Showing posts with label International Human Rights. Show all posts
Showing posts with label International Human Rights. Show all posts

January 11, 2018

The Inter-American Human Rights Court Rules for Same Sex Marriage






The Inter-American Court of Human Rights has ruled that same-sex marriages should be recognised.
The court's rulings apply to countries which have signed the American Convention on Human Rights.
Some of the signatories already recognise same-sex marriages while others recognise same-sex civil unions.
But others, such as Bolivia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Paraguay and Peru do not recognise either and will be expected to change their laws.
The court was established by the regional body, the Organization of American States (OAS), and signatories to the Inter-American Convention on Human Rights are bound by its rulings. 

Western hemisphere countries where same-sex marriage is legal:

People celebrate after the Inter-American Court of Human Rights called on Costa Rica and Latin America to recognize equal marriage, in San Jose, Costa Rica, January 9, 2018.                                                                                                               Reuters 
  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Colombia
  • Mexico (certain states only)
  • US
  • Uruguay

The ruling comes as a number of Latin American countries have changed or are debating changing their laws to allow same-sex couples to marry. 
Other western hemisphere countries, such as Ecuador, have introduced same-sex civil unions.

'Without discrimination'

The judges said that governments "must recognise and guarantee all the rights that are derived from a family bond between people of the same sex".
They also said that it was inadmissible and discriminatory for a separate legal provision to be established just for same-sex marriages.
The judges demanded that governments "guarantee access to all existing forms of domestic legal systems, including the right to marriage, in order to ensure the protection of all the rights of families formed by same-sex couples without discrimination".
Recognising the difficulty in passing such laws in countries where there is strong opposition to same-sex marriage, they recommended that governments pass temporary decrees until new legislation was brought in.
The judges issued the ruling in response to a motion brought by Costa Rica. 
The Central American government asked the court to give its opinion on whether it had an obligation to extend property rights to same-sex couples. The court ruled that it did. 
The Costa Rican government also wanted to know whether it should allow transgender people to change their name on their identity documents. Again, the court ruled that it should.
Costa Rica's Vice-President Ana Helena Chacón welcomed the court's ruling, saying it would be adopted "in its totality".
 BBC

December 26, 2017

Since US Packed and Went to Mar-a Lago-Britain Seems to be Picking Up Human Rights/LGBT /Russia




 People were proud of Johnson when he gave as good as he got in Moscow with his counter part


Gathered in the sumptuous, wood-panelled sitting room of the UK ambassador’s mansion in Moscow, overlooking the turrets of the Kremlin across the river, a group of human rights activists discussed their meeting with Boris Johnson.
The foreign secretary had invited them over to hear their stories of horrific abuses in Russia, promising to use his status to raise awareness and to do what he can to heap pressure on the Russian government.
The meeting on Friday, held behind closed doors, came toward the end of a whirlwind visit to Moscow – the first by a British foreign secretary in over five years – at a time when relations between the UK and Russia are at their worst since the Cold War.
"Mr Johnson was asking what could be done by him, by the UK side, to support Russian society," Galena Arapova, director of the Mass Media Defence Centre, told BuzzFeed News.
"It’s always a good question because when the relationship isn’t as friendly as it could be, and international partners have an active position and raise an issue, would that help or not? It might make the situation worse. Honestly, we don’t have an answer to this."
But the activists at least appeared to be glad he was trying to help. Johnson did not shy away from some hard truths on his whirlwind 24-hour visit, which was aimed at boosting cooperation between the UK and Russia on critical global issues such as North Korea’s nuclear threats and the Syrian civil war.
Whether his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov was in listening mode, however, is highly questionable. Lavrov is infamously obstinate and no-nonsense (he was once caught muttering"fucking morons" during a meeting with Saudi Arabian officials), and likes to be in control at all times, particularly on his own turf.
He did not appreciate Johnson correcting him at a joint press conference over suspected Russian interference in western elections – which led to an extraordinary public exchange – but privately, UK officials were thrilled that Johnson showed he would not be bullied and gave as good as he got. 
It was Johnson who insisted on making human rights a key part of the Moscow trip, asking his aides to schedule time with activists and a speech to university students outlining the economic benefits of freedom of expression.
"This is the worst human rights crisis we have seen in Russia’s contemporary history," Tania Lokshina from Human Rights Watch told us after the meeting.
Basic freedoms in Russia are being eroded: Gay men are being rounded up, tortured, and abducted in the southern Russian republic of Chechnya; journalists are being killed for writing about the abuses of the government; and Jehovah's Witnesses have been labelled an "extremist" organisation.
A spokesperson for the Russian LGBT Network, who declined to give their name, said 110 people had been evacuated from Chechnya as of Friday. "Violence towards LGBT people is still going on," they said.
"According to our evidence, the authorities that were involved in the LGBT purge are now threatening the families of the victims. I think the chance to speak about this with the foreign secretary is amazing; the more we raise this issue, the more we keep it in the spotlight, the more we pressure the Russian authorities to initiate an investigation."
Meanwhile, the Russian government has refused to acknowledge a ruling from the European Court of Human Rights in June that the Kremlin is encouraging anti-gay prejudice by adopting a law that bans gay "propaganda".
The law bans giving children any information about homosexuality, ramping up prejudice against LGBT people in Russia that is already deep-rooted and widespread. Lavrov has dismissed criticism over Russia’s treatment of gay people, however, saying in June: "On LGBT, we do not prosecute for this or that orientation."
Johnson did raise the issue of LGBT rights with Lavrov in their talks on Friday, but as expected, the Russian minister batted it away. Aides said Johnson was determined to raise awareness in other ways.
In his speech to Plekhanov University, in a hall packed full of Russian students, he spoke about the "freedom to live your life as you choose".
"We [in Britain] have just about the most diverse, open, welcoming culture that you will find anywhere in the planet," Johnson said. "We celebrate people’s choices about how to live their lives, including who to love and whomsoever they please to marry, a law that now permits same-sex marriage."
And he pressed the importance of a free media: "If you have a society where journalists are shot because they investigate the business dealings of the rich and powerful, then you will find countries that are less economically successful, less equal, and less attractive as places to invest."
He didn’t mention Russia by name, but then he didn’t have to. Some 357 journalists have been killed in Russia in the last 20 years, according to Mass Media Defence Centre director Arapova. And from one newspaper, Novaya Gazette, six have been killed in the last decade. Yet very few perpetrators are brought to justice.
"This creates a climate of impunity and a lot more problems than justice for one particular person," Arapova said. "It creates an atmosphere where others who don’t like criticism think OK, this is an easy, cheap, and quiet method to silence someone, because it won’t be investigated.” 
Earlier in the day, Johnson laid a bunch of red roses on Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge, where opposition leader Boris Nemtsov was assassinated in 2015 with four gunshots in the back. As deputy prime minister of Russia under Boris Yeltsin, Nemtsov was a key figure in pushing the country toward democracy and free markets, and a vehement critic of president Vladimir Putin.
His lawyer Vadim Prokhorov told Johnson that the real perpetrators had still not been brought to justice, and urged him to pile pressure on Putin to launch a proper investigation. It remains to be seen whether Johnson can actually affect change, but allies say he hopes his involvement will shine a far bigger spotlight on the abuses taking place on Europe’s doorstep.
"It’s really difficult to influence the Russian authorities," Arapova said. "These scandals concern all of us, but the population of Russia has two realities.
"One reality is seen by the people who are watching TV, who live in rural areas where there’s no position, and they see that everything is good, they see the federal propaganda state TV and they are quite happy with what’s going on in Russia because 'we are winning'.
"And the other group of people are getting information from the internet – and have a totally different understanding of what is going on in the country. They hear stories of human rights violations, they see it differently. Those realities don’t cross, it’s like we live in different countries.
"The tension in society is growing – but it’s not necessarily growing into something that will change the situation."
Emily Ashton
Emily Ashton

November 30, 2017

United Nations Reinforces Landmark Resolution on LGBT Human Rights








The landmark document introduced at the United Nations 10 years ago and designed to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, as well as other sexual minorities, was updated and strengthened yesterday.
The changes reflect the significant developments in international human rights law and practice since their publication and include a growing understanding that human rights violations affect people based on how they express their gender or how their sex characteristics are manifested.
The “Yogyakarta Principles,” written by a group of international human rights experts who had met in 2006 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, are a codification of binding international human rights standards related to sexual orientation and gender identity. The document, introduced to the UN in Geneva and New York in 2007 was a response to well-documented patterns of abuse against LGBT people.
The principles have been widely used by human rights defenders to demonstrate that LGBT rights are basic human rights and to show the gap between entitlement to rights and the harsh reality of discrimination and hate crimes.
Yesterday, 33 international human rights experts released an updated set of principles on international human rights law relating to sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics. The “Yogyakarta Principles plus 10,” add nine new principles to the original 29, covering a range of rights pertaining to gender recognition, information and communication technologies, poverty, and cultural diversity.
The new document also contains 111 “additional state obligations,” related to areas such as torture, asylum, privacy, health, and the protection of human rights defenders. For example, it calls on countries to compile statistics on violence based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression and sex characteristics. It also protects intersex children from involuntary modification of their sex characteristics and calls on countries to end the unnecessary registration of people’s sex or gender in their identity documents.
The updated principles call for action to protect the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people (LGBTI). Enforcing laws and policies designed to protect LGBTI people worldwide is an essential step to achieving full equality and ending discrimination.
The full text of the Yogyakarta Principles plus 10 and supporting documents can be found at www.yogyakartaprinciples.org.


Boris Dittrich Advocacy Director, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights Program


December 19, 2016

UN 2nd Attempt Won to Not Stop LGBT Human Rights Investigations



 



 Supporters of gay rights have won a major victory at the United Nations with the failure of a second African attempt to stop a U.N. independent expert from investigating violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation.

After a first defeat Nov. 21 in the General Assembly's human rights committee, African nations led by Burkina Faso attempted again Monday to suspend the work of the first LGBT expert. But the result was almost identical.

 
Those countries sought to delay implementation of a U.N. Human Rights Council resolution to determine "the legal basis" for the expert's mandate.

Opponents introduced an amendment to eliminate the call for a delay. It was adopted by a vote of 84-77 with 16 abstentions, virtually the same as the committee’s 84-77 vote with 12 abstentions.

AP

December 2, 2016

First UN HR Investigator Promises Investigations into Abuses




  
The first-ever U.N. independent expert selected to examine violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people has vowed to forge ahead with wide-ranging investigations despite formidable opposition to his appointment in a U.N. vote.
"This mandate will cover every country under the sun and under the moon," Vitit Muntarbhorn said at a LGBT conference in Bangkok on Wednesday. "There can never be a political or legal vacuum in terms of protecting people."
This includes working with countries opposed to his appointment, Vitit said.
"We also have to cover not only peace, but war," he said, noting that members of the Islamic State group have reportedly killed people accused of being gay by throwing them off buildings.
Vitit's U.N. position was in peril last week when a group of African nations nearly derailed his appointment by the Human Rights Council, saying the U.N. was prioritizing LGBT issues over discrimination based on race or religion. Blocking a Human Rights Council appointee would be unprecedented, according to U.N. officials.
Vitit, who was appointed on Sept. 30 and has started his duties, faces a final vote in the U.N. General Assembly later this month but is expected to be approved. In the meantime, he says he will "just carry on with the work."
He is in charge of writing a U.N. report on violence against LGBT people, as well as receiving and responding to complaints of abuse on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
To achieve these goals, he plans to visit a "balance" of developed and poorer countries in different regions.
"No entity, no authorities are monolithic," Vitit said. "We will find strands, advocacy of kindness, consideration, humanity, in pretty much every region, and we must use that well in terms of building the capacity to rationalize with those authorities that might not yet be open enough."
"You will always find someone, even among those governments, that are slightly more open to discussion," he added.
Along with Africa, opponents to Vitit's appointment include countries in the Middle East as well as China and Russia. At least 76 countries have laws in place that criminalize or discriminate against people based on sexual orientation or gender identity, according to a U.N. report last year.
In a fiery speech to hundreds of cheering gay rights supporters, Vitit emphasized the need for a wide, inclusive focus.
Vitit was previously a U.N. outside investigator into human rights in North Korea, which consistently denied his requests for meetings during his six years in the role.
DAKE KANG, ASSOCIATED PRESS

September 21, 2016

Proof Positive Russian Airstrikes Hit the Aid Convoy

This image provided by the Syrian anti-government group Aleppo 24 news, shows damaged trucks carrying aid, in Aleppo, Syria, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016. A U.N. humanitarian aid convoy in Syria was hit by airstrikes Monday as the Syrian military declared that a U.S.-Russian brokered cease-fire had failed. The US says it is holding Russia responsible for the attack, saying two Russian SU-24 figther jets (inset) were in the area during the attack. AP


 American military officials told CNN on Tuesday that radar, signals intelligence, and aerial surveillance all suggest that Russian aircraft were responsible for airstrikes on an aid convoy near Aleppo, Syria that killed at least 20 people.
"All the evidence we have points to that conclusion," one official told CNN.
The Red Crescent aid convoy was heading to a village just outside Aleppo Monday night when 18 of its 31 trucks, which were carrying UN supplies, were struck in at least two waves of strikes. As a result, the UN has halted all aid delivery in the country.
The attack occurred shortly after a ceasefire agreement between the Syrian regime and rebels seeking to oust President Bashar al-Assad, which was intended to allow the passage of humanitarian aid, broke down amid renewed fighting.
The Russian military had already denied that Russia or Syria had anything to do with the attacks. Russia's defense ministry released drone footage that they argue proves other factors were at play.
"We carefully studied the video recordings of the so-called activists from the scene and found no signs that any munitions hit the convoy," said Russian military spokesperson Igor Konashenkov, according to Kremlin-owned news agency TASS. "Everything shown on the video is the direct consequence that the cargo caught fire and this began in a strange way simultaneously with carrying out a massive offensive of militants in Aleppo."
While the official explanation was that the convoy had not been hit with munitions, Konashenkov did imply that an offensive from Jabhat al-Nusra, the al-Qaeda linked militant group, had something to do with the deadly strikes.
Later in the day, TASS issued a new report, again quoting Konashenkov, suggesting that the convoy had been accompanied by a "terrorists' truck with a mortar."
"It is not clear who is covering home [sic]: either the mortar is covering the convoy with the White Helmets volunteers or vise versa," the spokesperson said, seemingly implying that the humanitarian aid workers had been working in conjunction with the al-Nusra fighters.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which employs a network of activists in the country to monitor attacks on civilians, reports that it was a series of airstrikes that took out the convoy in Aleppo.
If Russia is proven responsible for the attack, it would be a black eye for the Putin regime, which spent the better part of Monday condemning an accidental airstrike carried out by the US on a Syrian military position, also near Aleppo. 
It's not the first time Russia and America have argued about who was behind an airstrike in Syria. In August, neither country could agree on who was responsible for taking out the Islamic State's second-in-command.
Despite the seeming disintegration of the cease fire, US Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters that the agreement is “not dead" and is planning on meeting his counterparts, including Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, again on Friday.
Follow Justin Ling on Twitter: @Justin_Ling

June 18, 2015

Why the Cocks Fight and Ethnic Cleansing in the Dominican Republic


                                                                         


The Dominican Republic has gone back 86 years to uproot not only Haitians but Haitian descendants who see themselves as Dominicans and their language is spanish and they know no other. To go back generations to up root people is immoral. Most people not aware of the rife between these two countries that share the same island ask why are the Haitians registering and not just mixing in the population? The answer is the color of the skin. Haitians are black of french heritage. Dominicans are mostly brown and see themselves as descendants of Spain. 

The Island was colonized by the spanish and the Haitians by the french but both have been occupied by the US. Having won Puerto Rico from Spain the US figured they had their presence guarantee in the Caribbean together with Cuba with an over friendly but corrupt Government. 
In Hispaniola (original name of the island) the US was more than happy to get out in which it saw as colony for just some US giant corporations. However the US intervened in the D.R. twice with US marines because of civil strife. Eisenhower sent the marines in the 50’s and also Lindon Johnson in the 60’s.  The Marines were also sent to Haiti by President Clinton after the brutal Dictator “Papa Doc” threatened to come back after leaving during a rebelion. Meaning the Us has seen itself a little responsible for helping this island from a distance.

It’s a shame that the Dominican Republic having been colonized just like Haiti and many of its residents having left for the US to look for a better life it’s a shame that they wont aloud the Haitians what they themselves have asked of this nation. One have to ask, if the Haitians were brown and white like most of the Dominicans, would there be such a rush to dislocate hundreds of thousand Haitians? (at least 250,000 have registered and almost all of them are due to be deported in the next 48 hours).

We have seen ethnic cleansing in Europe but never in the Caribbean or a Spanish country for that matter. The D.R. is making history the wrong way and one way in which the world particularly in the America’s would remember with a bitter taste in their consiences. 
Color of skin, gender, sexual orientation, nationality still play such an important negative role in the world when it should not. Its like those things I just mentioned made you human or not. Today in Africa people and the middle east people are slaughter in the name of nationality and religion. 
Color of the Haitian Skin:

There is an artificial line that splits the island of Hispaniola in two. On one side is Haiti, and on the other is the Dominican Republic.
There was a time when that split between the two countries was drawn with blood; the 1937 Parsley Massacre is widely regarded as a turning point in Haitian-Dominican relations. The slaughter, carried out by Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo, targeted Haitians along with Dominicans who looked dark enough to be Haitian -- or whose inability to roll the "r" in perejil, the Spanish word for parsley, gave them away.The Dajabón River, which serves as the northernmost part of the international border between the two countries, had "risen to new heights on blood alone," wrote Haitian American author Edwidge Danticat."The massacre cemented Haitians into a long-term subversive outsider incompatible with what it means to be Dominicans," according to Border of Lights, an organization that commemorated the 75th anniversary of the massacre in 2012.Today, things are as tense on the island as they have been in years. Within days, the Dominican government is expected to round up Haitians — or, really, anyone black enough to be Haitian — and ship them to the border, where they will likely be expelled.
 Island of Hispaniola

                                                                          _*_


The Dominican Republic is set to begin what some are calling "ethnic purging," placing the fate of hundreds of thousands of Dominicans of Haitian descent into limbo. Half a million legally stateless people could be sent to Haiti this week, including those who have never stepped foot in Haiti and don’t speak the language. In 2013, a Dominican constitutional court ruling stripped the citizenship of children born to Haitian immigrants in the Dominican Republic as far back as 1929, retroactively leaving tens of thousands without citizenship. Today marks the deadline for undocumented workers to register their presence in the Dominican Republic or risk mass deportation. However, only 300 of the 250,000 Dominican Haitians applying for permits have reportedly received them. Many have actively resisted registering as foreigners, saying they are Dominican by birth and deserve full rights. Dominican authorities have apparently organized a fleet of buses and set up processing centers on the border with Haiti, creating widespread fears of mass roundups. The Dominican Republic’s decision to denationalize hundreds of thousands of people has sparked international outcry. We are joined by the acclaimed Haitian-American novelist Edwidge Danticat.

February 11, 2015

In Malaysia Top Judges send Opposing Contenders to jail for Sodomy


Malaysia's opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim in 2011 (Photo courtesy of Human Rights Watch)
Malaysia’s opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim in 2011 (Photo courtesy of Human Rights Watch)
The conviction of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim after seven years of politically motivated proceedings under an abusive and archaic law is a major setback for human rights in Malaysia, Human Rights Watch said today.
On February 10, 2015, the Federal Court of Malaysia upheld a lower court ruling and sentenced Anwar to five years in prison for violating Malaysia’s sodomy law. The Malaysian authorities should exonerate Anwar, a former deputy prime minister, and the government should act to repeal section 377 of the penal code.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak (Photo courtesy of TheHoya.com)
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak (Photo courtesy of TheHoya.com)
“Prime Minister Najib Razak’s government has persisted in its politically motivated prosecution of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim at the expense of democratic freedoms and the rights to non-discrimination and privacy for all Malaysians,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “Allowing this travesty of justice to stand will further undermine respect for rights and democracy in Malaysia.”
The decision of the Federal Court, Malaysia’s highest court, strips Anwar of his seat in the federal Parliament where he leads the opposition Pakatan Rakyat coalition. Malaysian election law provides that any person who is imprisoned for as little as one day or fined 2,000 ringgit (US$550) is forbidden from running for office for five years after release from prison. Many observers believe that the five-year ban from politics, when coupled with his prison sentence, means an effective end to Anwar’s political career.
Police arrested Anwar on July 16, 2008, based on a complaint from Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, a political aide, that Anwar had consensual sex with him. Serious fair trial concerns arose throughout the original trial, including the prosecutors’ unwillingness to provide defense lawyers with access to medical and other evidence against their client. Nevertheless, the High Court acquitted Anwar on January 9, 2012, ruling that DNA samples that were central to the prosecution’s case had not been handled or maintained properly and thus were possibly contaminated. The High Court judge said the only other major evidence was the alleged victim’s statements, and those were uncorroborated.
Palace of Justice in Patrajaya, which houses the Federal Court of Malaysia. (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)
Palace of Justice in Patrajaya, which houses the Federal Court of Malaysia. (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)
The government appealed and on March 7, 2014, the Court of Appeal overturned the acquittal and sentenced Anwar to five years in prison. The appeal court hearing, originally scheduled for April, was hurriedly moved to March 6 and 7. In addition, the verdict and sentencing hearing were conducted on the same day despite defense counsel requests, which were denied, that they be given adequate time to prepare for mitigation, including provision of medical evidence. The sentencing hearing was conducted after a one-hour recess on a day of proceedings that had lasted until 5 p.m. The immediate result was that Anwar’s conviction disqualified him from running in the Kajang district state assembly election in Selangor on March 23. If Anwar had been permitted to run and won the seat, he would have been eligible to seek the position of chief minister of Selangor state, a development strongly opposed by the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition.
Phil Robertson, deputy director of Human Rights Watch for Asia: Anwar trials are "political vendetta." (Photo courtesy of ThailandTatler.com)
Phil Robertson, deputy director of Human Rights Watch for Asia: Anwar trials are “political vendetta.” (Photo courtesy of ThailandTatler.com)
This is the fourth time Anwar has been charged under section 377 of the penal code, a law that discriminates against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. The article has been invoked only seven times since 1938, according to research by the Women’s Candidacy Initiative. The willingness of successive Malaysian governments to use the law repeatedly against one high-profile political opponent highlights the danger it poses so long as it remains on the books, Human Rights Watch said.
“By persisting in its political vendetta using section 377, the government is also denigrating Malaysia’s LGBT community,” Robertson said. “Using an archaic and discriminatory law in order to score political points shows Prime Minister Najib’s encouragement of intolerance under his rule.”

 by 

Latest:
Malaysia's highest court has upheld opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's conviction on sodomy charges and his five-year prison sentence in a case he and his supporters have denounced as a fabrication.
The Federal Court's judgement on Tuesday upheld a ruling by the Court of Appeal in March last year, which found the 67-year-old guilty of sodomising a former political aide.
Addressing the court, Anwar accused the panel of justices for taking part in a "political conspiracy" by Malaysia's ruling regime.
Hundreds of Anwar supporters, surrounded by dozens of police, gathered outside the court [AFP]
statement by the Malaysian government said on Tuesday: "The judges will have reached their verdict only after considering all the evidence in a balanced and objective manner. Malaysia has an independent judiciary, and there have been many rulings against senior government figures."
Hee Loy Sian, a fellow MP from Anwar's party, told Al Jazeera that the opposition People's Justice Party will meet in a few hours to decide on its next steps following the judgment.
"It is an injustice. There are some political influences. There is no independence of the judiciary. It is a black history for Malaysia. How can the leader of the opposition be jailed?"
In an interview with Al Jazeera, Anwar's lawyer Rasiah Sivarasa, said that the case was "politically motivated."
He claimed that Anwar's main accuser had met then deputy prime minister Najib Razak, now the country's leader, before filing the case against Anwar.   
'DNA evidence tainted' 
Al Jazeera's Sohail Rahman, reporting from the city of Putrajaya, said Anwar's wife, who is also the president of the People's Justice Party, cried at the court and asked for a private moment with her husband following the announcement of the verdict.
Rahman said Anwar's lawyers had argued during the appeal hearing that DNA evidence against him was tainted, a claim rejected by the court.
Sodomy is illegal in Muslim-majority Malaysia where the offence carries a jail term of up to 20 years.

November 1, 2014

Gays Evacuate Ukraine Under Russian control “ A Stranger in Your Country”


Kyiv supports refugees from other parts of Ukraine but proves unsafe for Pride

Olena Semenova, one of the organizers of Kyiv Pride, talks   about why they had to cancel Pride in her city. Also, she explains how gay people are fleeing areas of Ukraine that have been taken over by Russians. Semenova and other Ukrainian activists who attended WorldPride in Toronto inspired an upcoming documentary called The Pride of Ukraine: Inspire a World of Change.  

May 2, 2014

Brunei Implements ‘Stone to death' to gays and Adulterers


                                                                            

Brunei will begin a phased-in implementation of a new Islamic penal code from May 1 that prescribes stoning as punishment for adultery and homosexuality.
The law, which was expected to be introduced last month but was delayed, will be brought in over a three-year period. According tothe Brunei Times, offences that are penalized with fines and prison time will be part of the first phase, corporal punishment will be enforced in the second phase, and the death penalty will be implemented in the third.
The United Nations, international human rights groups that include Amnesty International, and LGBT advocacy groups in Asiahave condemned the law, which was first announced by Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah in October last year. At that time, Bolkiah characterized the measure as “a special guidance from Allah to us all,” adding that it is “now part of the great history of our nation.”
Midnight Poonkasetwattana, executive director of the Asia Pacific Coalition on Male Sexual Health (APCOM) says, “This law carries heavy and degrading penalties that create barriers towards enjoying the right to sexual health, especially in accessing preventive measures that will protect people from HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. This law will further, if not lead to, discrimination against gay and transgender people.” 
At a press conference, a spokesperson for the UN high commissioner for human rights said, “The criminalization and application of the death penalty for consensual relations between adults in private . . . violates a whole host of rights, including the rights to privacy, to equality before the law, the right to health and freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention. The provisions of the revised penal code may encourage further violence and discrimination against women and also against people on the basis of sexual orientation.”
A number of gay rights groups have called for a boycott of hotel chains and properties owned by Bolkiah; these include The Dorchester, Coworth Park and 45 Park Lane in London; the Beverly Hills Hotel, Hotel Bel-Air, and Hotel Eden in the United States; Principe di Savoia in Italy; and Hotel Le Meurice in Paris, theInternational Business Times reports.
Brunei shrinks, 1861-1905
While an LGBT conference that was to be held at the Beverly Hills Hotel has already been cancelled, a number of celebrities, including Ellen DeGeneres, Sharon Osbourne and Stephen Fry, have announced they will be boycotting Brunei-owned businesses.

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