Category Archives: Nigeria

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

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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.

US State Department Countryreports 2013 OUT NOW

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WISH2.be used the report-builder on the website to quickly gather all the executive summaries and Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity sections for the 49 African countries reported on.
Download your starting point here, or build your own report and share it with us, including your comments and criticism. We value different opinions.

Read Secretary J.F. Kerry’s Preface:
As we mark the 65th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights this year, the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices highlight the continued pursuit of “free and equal dignity in human rights” in every corner of the world. Based on factual reporting from our embassies and posts abroad, these Congressionally mandated reports chronicle human rights conditions in almost 200 countries and territories. The reports draw attention to the growing challenges facing individuals and organizations as governments around the world fall short of their obligation to uphold universal human rights.

I have seen firsthand how these reports are used by a wide range of actors – by Congress in its decision-making processes surrounding foreign security sector assistance and economic aid; by the Department of State and other U.S. government agencies in shaping American foreign policy; and by U.S. citizens, international nongovernmental organizations, foreign governments, human rights defenders, lawyers, journalists, scholars, and others who are committed to advancing human dignity.

Continue reading

CDSR Press Release –

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SEXUAL RIGHTS COALITION COMMENDS THE PASSAGE OF THE HIV BILL 2013.

The Coalition for the Defense of Sexual Rights (CDSR) wishes to commend the Nigerian Senate on the passage of the HIV Bill 2013 on Thursday 10th April 2014.

The Bill stipulated that every person living HIV and AIDS shall be assured of freedom from

unlawful termination of his or her employment by reason of his or her status. Senate

President, David Mark, noted that the issue of HIV/AIDS is not something that people

should be ashamed of anymore “because we all know that it existed.”

He said those affected should make their status known to those concerned in order to get

necessary support and assistance. Mark said: “HIV/AIDS is not something that people

should be afraid of anymore because we know it does exist, it is better that we take care

and look after those who are affected by it rather than discriminate against them.”

Dorothy Aken’Ova of INCRESE said, “The Bill is a very important step towards ensuring a

better life for people living with HIV and AIDS in Nigeria- those who have for many years

been faced with the effect of stigma and discrimination on the grounds of their HIV status.”

“It is mostly appreciated that the provision of section 4(2c) [further diversity – including

gender diversity in the society based on equal diversity and respect for all people.], which

enables the rights to take affirmative action and comprises of language on diversity”-

Joseph Sewedo Akoro, a member of the coalition said.

Thus as a Coalition, we are worried that the Same-Sex Marriage Act [2013], prohibiting

freedom of expression and association might produce a counter effect on the

implementation of the HIV Bill when and if it becomes law. We link this to the

intersectionality of human rights for all groups of person.

Nonetheless, we encourage members of the parliament to expedite the harmonization of

the Bills as passed by the House of Representative and the Senate, to enable the President’s

assent before the 2015 elections.

For further information, contact:

darlyndotty at gmail.com

damianugwu at yahoo.com

Signed by:

Organisations

International Centre for Sexual Reproductive Rights (INCRESE)

Changing Attitude for Healthy and Better Living Initiative

African Focus For Youth Development (AFFYD)

People Governed By Sharia Rule (PGSR)

Marps Behavioural Initiative (MBI)

Vision Spring Initiative (VSI)

Social Justice Advocacy Initiative (SJAI)

Total Health Empowerment and Development Initiative (THEDI)

Queer Alliance

Hope Alive Initiative (HAI)

Alliance for Behavioural Change (ABC)

Centre for Healthcare and Economic Empowerment for Women and Youth. (CHEEWY)

Development Aid International

Advocates for Human Rights (AHSUD)

Individuals

Davis Mac-Iyalla

Dorothy C. Aken’Ova

Rashid Williams

Joseph Sewedo Akoro

Ayesha Imam

Samuel Shammah

Jake Effuduh

Toyin Ajao

Jude Onumabor

Peter Akakasiaka