Monthly Archives: May 2014


Afrikaanse resolutie tegen LGBT geweld


Afrikaanse resolutie tegen LGTB-geweld.

african union plenaryDe Afrikaanse Commissie voor Mensen- en Volkenrechten of ACHPR zette deze week een historische stap inzake een betere bescherming van holebi’s en transgender of LGBT’s. In Afrika zijn geweld en mensenrechtenschendingen t.a.v. personen op basis van hun echte of vermeende seksuele geaardheid en gender identiteit nog dagelijkse kost. De ACHPR veroordeelt dat nu via een nieuwe resolutie. Die werd aangenomen op de 55e gewone zitting in mei 2014 te Luanda in Angola en geldt voor de hele Afrikaanse Unie, d.w.z. alle Afrikaanse landen behalve Marokko.

Met de holebi- en trangenderrechten is het in Afrika over het algemeen erbarmelijk gesteld. Een klein aantal landen kende de laatste jaren een zekere vooruitgang. In Zuid-Afrika is bijvoorbeeld het huwelijk en adoptie opengesteld voor mensen van hetzelfde geslacht.

De meeste andere staten blijven echter een strenge strafwetgeving handhaven, laten geweld t.o.v. holebi’s – soms totaal – ongemoeid of moedigen het zelfs aan. In de hele wereld criminaliseren 78 staten seksuele contacten tussen instemmende volwassenen van hetzelfde geslacht ; volgens ILGA  liggen er daarvan 38 in Afrika. In landen als Nigeria, Mauritanië, Soedan en Somalië staat op same-sex omgang zelfs de doodstraf.

In sommige gevallen, zoals Oeganda en Nigeria, ging het de laatste tijd slechts van kwaad naar erger. Hier is sprake van een soort heksenjacht op holebi’s, met eveneens verstrekkende gevolgen voor hulpverlenende instanties in het kader van HIV/aids-bestrijding. Een ander kwalijk uitvloeisel van vervolging omwille van de seksuele geaardheid of gender identiteit is het toenemend aantal personen die op deze grond hun land moeten ontvluchten en elders asiel zoeken.

De nieuwe resolutie is bedoeld om de verslechterde situatie voor LGTB’s in Afrika te counteren. Belangrijk is dat ze uitgaat van de ACHPR, de hoogste gezaghebbende instantie op het gebied van Mensen-en Volkenrechten in het kader van de Afrikaanse Unie. Cynisch detail is wel dat Yahya Jammeh, de president van Gambia – het Afrikaanse landje waar het ACHPR gevestigd is – een van de meest rabiate en openlijke LGBTI-haters is. Het rapport dat de resolutie onderbouwt vermeldt Gambia dan ook meermaals op negatieve wijze.

Vind de originele tekst van de resolutie hier.

Iran’s Social Workers’ Association: homosexuals are normal.


Iran’s Social Workers’ Association says homosexuals are normal people. “They are similar to us in every  aspect… They are  human beings like us,


“I must admit I am still in shook… I had to read this text three times to make sure my eyes are not playing tricks on me….”

The Head of Iran’s Social Workers’ Association says homosexuals are normal people. “They are similar to us in every  aspect… They are  human beings like us, they are quieter than others, and bother nobody…So why should we go after them? Simply because they speak effeminately we should give them a hard time? ”

In an precedented interview, Nameh News, a popular online news website inside Iran published a sympathetic article about homosexuality. The article starts with the story of a man who has MBA and speaks 3 languages but for the past 2 years has not been able to find a job because of his sexual orientation. The article refers to homosexuals as “a segment of the Iranian society whose status in our society is often neglected”.

The core of the article is an interview with Dr. Mostafa Eghlima, the head of  Iran’s Social Workers’ Association about homosexuality.
Here is the highlight of his interview:

-Homosexuals are biologically different then other people.. This doesn’t make them a sinner or a criminal… This biological difference is something similar to difference in height: you can’t  ostracized people from society because they are shorter than others….

– Those who are against homosexuals have a medieval age mentality.. We should see all men as God’s creatures and do not judge them base on their color, height, or social status…Those officials who are against homosexuals have no education in this field and cause a lot of social problems with their policies…

-No one can deny the right to life from these people… These people are not mentally challenged… It is the social and family pressure that drives these people to a corner.. Some family treat their homosexual members as if they have leprosy… If we don’t interfere in their lives, homosexuals will have no problem.. They don’t need surgery to change their body and increase their problems 10 fold…

–  Homosexuals face discrimination in the job market, eve when they are the most qualified candidates… Should we punish a man because God has given him a different speech pattern? We have no right to harm God’s creatures.. Harming homosexuals is selfish and ignorant.. similar to harming someone because they are disabled.. Islam treats all people equally…If we were to follow the letter of the law, everyone should be treated the same… Homosexuals are like other human beings..They are quieter than other people  and bother nobody…So why should we go after them? Simply because they speak effeminately we should give them a hard time? ”

– In this society from the government to the police give  homosexuals a hard time… The family members make fun of them. Parents are nasty to them… They can find no job. What are they supposed to do? We have buried these people alive.. We have taken everything away from these people… This is inhumane and unislamic.

– In the past homosexuals had their place in the society and nobody bothered them…

Hossein Alizadeh
Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator
International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission


Uganda’s male survivors of conflict-related sexual violence in double jeopardy shows IRIN Report


Uganda’s male survivors of conflict-related sexual violence in double jeopardy shows IRIN Report (30april 2014)

The needs of male survivors of conflict-related sexual violence living as refugees in Uganda, of whom there are several hundred, are poorly met, with recent legislation against homosexuality making matters worse, according to a new report.

According to one humanitarian official working in the field who preferred anonymity, “many survivors have medical needs due to the assault and have undergone a series of surgeries. However, due to limited medical services available in Uganda, the assault still affects their physical and emotional health. Some of the medical conditions expressed include back pain, leg pain, STI and STD [sexually transmitted infections and diseases] and bleeding.” “Much more progress is required in interventions addressing the challenges faced by male survivors of sexual violence” especially in the fields of health, stigmatization and security, according to the report, issued earlier this month by Makerere University’s Refugee Law Project (RLP) to mark the second anniversary of Men of Hope, one of several self-help groups it supports. One barrier to such progress is that sexual violence against men is not widely recognized.

“Just ignore it,” Uganda’s Minister for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees Musa Ecweru told IRIN.”The problem of refugees in Uganda is not male rape or homosexuality. It’s a minor issue. It’s being promoted and made prominent by the whites and NGOs who want funding,” he said. “Our basic concern for the refugees is food, shelter, water, health and their safety. Male rape, homosexuality, is not an African issue,” he said.

According to the RLP report such dismissive attitudes are also common among health workers. “This is not only peculiar to private medical facilities but also government hospitals. Medical personnel who don’t believe that male rape exists, and who frequently allege that those who report such cases are either crazy or homosexuals, have further victimized some survivors,” it said. Men of Hope’s president, Alain Kabenga, illustrated this point. “When we go to health facilities to seek treatment, the health workers just laugh and look at us as crazy persons and homosexuals,” he told IRIN. “Public hospitals say they don’t have the budget for male rape victims.” According to the RLP report: “This affects access to health services by survivors who fail to see appropriate personnel or are given painkillers just to blot the pain, leaving the condition worse after a period of time.”

Health Minister Elioda Tumwesigye dismissed any suggestion of second-class treatment. “I haven’t read the report. But it’s not true that we discriminate [against] patients who come to our health facilities,” he told IRIN. “We don’t ask patients who they are and how they got the sickness. Our duty is to protect and prolong life,” he said.

RLP is currently supporting 370 male survivors of sexual violence in support groups in Kampala, as well as western and northern Uganda. Some 320 of these are refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo. The UN Refugee Agency and Interaid, a Ugandan humanitarian group which campaigns for the rights of disadvantaged people, have an additional 67 male survivors in the gender-based violence (GBV) information database.

According to an RLP working paper, sexual violence against both men and women is a “crime of power” intended to degrade. But in conflict situations, men can be deliberately targeted “in part, to attack males as leaders and protectors [to] diminish their masculinity”. “Stigma and discrimination is one of the major challenges male survivors continue to grapple with. Much as xenophobia is a common to all refugees and asylum seekers, the situation is worse for male survivors because male rape is a taboo in many cultures,” the report said.  The community members can’t distinguish between male rape and homosexuality. The confusion is due to lack of knowledge on male rape. People don’t believe male rape exists,” said Kabenga. “The law has made us afraid. Many of us can’t go to health facilities to access health care due to fear and shame to be labelled homosexuals,” he said. “Since the enactment of Anti-Homosexuality Act, RLP’s community outreaches on sexual violence against men and boys have been flooded with questions on homosexuality, signalling a knowledge gap on the subject matter,”David Onen Ongwech, acting programme manager of RLP’s Gender and Sexuality Programme, told IRIN. as deleted. We have no impediments to people who seek health care. This ignorance is manifested in the legal gaps in addressing the concept of rape in Uganda’s domestic legislations.” “It’s this culture of silence that bars male survivors from seeking legal, psychosocial redress, including access to confidential and professional medical services,” he added. The Uganda Penal Code (UPC) does not recognize male rape as a crime, defining rape simply as “unlawful carnal knowledge of a woman or girl, without her consent, or with her consent, if the consent is obtained by force or by means of threats or intimidation of any kind or by fear of bodily harm, or by means of false representations as to the nature of the act, or, in the case of a married woman by personating her husband”. Nathan Mwesigye Byamukama, programme officer at the 11-member-state International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), of which Uganda is a member, told IRIN that his organization does not have measures to support male rape survivors. “The ICGLR is guided by its Protocol on prevention and suppression of sexual violence against women and children in the Great Lakes Region of 2006. As you can see, the protocol is specific and particular to women and children. Of course, children include boys and girls but the protocol is silent on men,” Byamukama, told IRIN. Many male rape survivors fear returning to their countries to face the perpetrators of the sexual violence as well as the possibility of being ostracized. “Male survivors of sexual violence believe that resettlement is the only option for them,” said the report. But, integration into Uganda is not possible under current legislation, it noted. “Male survivors of sexual violence demands for holistic and non-discriminative approaches and service provision, that service providers understand the plight of male survivors of sexual violence and accord not only listening ears but also practical supports geared towards prevention and response to reported cases, just like it’s available for women and girls,” Onen told IRIN. “We need support from the government, doctors, lawyers, police and the community. We appeal to the government to incorporate the plight of male survivors in their planning, programming and budgeting,” he said.