Burundi|I love my country but my country does not love me. The situation of LGBTI persons in Burundi2003-2013..


MOLI, an LGBT organization based in Burundi, just released “I love my
country but my country does not love me: The Situation of Lesbian,
Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Persons in Burundi
(2003-2013).” a report on the situation of LGBTI persons in Burundi.
The report was written by Irwin Iradukunda, Human Rights Defender,  in collaboration with Jean Regis Ninteretse, Christian Rumu and Star
Rugori; and translated into English by Stefan Sonnenberg, Interim
Director of the International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution
Clinic at Stanford Law School, in California, USA.
To recap, during the months of November 2013 to February 2014, MOLI
conducted a research on the evolution of Human Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex in Burundi over the period
comprised between 2003 and 2013.
This report, the first of its kind in Burundi, retraces the birth of
the LGBTI movement in Burundi, its growing, key facts that marked the
movement for the human rights of LGBTI people in Burundi, and the
situation of LGBTI and people presumed as such; all with a
consideration of the international context, the political, the legal,
the economic, the social, and cultural contexts of Burundi.

Chris Rumu and Yves Aerts (LGBT federation çavaria) in the Belgian Parliament - 2010

Chris Rumu and Yves Aerts (LGBT federation çavaria) in the Belgian Parliament – 2010

This report contains as well recommendations to improve the respective interventions by various stakeholders towards the sexual minorities, in Burundi.
Please download the report here.
In 2010 Chris Rumu was invited to Belgium by WISHvzw, watch the video -partialy in dutch-  made during his visit here or read the Humure Blog on the remarkable work done during this short visit here.


Fiyabo: The Story of Nigerian Gay Christian Davis Mac-Iyalla


Fiyabo by Davis Mac-IyallaDavis Mac-Iyalla wrote his story down in a book: Fiyabo. On 7th January 2014, the President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, enacted some of the most extreme anti-gay laws on the planet. For example, holding hands with someone of the same sex, or being a member of a gay support organisation can earn you up to ten years in jail. This has been done with the hearty approval of the Nigerian Anglican Church. In practice, widespread mob violence against gay people has ensued, with horrific abuses of human rights. Davis Mac-Iyalla is a Nigerian settled in UK, and an Anglican Christian, who lived and worked in Nigeria until he was forced to flee in 2006. He was one of the first Nigerian gay men to come out publically and has campaigned for the rights of LGBTI people for over twenty years. He co-founded Alliance Rights, the first gay and lesbian network in Nigeria, and in 2005 founded Changing Attitude Nigeria, the Nigerian wing of the international organisation Changing Attitude, which supports LGBTI Anglicans. He is a lay reader, a Knight of the Church of Nigeria, and in February of 2008, received the “Bishop Desmond Tutu Award for Human Rights and Social Justice” from the World Pride and Power Organisation . In 2008, following imprisonment, torture, violent attack, and a string of death threats, he was forced to flee Africa for the UK where he continues his fight for human rights. In Davis’ native language, ‘Fiyabo’ (the title of this book), means ‘Survivor’. Davis and his LGBTI brothers and sisters are survivors. They fight and continue to fight to make fellow Nigerians and fellow Africans understand that being gay is not un-African, nor un-Nigerian, nor ungodly, but simply the way some people are.

Davis Mac-Iyalla and Jan Beddeleem on Tyne Cot Cemetry in 2009

Davis Mac-Iyalla and Jan Beddeleem in 2009 on Tyne Cot Commonwealth War Graves Cemetry and Memorial to the dead and the missing of the First World War.

“Davis has done a magnificent job exposing the victimisation of gay people in Nigeria – a victimisation that is incited and endorsed by the Anglican Church of Nigeria.” Peter Tatchell, British human rights defender. “I hesitate to call anyone a saint – that is really God’s busness. But for me Davis displays the qualities, beginning with the great humanity, that we associate with such campaigners as William Wilberforce, Martin Luther King, and Peter Tatchell.” John Henson, Baptist Minister and author of ‘Good As New’, ‘The Gay Disciple‘, ‘Make Christmas Real’ etc. “Davis’ new book will touch the hearts and minds of all who read it.'” Ifalade Ta’Shia Asanti, Award-winning journalist, Activist and Author.

Davis Mac-Iyalla 2009 drawing by by Jo Veldeman

Davis Mac-Iyalla by artist Jo Veldeman – 2009

Davis Mac-Iyalla was invited to vist Belgium by WISH vzw in 2009 and visited Belgian and European MP’s as well as different NGO’s. It was a mutual enriching experience and in chapter two, page 70 of the book he reflects on this journey to Brussels and Flanders.  Read the dutch interview Davis gave that time to the daily newspaper De Morgen here

Order the book here.

RAINBOWREFUGEES: wet by the rain.Missed opportunity on the impact of unenforced anti same-sex law


Today, the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) published a commentary, analysing in detail the 7 November 2013 judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union in the joined cases of X, Y and Z v. Minister voor Immigratie en Asiel, which arose from three asylum claims in the Netherlands in which the applicants asserted a well-founded fear of persecution for reason of their sexual orientation.

You can download the commentary X, Y and Z: a glass half full for “rainbow refugees”?’ here: http://www.icj.org/x-y-and-z-a-glass-half-full-for-rainbow-refugees/.

Positively, the Court found that asylum applicants who have a same-sex sexual orientation and come from countries where consensual homosexual conduct is criminalised, form a particular social group for the purposes of EU refugee law. Further, the Court’s recognition that sexual orientation is a characteristic so fundamental to one’s identity that one cannot be expected to renounce or conceal it, or to exercise greater restraint in its expression than heterosexuals, is welcome. Likewise, the Court’s finding that the enforcement of a term of imprisonment that sanctions consensual homosexual acts must be regarded as a disproportionate or discriminatory punishment, and is thus persecutory, is a step forward, particularly given that in some EU countries this was hitherto not the case.asylum fortune lotery

However, in some important respects this judgment represents a missed opportunity. The Court failed to clarify the inconsistency between secondary EU refugee law and the UNHCR’s authoritative interpretation of “a particular social group” in the Refugee Convention’s definition of a refugee. Further, in choosing to maintain the narrow scope of the questions referred to it, the Court ended up with an unwarrantedly restrictive reading of EU refugee law, which ignores the numerous persecutory effects of criminalizing consensual same-sex sexual orientation or gender identity. The Court missed a chance to state that these laws, even when they are not enforced in the sense that there exists a recent record of enforcement through the actual imposition of terms of imprisonment, have a persecutory effect, as they criminalize an essential characteristic of one’s identity.

Source: Laurens C. Hueting – ICJ