Showing posts with label Africa. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Africa. Show all posts

December 19, 2019

Gabon, Africa Criminalizes Sex Between Same Sex Adults

                 Map of Gabon   

Gabon has passed a law against gay sex, becoming the 70th country to ban the practice, an official confirmed, as the global pace of reform falters.
The central African country banned “sexual relations between people of the same sex” in a new penal code earlier this year, according to copies of the law online.
A government official who declined to be named confirmed the change, which happened in July but was not widely reported. The minister of justice declined to comment.
Davis Mac-Iyalla, an activist who monitors LGBT rights in West Africa, said he had spoken to two Gabonese men arrested under the new law who had to bribe the police to be released.
“It has further sent the LGBT community underground and has created harassment,” said Mac-Iyalla of the Ghana-based Interfaith Diversity Network of West Africa.
“The corrupt police now use that, arrest people and then people have to bribe their way out.”
These reports could not be independently confirmed.
Confirmation of the change, which introduced a penalty of up to six months in prison and a fine of 5 million CFA francs ($8,521), came at the end of a mixed year for LGBT rights.
Hopes for more reforms were raised last year when India’s Supreme Court decriminalized gay sex, overturning a colonial-era law and spurring campaigners to press for similar reforms in other former British colonies.
When Botswana decriminalized gay sex in June, the number of countries outlawing same-sex relations fell to 69, according to LGBT advocacy group ILGA World – the lowest figure since it started monitoring such laws in 2006.
But large populations of religious conservatives, including growing numbers of Evangelical Christians, are opposed to LGBT rights in African countries including Uganda, Kenya, and Nigeria.
In May, a Kenyan court upheld a law criminalizing gay sex dating back to British rule. Advocates are challenging that ruling.
There are legal cases challenging bans on same-sex relations underway or planned in countries including Singapore, Mauritius and six nations in the Caribbean, according to ILGA World.
“Globally… we’re seeing polarising tensions,” said Lucas Ramon Mendos, a researcher at ILGA World.
“Where things are getting better, there is a momentum for even more improvement, and where things are bad now we’re seeing things are worsening.”
At least 35 countries have prosecuted LGBT people for same-sex intimacy in the last two years, according to ILGA World research – 28 in 2018 and 17 so far in 2019.
“The decrease in countries from 2018 to 2019 can hardly be read as a positive sign,” Ramon Mendos said. “We think there is a huge number of cases flying under our radars.”
In Africa, 33 out of 54 countries criminalize consensual same-sex relations. Six African countries have scrapped their bans since 2012, marking a positive trend overall, said Neela Ghoshal, a researcher with Human Rights Watch.
“It’s unfortunate that a lot of African countries have claimed and owned those homophobic, colonial values, but others haven’t,” she said.
“In general, across the continent, things are moving more in the right direction than in the wrong direction… I’m guessing you’ll see a lot of change in the next 10 years or so.”
Reporting by Rachel Savage @rachelmsavage; Editing by Claire
Cozens. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the
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October 9, 2019

Pastor and University Lecturer Suspended for Propositioning Undercover Journalist

The University of Lagos has suspended a lecturer who was caught on film propositioning and sexually harassing an undercover BBC reporter.
Boniface Igbeneghu, also a pastor, has been condemned by his church. 
He was one of several academics secretly filmed as part of a year-long investigation by BBC Africa Eye.
The film, which has sparked widespread social media comment, explored alleged sexual harassment by members of staff at two top West African universities.
The report also saw students, some with their identities hidden, making allegations about their own experiences with professors.
Dr Igbeneghu has made no comment.

Why has he been suspended?

The academic was filmed putting inappropriate questions and requests toward a BBC journalist, who was posing as a prospective student aged 17. 
On a final meeting between the pair, the lecturer was filmed physically harassing her and asking to kiss her inside of his locked office. He also appeared to threaten to tell her mother if she was "disobedient" towards him.
Boniface Igbeneghu on undercover film
Image captionDr Igbeneghu was secretly filmed by BBC Africa Eye
A number of other students in the film also made allegations of abuse against the lecturer. One former student of Dr Igbeneghu, whose identity was protected, claimed the experience has led her to attempt suicide several times. 

An office door is blocked by two planks of wood
Image caption

The University of Lagos has suspended a lecturer who was caught on film propositioning and sexually harassing an undercover BBC reporter.
Boniface Igbeneghu, also a pastor, has been condemned by his church. 
He was one of several academics secretly filmed as part of a year-long investigation by BBC Africa Eye.
The film, which has sparked widespread social media comment, explored alleged sexual harassment by members of staff at two top West African universities.
The report also saw students, some with their identities hidden, making allegations about their own experiences with professors.
Dr Igbeneghu has made no comment.

Why has he been suspended?

The academic was filmed putting inappropriate questions and requests toward a BBC journalist, who was posing as a prospective student aged 17. 
On a final meeting between the pair, the lecturer was filmed physically harassing her and asking to kiss her inside of his locked office. He also appeared to threaten to tell her mother if she was "disobedient" towards him. 
The University of Lagos, in response, held an emergency meeting on Monday where Dr Igbeneghu was immediately suspended and barred from campus.
In a statement, the university said it was "highly embarrassed" by the allegations and pledged to do "all that is necessary" to investigate and combat the "menace" of harassment at the institution. 
It also said it had closed down a staff function room known as the "cold room" which was identified in the film as a secretive site where students were allegedly taken. 
The Foursquare Church, where Dr. Igbeneghu is a pastor, has also distanced themselves from him in a statement. They said the church does not condone "heinous and unscriptural" acts from ministers and asked him to step down.

What else did the film show?

The full hour-long documentary also featured interactions with two lecturers at the University of Ghana.
Both of the men, Professor Ransford Gyampo and Dr. Paul Kwame Butakor, have denied they were offering "sex for grades" in the undercover exchanges.
Prof Gyampo has also suggested to local media that he plans to take legal action against the BBC. 
What has the reaction been?
The BBC exposé has provoked a large response on social media in the two countries. 
Many Twitter users condemned the actions seen in the film and called for a swift response, while others shared their own alleged experiences.
Journalist Kiki Mordi, who fronted the documentary, opened up about her own experience of university harassment which led her to drop out and abandon career ambitions to work in medicine. 
Inspired by the report, other women have been sharing their experiences of alleged harassment with the BBC. 
"I felt extremely threatened," one Nigerian graduate told BBC Newsday on Tuesday. "Even before I got to university I heard stories about this man - I had friends who were sexually harassed by him."
She described feeling so intimidated by the staff member that she delayed submitting work to him.
"We are the students and we have more to lose. There is no balance of power here," she added.
Another woman, named Catherine, said the practice happens "a lot" at universities in Ghana. She told the BBC's Outside Source that she wept "like a baby" after being asked out by a lecturer in exchange for good grades. 
"Unfortunately because there are no good systems in place, when you [make a] report they ask you for evidence and because you don't have evidence it's rubbished and you end up being victimized," she said.

Do you have a story of sexual harassment by a lecturer at university? How have you been affected by our investigation into sex for grades? 
If you would like to share your experience with BBC Africa Eye, please submit your message below
Because of the volume of messages we receive, we cannot respond to everyone, but we appreciate every response.

October 12, 2018

Catholic Church in Kenya Refuses Condoms to fight HIV/AIDS

Image result for aids in africa condoms and the church
 Religious dogmas are killing people still in 2018

In this day and age in which we know so much about HIV/AIDS the catholic church and many of the Pentecostals still have the same message: Abstinence only! The priests still tell the old wife tales of HIV/AIDS to be demonds and pusnishment by god for having sex. The amazing part is that you no longer hear about this anymore. No press, no pushback to this church that will rather allowed people to get sick and die of a 100% preventible disease. 
One of the forms of incomes in Africa is selling sex. Even in areas where you have a fishing village, in order for the buyers to get the fish they have to give more than money to the fisherman which are all men in order to have them sell them fish. You have generations of kids in which they don't have parents because they both have died of AIDS. Are they also going to become victims of this preventable disease? The current administration in Washington is gotten off from fighting AIDS They are completely absent from it. Both through the UN and in direct effords of education and condoms also meds. There are thousands dieying every day and why not when thee are no meds. You don't get AIDS but you contract HIV which if left untreated will become AIDS and AIDS will kill you. But there is time to at least save many of the ones that become HIV but that has been abandoned. 
We had the Gates foundation, the Clinton foundation but for political dirty fighting even foundations have gotten a dirty name. The Clinton foundation was made to close it's doors. It didn't affect the Clinton's but the peoeple getting those meds are either dying or dead. The human race has change so little in the way we process information and what we do with it. So many think that things have to be the way they believe it to be or otherwise is not true. This is never going to stop but there was hope with all the advances we have made that less people would behave like idiots. When we add 7 and 6 it is equal to 13. Even if we don't like the number 13 we can't pick a number we like better because 13 will bring us bad luck. Still it might surprise some there are elevators without the number 13 because the builders followed the owners instructions in not naming a floor 13 but does that mean there is no 13 floor? The owners were afraid of the no.13 but only in a finacial way they wanted to please some tenants that would not want to live on a flor with bad luck. 
The following poasting is from crux now which is a publication seen on hospices and hospitals. 🦊Adam

YAOUNDÉ, Cameroon - Condom use can never be advocated by the Catholic Church, according to the bishops of Kenya at a health conference taking place in Mombasa.
During the Oct. 1 meeting, the bishops insisted the use of condoms was not part of the Church’s moral teachings, even as they expressed alarm at the rather high rate of new infections in the country.
“The Church has its doctrines of what it teaches and it is the greatest advocator fighting against AIDS but the use of condoms is not part of the agenda of the Church. The Church is at the front line to see how we can reduce the spread of the disease,” said Bishop Joseph Obanyi Sagwe of Kakamega.
“There are very many other proven ways to prevent the spread of AIDS. We will not choose to advocate for approaches that are not moral. When it comes to discordant partners, we also have a counseling approach to guide the couples to live morally,” Obanyi added. 
According to Kenya’s National Aids Control Council, more than a million people are on anti-retroviral therapy, with 1.4 million people living with HIV. Over 28,000 people died from AIDS-related complications in 2017.
The bishops insist that the only sure and morally upright approach to the spread of HIV/AIDS is abstinence.
It is a stance taken by Pope Benedict XVI during his first visit to Africa. He said then that HIV/AIDS “cannot be overcome by the distribution of condoms.”
That statement led to an outcry, and the pope later noted that the use of condoms could be a “first step” toward moral responsibility to prevent sexually transmitted infections.
In May 2013, the U.S.-based Catholics for a Free Choice began a campaign in Kenya to promote the use of condoms. It came up with ads announcing “Good Catholics Use Condoms” and urging married women to use condoms, claiming that it was “an authentically Catholic message.”
“We believe in God. We believe that sex is sacred. We believe in caring for each other. We believe in using condoms,” the advert continued.  
The campaign was condemned by the bishops, who said the group was carrying out anti-Catholic activities.
“Catholics for Choice are not Catholics in the sense of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church,” said Cardinal John Njue, then-chairman of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops. “Remember if the moral fiber of any nation is destroyed, then you have destroyed the nation as well.”
Dr. Peter Cherutich, deputy director of Kenya’s National AIDS and STI Control Program, has defied the bishops on the matter, saying condom use is important to stop the spread of HIV.
“Catholics can in good conscience use condoms. Catholics in Kenya are no different. They can take the steps to protect themselves and their partners against HIV,” he said.
However, Obanyi insisted the Church cannot change its teachings, and abstinence is the best prevention for AIDS.
“The use of condoms is immoral and is not one of the ways we would embrace in our campaigns. The biblical teachings we share are enough to guide what the society needs to do,” the bishop said. 
“We have ways of reducing high rate of AIDS infections and condoms are not part of it. We sensitize our people to see the need for testing so that they can know their status. The Church is a body of doctrines, it teaches, what is right and wrong,” he continued.
The Catholic Church runs around 500 medical facilities in Kenya and is often on the front lines in the country’s battle against HIV/AIDS.
Across the world, the Church provides about a quarter of the care for patients with the diseaseCatholoc Church.

June 15, 2018

Africas' Quiet LGBT Revolution and An African Gay Wedding

Sometimes, it’s enough just to be seen.
 And other times it’s just a start. Get yourself seen. Then heard. Then assert yourself as part and parcel of the community that’s been blind to you forever. Surely, the tone-deaf comments and embarrassing situations will begin to be chipped away as you are seen and heard?
Maybe even the kidnappings and beatings? Once people realize you are everywhere all around them?
Related image

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, I got a bird’s eye view in how visibility goes a long way in changing perception. I saw, not just crowds grow from one June to another at New York’s annual Gay Pride festivities, but how it seemed the entire region got in on it.
Today, mayors, senators, wanna-be politicos, their families, police officers, everyone, it seems unfurls a rainbow flag and dances down Fifth Avenue on Gay Pride day.
Decades before, brave queer folks—as they were dubbed then—had to angrily fight back to stop the violence directed at them, often chanting “We’re here. We’re Queer. Get used to it.” That anger helped open the door to today.
Pride celebrations commemorating the full spectrum of the human family—LGBTs and the friends and families who support them—are now de-riguer in global cities. And marriage equality is now legal in much of the Western world and Latin America.
Yet in many parts sub-Saharan Africa, we’ve got a ways to go. But we are making slow progress.
It’s been longer than a decade since I’ve attended the Big Apple’s Pride events, as I’m often in Ghana for the American summer.
But from my flat in Accra, I beam when I see my fellow Nigerians proudly marching in New York, a bold act of defiance that could lead to long term imprisonment and entrapment back home and, indeed, in much of Africa.
Despite having the cradle of humanity on the African continent, we remain behind most of the world in embracing our LGBT families. Homophobia forces many LGBTs in Africa to flee and build up other societies where they are left alone and finally appreciated.
Many of our leaders gin up antigay sentiments for political gain, after all when electricity, pipe-borne water, and sound healthcare are tough to provide—one can simply demonize gays to distract. It is routine. And sometimes borders on the absurd. As Kingsford Sumana Bagbin, the deputy speaker of the Ghanaian parliament did when he recently claimed homosexuality is worse than an atomic bomb
Even though gays have been the fabric of society in Ghana for eons, political leaders and their religious counterparts would like you to think they were an anomaly or just pure evil.
Nonetheless, in the face of such onslaught, in many parts of Africa, the mentality of “retreat and be quiet” to save LGBT lives is finally becoming a thing of the past.
In South Africa, they may have laws protecting all—and legalizing same-sex marriage—citizens but still some want to silence anything perceived as gay. Earlier this year when the acclaimed South African film Inxeba (The Wound) was released, local censors fought to keep it out of movie theaters. The film tackles Xhosa manhood rites and is a tender love story that depicts wonderfully complex African men on screen.
It was controversial because it displays homosexual love in a heterosexual, hyper-masculine rural mountainside setting. I beamed with pride when this film—shortlisted for an Academy Award, and the first South African film to stream on Netflix—was allowed back in regular theaters, after the courts sided with the filmmakers’ legal challenge.

In Nigeria, I’m also often beaming with pride knowing that even with the relentless attacks and assaults on writers, poets and others who dare speak and write their truth, the works keep coming to critical acclaim.
These brutal attacks have spawned new voices, homegrown operatorsdemanding representation in culture and politics with zero tolerance for homophobia. They’re fighting back daily and staying visible; some have even formalized their struggle through the very public #HowIResist campaign, which chronicles their struggles for survival on social media.  
We’re here. We’re queer. Get used to it.
In Kenya, gays are resisting government humiliation and marginalization by challenging their continued victimization in court even though the president, Uhuru Kenyatta, continues to claim to the world that their rights are a nonissue.
“I will not engage in a subject of ‘no’ … it is not of any major importance to the people and the Republic of Kenya. This is not an issue, as you would want to put it, of human rights, “ he told CNN’s Christianne Amanpour in April.
But his LGBT constituents are staying visible and not cowering. And, they are winning court challenges against humiliating injustices—most horrifically, Kenya’s anachronistic “anal exams.” Most of these activists are homegrown, but some like Nguru Karugu are folks who lived abroad and returned to do the work they were doing in America for the homeland.
He’s now a director with Public Health Innovations, and engaged with marginalized communities. “The Kenyan LGBT movement has continued to exert itself … groups have gone to court to challenge these laws on their own determination to secure their rights.”
So their first step? End those brutal anal exams. Next step, end criminalization of their relationships, which are currently punishable by 14-year jail term.
I’m beaming.
And when the Kenyan Film Board, bans Rafiki (Friend) a Kenyan love story between two women from playing in movie theaters because they say it has a “clear intent to promote lesbianism” it is sad. But then the film goes on to become the first Kenyan film invited to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival.
I’m beaming with pride, knowing that Kenyans and Africans all over will ultimately see this film, regardless of censorship.

In Uganda, home of the botched “Kill the Gays” bill, pride commemorations—albeit small ones—are already happening; though each year like clockwork, the government clamps down on LGBT cultural events (or really any cultural event they deem has a gay component). But year in year out, the events keep happening and more and people take their first public baby steps.
In Tanzania, the brutal onslaught by the government continues as they bully prominent activist—even as it impacts their own society’s health needs, particularly around HIV/AIDS.
Over in the tiny southern nation of eSwatini (Swaziland), where the absolute monarch has been known to deride gays, the LGBT citizens are beginning to come out of hiding and are planning a Pride commemoration to coincide with New York.
Will we, in Sub-Saharan Africa, have our pride moment? I’d say despite all it all, we are already having it. Marches may come and go, but we keep moving forward. And I beam with pride at every small step.
  Global Pride on Quartz

June 7, 2018

Rwandan President Meets With Ellen DeGeneres and Her Wife, A Move That Will Change Many LGBT Lives in This Country

It was a brief meeting. So unofficial that the international press barely covered it, yet this handshake has the potential to make thousands of lives better.
At the end of May, America’s favorite television host Ellen DeGeneres and her wife Portia de Rossi met Rwandan president Paul Kagame in the capital Kigali. The trip was part of DeGeneres’ work with the Ellen DeGeneres Wildlife Fund. The fund supports Rwanda’s mountain gorillas through the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Encouraging to see the mountain gorilla population in the Virungas has grown 25% in the last eight years. Conservation efforts must continue. Thank you @TheEllenShow & Portia for coming to Rwanda & getting involved.

During the courtesy call, DeGeneres gave Kagame a T-shirt and the three posed for photos together. Ever-media savvy, Kagame’s people tweeted the meeting and posted the video on his YouTube channel, with no further detail from either. Yet, the short meet-and-greet between a lesbian celebrity couple and the world’s favorite African strongman has the potential to signify much more for gay rights in East Africa.
Last year, when a gay Rwandan TV journalist publicly proposed to her partner, their planned nuptials caused an uncomfortable debate and anger in a conservative society. Rwanda’s LGBTQI community has not faced the kind of persecution seen elsewhere in the region, but they became the target of backlash when the proposal challenged traditional notions of marriage.
“They wondered, ‘Who are they? Who is who in the relationship?’ We started to get harassed again, so we stopped going out in the street of Kigali, we were scared,” said Carter, a transgender man and rights activist, talking to Voice of America after the incident. Still, the public proposal empowered a community that has lived in the shadows. 
In 2008, for example, a Rwandan lesbian couple was reportedly prevented from attending a conference on lesbian feminist thinkers in the Mozambican capital Maputo. Today, while gay marriage isn’t legal in Rwanda, the government does recognize the LGBTQI community’s right to live openly.
Rwanda has done away with colonial-era anti-gay laws and Kagame said at a meeting in San Francisco in 2016 that being openly gay in Rwanda “hasn’t been our problem. And we don’t intend to make it our problem.” Rwanda is more progressive than its neighbors, but has yet to use its influence for the better in the region.
In 2017, Rwandan police arrested Ugandan LGBTQI activist Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera, as she arrived in Kigali. They deported her back to Uganda, where homosexuality is illegal and violently repressed. In Uganda, police go as far as raiding gay pride events and gay film festivals.
Rwanda’s other neighbor, Burundi, has moved to strengthen its anti-gay legislation. In Kenya, homosexuality may not be persecuted, but it is openly frowned upon, most recently through the banning of the filmRafiki, a coming-of-age lesbian love story
Kagame’s legacy is divisive. His clean capital and well-run run country belie a regime accused of being repressive. The economy’s steady growth is used to justify extending Kagame’s term and the gender parity in his cabinet distracts from his silenced opposition.
In spite of all of this, Kagame holds much influence as a leader in his region, especially on gender rights. It’s why women frustrated by discrimination in the African Union turned to him specifically. And it’s why posing with DeGeneres, whose own coming out more than two decades ago changed American attitudes, could be more than a photo-op—it could be a regional turning point.

Lynsey Chutel~~~~~~QUARTZ

February 6, 2018

World's Ivory Leading Investigator Stabbed to Death in Nairobi

Image copyrightAFP
Image brings you the important LGBT news others ignore. Does not repost from gay sites [except only when importat athlete comes out].Will post popular items with a different angle or to contribute to our readers🦊 

One of the world's leading investigators of the illegal trade in ivory and rhino horn has been killed in Kenya.
Dr. Esmond Martin speaking on May 5, 2008 in Washington, DCEsmond Bradley Martin, 75, was found in his Nairobi home on Sunday with a stab wound to his neck.
The former UN special envoy for rhino conservation was known for his undercover work investigating the black market.
The US citizen had recently returned from a research trip to Myanmar. Bradley Martin was in the process of writing up his findings when he died, reports the BBC's Alastair Leithead from Nairobi.
His wife found him in their house in Langata. Police are investigating the circumstances but suspect it was a botched robbery. 
A baby elephant of the endagered Loxodonta africana speciesOur correspondent says Bradley Martin had spent decades risking his life to secretly photograph and document illegal sales of ivory and rhino horn, travelling to China, Vietnam, and Laos to pose as a buyer and establish the details of black market prices.
He first went to Kenya from the US in the 1970s when there was a surge in the number of elephants being killed for their ivory. 

Image copyrightAFP
Image captionConservationists believe that the ivory trade is largely responsible for the world's declining elephant numbers
Presentational grey line

'A sharp dresser and passionate campaigner'

Alastair Leithead - BBC News, Nairobi

Esmond Martin (3rd R), a United Nations special envoy whose responsibility is the problem of rhinoceros poaching and trafficking, inspects 20 confiscated rhino horns, elephant tusks and ivory objects at the Taipei Zoo 04 June before the illegal goods were incinerated publicly to demonstrate the government's commitment to protecting wildlife. 

Always sharply dressed with a colourful handkerchief falling from his top pocket, Esmond Bradley Martin would immediately cut to the chase, honing in on the latest issue that was consuming him.
He was a well-known and highly respected character in the conservation community - passionate and unwavering in his efforts to crack down on illegal wildlife crime.
In a major report last year from Laos, he and his colleague Lucy Vigne established that the country had the world's fastest growing ivory trade.
They risked their own safety staying at a Chinese casino inhabited by gangsters and traffickers in order to visit the illegal markets and find out the latest prices by posing as dealers.
His life's work was combating the illegal trade of wildlife and he produced a huge body of highly respected research and investigative reports. 
He will be a huge loss to the international conservation community.

Presentational grey line

Bradley Martin's work on illegal wildlife markets helped pressure China to ban the rhino horn trade in the 1990s and later, domestic sales of ivory. The latter ban came into force this year. 
His last report was published by conservation group Save The Elephants last year. The findings said that there had been a slowdown in the ivory trade in China.
Fellow conservationists have been paying tribute to him on social media.  

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