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The country does not have a law that specifically prohibits anti-LGBT hate crimes. Nealon told the Blade that the embassy has not faced any “pushback” from the country’s government over its efforts in support of LGBT-specific issues. He said the country’s influential Roman Catholic Church has also not publicly resisted these efforts.
“It hasn’t come up,” said Nealon.

The embassy’s efforts are taking place against the backdrop of the Obama administration’s decision to make LGBT rights a cornerstone of its foreign policy.

Obama on Monday referenced LGBT rights in his speech to the U.N. General Assembly. The president last month invited retired gay New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson, among others, to a White House ceremony with Pope Francis.
Berry in April officially assumed his post within the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. He joined six gay men who represent the U.S. in the Dominican Republic, Spain and Andorra, Denmark, Vietnam, Australia and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe as ambassadors. 

The State Department and USAID coordinate the Global Equality Fund, a public-private partnership that is designed to promote LGBT rights around the world. The Obama administration nevertheless continues to face criticism from advocates who maintain it has not done enough to challenge countries with anti-LGBT rights records.
Nealon told the Blade he is “very proud” of the White House’s continued focus on global LGBT rights.

“As an ambassador one of your jobs is to deliver difficult messages sometimes or unpleasant messages or messages that you’re not comfortable delivering, but that’s not the case with these issues,” he said. “These are issues that we can all be proud of. We can all be proud of how far our country has come.”


washingtonblade.com 


Legal Civil Rights in Honduras 

Same-sex sexual activity legal
        yes       Since 1899          
 Equal age of consent
          Yes
Anti-discrimination laws in employment only
           No
Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services
           No
Anti-discrimination laws in all other areas (incl. indirect discrimination, hate speech)
           No
Hate crimes laws include sexual orientation and gender identity
           Yes
Same-sex marriages
         No (Constitutional ban since 2005)
Recognition of same-sex couples
           No 
Step-child adoption by same-sex couples
          No
Joint adoption by same-sex couples
          No
Gays and lesbians allowed to serve openly in the military
          No
Right to change legal gender
          No
Access to IVF for lesbians
          No
Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples
          No
MSMs allowed to donate blood
          No


October 22, 2014

Gay Jamaicans Targets of Violence


                                                                           

 Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Jamaica face "intolerable levels of violence and cannot rely on the police" for protection, Human Rights Watch said.

In a report, the rights group also documented cases of LGBT Jamaicans being refused housing or employment.

The New York-based organisation said police investigations were "often inadequate or lacking altogether".

The Caribbean island has a reputation of intolerance towards LGBT people.

Correspondents say many residents in the largely Christian country consider homosexuality to be sinful.
  
The authorities from the prime minister on down need to call a halt to the violence and discrimination, prosecute anyone responsible, and get homophobic laws off the books.”
Graeme ReidLGBT rights director at Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch said: "LGBT Jamaicans are vulnerable to both physical and sexual violence and many live in constant fear.

"They are taunted, threatened, fired from their jobs, thrown out of their homes, or worse: beaten, stoned, raped, or killed."

Last year, a transgender teenager, Dwayne Jones, was killed by a crowd outside the Jamaican city of Montego Bay, but the murder remains unsolved.

In its report titled "Not Safe at Home", the rights group documented 56 cases of violence in which victims reported they were targeted because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation or identity.

It called on the Jamaican government to strike down anti-sodomy laws and take measures to protect LGBT Jamaicans from discrimination and violence.

"In the past decade the Jamaican police have taken some steps to address the scourge of homophobic violence, but clearly these steps are not enough," said Graeme Reid, LGBT rights director at Human Rights Watch.

"So long as discriminatory laws remain in place, piecemeal measures will never be adequate.

"The authorities from the prime minister on down need to call a halt to the violence and discrimination, prosecute anyone responsible, and get homophobic laws off the books," Mr Reid added.

Jamaica is among many English-speaking Caribbean nations with anti-sodomy laws.

The report also documented cases of discrimination by government institutions, including health care facilities and in the private sector.

"Families and neighbours often drive LGBT people from their homes and communities.

"Landlords refuse to rent to LGBT people; health providers stigmatise them when they seek services; and employers arbitrarily fire them," the rights group said in a press release.

The Human Rights Watch report was the result of five weeks of field research in Jamaica in April and June 2013.

February 17, 2014

Nigeria: Mob Goes Looking for Gays to Cleanse the Towns






Several major news outlets are reporting that yesterday there were mob attack justice trying to find gays to clean the towns in Nigeria. Gays are running from both the mob and the Police, What a f*#g choice? If we can put pressure on Iran on Nuclear Weapons, We can’t put pressure on those hacks? They use money and food like everyone else. What sanctions are not imposed for Human Rights Violations? Be man or woman next President its got to have balls to deal with human rights. No promises no talk, just carry a long enough stick to reach to these places. We have done it with nations that had jews that could not leave, Soviet Union and from Communism; Everywhere from Cuba to China.

This MOB armed with wooden clubs and iron bars, screaming that they were going to "cleanse" their neighbourhood of gay people, have dragged 14 young men from their beds and assaulted them.
Four of the victims were marched to a police station, where they were allegedly kicked and punched by police who yelled pejoratives at them, Ifeanyi Orazulike of the International Centre on Advocacy for the Right to Health said on Saturday.
Police threatened the men would be incarcerated for 14 years, he said, the maximum prison sentence under Nigeria's new Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act, dubbed the "Jail the Gays" law.
Activists have warned the law could trigger attacks such as the one perpetrated early on Thursday in Abuja, the capital of Africa's most populous nation.
Mob justice is common in Nigeria and civil rights organisations have been warning for years of an increase in community violence and the government's failure to curb acts in which people have been beaten to death for perceived crimes such as theft.
"Since the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act was signed, we have expressed concern as a friend of Nigeria that it might be used by some to justify violence against Nigerians based on their sexual orientation," the US Embassy said in a statement Friday.
"Recent attacks in Abuja deepen our concern on this front."
Orazulike said he got a panicked email from a colleague who said he was hiding from a mob of 40 people who struck around 1 am Thursday, going from house to house saying their mission was "to cleanse" the area of gays.

January 28, 2014

Update on Senegal Violence Against Gay Org





(DAKAR, Senegal)AP Reported early this morning about a mob that ransacked the headquarters of Ivory Coast’s most prominent gay rights organization. This is an update:
This act of violence underscores the dangers confronting such groups even in the few African countries where homosexual acts are not crimes.            
The violence followed days of anti-gay protests in Ivory Coast, which is sometimes considered a safe haven for homosexuals fleeing persecution elsewhere across the continent. It contributed to a growing sense that activists championing gay rights in Africa are under siege, with countries working to strengthen existing laws that criminalize homosexuality. A new law in Nigeria bans all gay associations, and lawmakers in Uganda may well override their president's opposition and approve a bill imposing life prison terms for consenting same-sex partners who engage in repeated sexual acts.            
Some human rights activists view the crackdown as a backlash at pressure from the United States and European countries that say they will use their leverage to promote the human rights of gay people around the world. Britain has threatened to cut aid to countries that outlaw homosexuality, and the Obama administration two years ago instructed "all agencies engaged abroad to ensure that U.S. diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect the human rights of LGBT persons."            
In response, African governments say they will defend their people's religious and cultural convictions that homosexuality is evil and un-African.

The attack in Ivory Coast took place Saturday afternoon but was not publicized until Monday. Nearly 200 people stormed the offices of Alternative Cote d'Ivoire in an upscale suburb of Abidjan, the commercial capital, flinging stones to shatter windows and stealing computers, said Claver Toure, the group's executive director.             Others heaved sacks of garbage over the property's exterior walls and left trash and broken glass at the entrance. Signs hung on walls demanded "Stop the homos!" and "Pedes get out!" The word "pede" is short for pederast or pedophile, and is commonly used in West Africa to insult gay men.            
"Everything they could take was taken, and the rest was broken," Toure said, adding that a private security guard was hospitalized with wounds to his face.            
Toure criticized what he described as a deliberately slow response by security forces, saying police did not arrive until the French ambassador contacted government officials. Ultimately, he said, about 10 officers came with a half-dozen U.N. peacekeepers.            
"When we call, the police need to come right away and protect us because we are Ivorians," Toure said.            
Interior Minister spokesman Bazoumana Coulibaly said the government was not prepared to comment because it was still collecting information.
The attack was not unexpected.            
In a statement last Friday, the Ireland-based human rights organization Front Line Defenders detailed what it described as "coordinated" attacks against Toure's group last week. It warned that "rumors are circulating that a more virulent attack is envisioned" for Saturday.
On Jan. 20, neighbors gathered outside Toure's home to chant anti-gay slogans and issue death threats against those inside, Front Line Defenders said. Two days later, a mob targeted Alternative's headquarters, placing signs demanding that the organization leave.
Local media reports quoted residents last week expressing fear that the presence of a gay rights organization would jeopardize their children's safety, highlighting the widespread belief throughout Africa that gay people target children for recruitment.            
Toure said his landlord confronted him on Jan. 5 after neighbors complained that more than 20 people were staying in his home and that "condoms could be found throughout the neighborhood each morning" - accusations Toure denied.            
U.S. Ambassador Terence P. McCulley said he was "shocked and saddened" by Saturday's attack.            
"Even if one is not in agreement with the point of view of an organization or its people, we have an obligation in a democracy to support the right of people to organize and express themselves," he said in a statement posted Monday on the embassy's Facebook page. "I hope that Ivorians will understand that these attacks are not consonant with democratic values."            
Violence targeting gays in Africa drew worldwide notice earlier this month when President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria signed a law banning gay associations and gay marriage. Dozens have been arrested since then throughout Africa's most populous country.
The new law carries penalties of up to 14 years in prison. But in some northern Nigerian states that also have Islamic Shariah law, a homosexual can get the death sentence just for being gay.   
Outside a courthouse in the northern Nigerian city of Bauchi this month, protesters tried to stone seven men accused of belonging to a gay organization, demanding they be stoned to death. A week before in Bauchi, a 28-year-old man was punished with 20 lashes after pleading guilty before a Shariah court to an act of sodomy committed seven years ago. He said he was led astray by a high school principal.     
Days after Jonathan signed the law, activists in the neighboring country of Cameroon confirmed that a man once jailed for sending a text message saying "I'm very much in love with you" to another man died after his family removed him from the hospital where he was seeking treatment for a hernia. The family said he was a curse who did not deserve to live.            
In Uganda, President Yoweri Museveni has voiced opposition to a bill approved by lawmakers last month imposing life imprisonment for gay sex involving an HIV-infected person, acts with minors and the disabled as well as repeated gay sex acts among consenting adults. The bill, dubbed "Kill the Gays," initially called for the death sentence.
But gay rights activists drew little encouragement from Museveni's letter to legislators, in which he said homosexuals are "abnormal fundamentally because the hormones malfunctioned." And despite Museveni's stated opposition, parliament still could muster enough support to make it law.            
While the Ugandan bill criminalizes "promotion" of homosexuality, the Nigerian law makes it illegal to have any kind of gay meeting, potentially rendering illegal the work of rights groups and organizations dealing with the epidemic of HIV/AIDS among homosexuals. That would include programs funded by USAID.            
Ivory Coast is generally seen as more moderate on the issue, and Alternative has worked increasingly closely with the government on programs to combat HIV/AIDS.            
But Matthew Thomann, an anthropologist at American University who has worked extensively with Abidjan's gay groups, said it would be "naive and dangerous" to portray Ivory Coast as an oasis of freedom.
"We must remind ourselves that the lack of anti-gay legislation in a country like Ivory Coast is not the same as LGBT individuals having actual legal protection or recourse when victimized," Thomann said of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender minorities. "There are high levels of impunity for attacks such as those experienced by Mr. Toure and Alternative."             

January 27, 2014

Ivory’s Coast’s Well Known Gay Org is Ransacked by Anti Gay Mob


                                             




The AP reports early this morning the head of Ivory Coast’s most prominent gay rights organization says its headquarters were “ransacked” by an anti-homosexual mob that destroyed property, stole equipment and injured a security guard.
Claver Toure said nearly 200 people took part in attacking his organization, Alternative Cote d'Ivoire, in Abidjan on Saturday afternoon.
It followed days of threats against the group, including signs placed outside the building bearing anti-gay slurs equating homosexual men with pedophiles.
Toure criticized what he described as a deliberately slow response by security forces. An Interior Ministry spokesman reached Monday morning said he had no knowledge of the attack.
Ivory Coast is not one of 38 African countries that explicitly outlaw homosexual acts, but sexual minorities report periodic harassment from security forces and the general population.

November 15, 2013

Student Traumatized and Tortured for Being Gay in Russia Returns Home

 Originally believed to be South African, the Swazi student was made to strip, simulate oral sex with a beer bottle and had his head forcibly shaved 

A Swaziland student was forcibly interrogated about being gay, had his head shaved, and other torture by an anti-gay Russian gang.
A ‘traumatized’ Swazi student who was tortured by a homophobic Russian gang has returned to his home country.
According to Swaziland government sources, the 20-year-old man was studying at Shukhov State Technological University in Belgorod when he was lured to an apartment by the anti-gay terrorist group Occupy Pedophilia.
He was also made simulate oral sex with a beer bottle, dance while carrying a watermelon and then had the watermelon smashed in his face.
Later, after repeated comments about his skin color, a woman with the group said he would like to have sex with a cat.
The horrific torture is captured on film for 33 minutes, but appears to have been edited so it could have lasted hours.
Like many other victims, the group lured him online with a fake promise of meeting another young guy for a date.
The group claims they posed as a 15-year-old – a year under the legal age to have sex in Russia – but no proof of this has been found.
The 20-year-old was spared the rape many other victims have faced.
‘While government was gathering information about his case, “Gadlela” came home,’ a Swazi government spokesman said.
‘Due to the trauma he suffered, he went to his family and neglected to contact government on his arrival (as is required for all students returning from study abroad.’
The government spokesman used a fake name for the student.
Social welfare workers have been in touch with the young man, who have spoken to his mother.
Describing him as ‘traumatized’, she said he wished to not be disturbed.
He will be returning to study in due course, but not at Shukhov.
It comes as the ringleader of Occupy Pedophilia Maxim Martsinkevich has announced he has fled Russia to avoid charges of ‘extremism’.
But while Russian prosecutors are not filing charges of kidnapping, assault or rape against Martsinkevich, he is being sought for ‘incitement of ethnic and social hatred’. 

  BY JOE MORGAN

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