Middle East

 

 

 

Being gay in Syria

When Syrian rebels took Racca last March, one would have thought that the capture of this northern city that was previously controlled by the regime of President Bashar al-Assad would suffice them. They do not get involved in the private lives of citizens by Amir, a Syrian from the city. This quiet period did not… Read more »

Israeli President Shimon Peres says he supports same-sex marriage

Shimon Peres has told Israeli news agency YNet that he supports same-sex marriage because all human beings should have the same rights, during a state visit to Mexico Israeli President Shimon Peres has become the highest ranking Israeli politician to announce their support for same-sex couples having the right to marry – although his role… Read more »

Lebanon’s gay-friendly reputation challenged by abuses

Lebanon’s capital, Beirut, comes alive under darkness. Its narrow alleyways meander into streets full of bars. The locals, many dressed in designer clothing generously splashed with expensive fragrances, sit on the verandas drinking cocktails till dawn. The city’s liberal demeanour really does make it like no other place in a deeply conservative region. But Beirut… Read more »

Iran: Still hostile to gays

Rouhani’s so-called moderation has changed precious little on the ground for the Islamic Republic’s LGBT community A reformer? Really? The expectation that the election of new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani would curtail persecution of minorities has proved a bitter disappointment for his country’s struggling gay community. Sadly, human rights under the so-called “moderate” Rouhani presidency… Read more »

Denied Identity: Human Rights Abuses Against Iran’s LGBT Community

Since its inception, the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) has discriminated, in law and in practice, against its lesbian and gay population. While transgender Iranians are legally protected if they start the sex-change process, there is significant concern that gay and lesbian individuals could be unnecessarily encouraged to undergo sex-reassignment surgery. In addition, LGBT (lesbian,… Read more »

Being Gay in Tel Aviv, the Manhattan of the Middle East

My mom is a gay civil rights activist. Let’s get down to it: The reason I support Israel is that I found a different cause from my mom’s. Yet I remain deeply invested in gay civil rights. I cried when gay marriage was legalized in New York on June 24, 2011. New Yorkers, gay and… Read more »

Dare Lebanon show sexplicit gay film tonight?

Reports say Beirut International Film Festival faces censor disapproval on decision to include award-winning French thriller ‘Stranger by the lake’ Will they, won’t they? That’s what gay and other rights activists are wondering about the Beirut International Film Festival as it gets ready for tonight’s screening. The film chosen in the Panorama section for the… Read more »

Lebanon censors French film depicting gay love story

A French film featuring a gay love story has been blocked by Lebanese censors, the Beirut International Film Festival has said. The festival said it had been informed by censors that the film L’inconnu du lac, or Stranger by the Lake, was not suitable for viewing, and did not meet the criteria needed to be… Read more »

Comment: With all eyes on anti-gay Russia, there are three countries with a shocking need for coverage

Paul Canning looks critically at media coverage of the LGBT situation in Russia, highlighting other areas around the globe where hate crimes and violence have also soared, yet where media coverage is still minimal. It’s Russia, Russia, Russia when it comes to ‘foreign gay news’ these days. But it’s a much bigger and badder gay… Read more »

Lebanon on course to legalize homosexuality

Psychologists agree to be expert witnesses in court to say homosexuality is natural, and so laws against ‘unnatural’ sex acts do not apply Lebanon is closer to making gay sex legal after psychiatrists and psychologists in the country stated homosexuality was ‘natural’, GSN can reveal. The statements are a huge breakthrough because law 534, used… Read more »

Israel to honour gay Holocaust victims with first monument

Israel has announced that it is to erect a monument in the honour of gay victims of the Holocaust, the first of its kind in the country. The memorial is to be completed in Meir Park, Tel Aviv later this year, and the first of its kind in Israel. Like other monuments around the world,… Read more »

No Place for Gays in Yemen

Sana’a (IPS) – As he gets ready to go to a café in Yemen’s capital Sana’a, Husam tucks his long tresses inside a hood before getting into the back of his friend’s car. “Still problematic,” his friend tells him, assessing him in the rear view mirror. Husam pushes his hair further inside. A short drive… Read more »

Syria Gay Activists Launch First Magazine

The magazine hopes to highlight threats against homosexuals, especially in wartime Syrian homosexuals marched through the center of Istanbul on Thursday, raising both Syrian revolution and regime flags. The controversial rally, which took place the central Istiklal Street was organized by Mawaleh (salty nuts), Syria’s first gay magazine. In an interview with Zaman al-Wasl, the… Read more »

HIV Prevalence and Related Risk Behaviors in Men Who Have Sex with Men, Yemen 2011.

Source Regional Knowledge Hub, and WHO Collaborating Centre for HIV Surveillance, Institute for Futures Studies in Health, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran, ali.mirzazadeh@hivhub.ir. Abstract Men who have sex with men (MSM) are at growing risk of HIV infection in many parts of the world; however, the epidemic has not been well explored among… Read more »

Al-Qaida linked militants kill another gay man in Yemen

emeni security officials say a 20-year-old man has been executed on suspicion of being homosexual by militants from an Al-Qaida linked group in what may be the 34th such extrajudicial killing of LGBTs in the country Militants from the Al-Qaida linked Ansar Al Sharia islamist group have shot dead a 20-year-old they suspected of being… Read more »

Lebanese Psychiatric Society declares being homosexual is not a mental illness

But homosexuality remains officially illegal and there are sometimes police crackdowns The Lebanese Psychiatric Society has declared homosexuality is not a mental illness. The society says in a statement: ‘Homosexuality in itself does not cause any defect in judgment, stability, reliability or social and professional abilities.’ It also states: ‘The assumption that homosexuality is a… Read more »

Lebanon Says: Being Gay Is Not a Disease and Needs No Treatment

Beirut, Lebanon — Homosexuality is not a mental disorder and does not need to be treated, the Lebanese Psychiatric Society (LPS) stated on Thursday. LPS made it clear that the statement was in response to allegations of arrest and mistreatment of LGBT people in Lebanon. “Homosexuality in itself does not cause any defect in judgment,… Read more »

Conjugal visits approved for gay and lesbian prisoners in Israel

The Israel Prison Service has announced its prisoner’s ordinance allows conjugal visits for homosexual prisoners Homosexual prisoners in Israel have now been granted conjugal visits. Gay and lesbian prisoners in Israel have been granted the same conjugal visitation rights as straight prisoners. According to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), the Israel Prison… Read more »

Lebanon gays tortured, beaten and forced to undergo ‘anal probes’ by police

Security forces in Lebanon routinely torture, beat, verbally and physically abuse people suspected of being gay, breaching international agreements which the country ratified, says a report Lebanese Internal Security Forces threaten, ill-treat, and torture LGBT people in their custody says report released today. In just one example of many interviewees, Nadim was arrested in 2010… Read more »

Gay Yemeni activist facing death threats seeks to stay in Canada

Ala’a Jarban begins refugee claim process An internationally known youth activist involved in the 2011 Yemeni revolution is seeking refugee status in Canada after he was inundated with death threats in reaction to a blog posting declaring he was gay. Ala’a Jarban, who is currently in Montreal, has been weighing the difficult decision of whether… Read more »

Video: Montreal a human rights ‘hot spot’

  Montreal – There are no gays in Yemen. That’s the Middle Eastern republic’s official position on homosexuality. But in the event that a person is caught committing a homosexual act in one of Yemen’s southeastern provinces, two kinds of punishment are meted out: flogging and death. In the face of the country’s profoundly homophobic… Read more »

Israel’s Tel Aviv holds annual gay pride parade

Tel Aviv, Israel (AP) — Drag queens, politicians, grandmothers and shirtless men descended on Tel Aviv in their thousands Friday to party in the annual gay pride parade, the 15th march to be held in an Israeli city that has emerged as one of the world’s most gay-friendly. Loud dance music beat along the parade’s… Read more »

Three arrested for Israel gay youth shooting

Israeli police arrested three suspects in connection with a shooting which left two dead and dozens injuried at a Tel-Aviv gay youth center shooting in 2009 Israeli police have arrested three suspects in connection with a shooting at Tel-Aviv’s gay youth center in 2009. The three suspects who were arrested today (5 June) will appear… Read more »

Politics of a Queer

Growing up in KSA, I witnessed a Pakistani and an Indian being executed in Medina for being gay. The image of the two beheaded bodies still haunts me until now. It never fails to stir anger and despise against the Saudi kings and princes, especially that I know for a fact that Prince Abdulmajid, the… Read more »

Being queer without fear: films on LGBTS from Iran, Pakistan

What must it be like to be a lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender in a conservative country? This year, the Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival will highlight the travails of the LGBT community by screening films from countries such as Iran, Pakistan, Serbia and Israel. Still from Noor, a film about the LGBT community… Read more »

Our 30th of April-2013 manifestation Gay and Proud

30th of April, 2013… a week after the incident that caused a storm of outrage among the LGBT in Lebanon and the human rights delegate and supporters alike, a week after Mr Antoine Chakhtoura, Mayor of Dekwani, a residential and industrial hub in mount Lebanon, took an unjust, illegal and unwelcomed step by raiding a… Read more »

Young man assaulted and injured on a Jerusalem bus for being gay

A young man from Jerusalem, Israel was verbally abused and brutally assaulted on a night bus for being gay, while passengers and security stood by and did not intervene A young gay man was attacked on a Jerusalem night bus, receiving facial injuries. The youth in his early twenties went out with friends in Jerusalem,… Read more »

Saudi journalist arrested for ‘gay party’

Saudi Arabia’s religious police arrested an editor of a well known daily who was allegedly preparing to attend a ‘gay party’ A journalist and editor at a ‘well-known’ daily newspaper was arrested in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, for planning to attend a ‘gay party’, using make up and possession of alcohol. The kingdom’s religious police known… Read more »

Repression, homophobia and transgender policies in Iran

Repression, homophobia and transgender policies in Iran Because of Islam’s many sects and a lack of centralized religious authority, there is no one opinion on the status and rights of LGBT peoples. The International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) notes that of the seven countries that currently have the death penalty for homosexuality, all are… Read more »

Iran, Russia and Egypt threaten to scupper UN women’s declaration due to gay rights opposition

An alliance made up of Iran, Russia and Egypt has threatened to derail a UN declaration urging an end to violence against women and girls by objecting to language concerning LGBT rights and reproduction. Reuters reports delegates to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women are racing to reach a deal on a… Read more »

Report Of The Special Rapporteur On The Situation Of Human Rights In The Islamic Republic Of Iran*

The present report is the second to be submitted to the Human Rights Council, pursuant to Council resolution 16/9, and communicates developments in the human rights situation of the Islamic Republic of Iran that have transpired since the submission of the Special Rapporteur’s second interim report to the 67th session of the General Assembly (A/67/369)… Read more »

Greetings from Amman

Friends, As people committed to justice, we know that to achieve full equality for LGBT communities, we must collaborate with other movements for human rights. Working side-by-side with women’s rights activists is one example of a critical partnership. After all, LBT women are women, too. And much of the homophobia and transphobia we deal with… Read more »

Reasons to be gay… not

The J.Spot a blog about women’s rights, human dignity, secularism and sexual freedom in the Arab world As I follow the ongoing debates about gay marriage in the US, and read the wave of criticism that hit actress Jodie Foster’s ‘reticent’ way of coming out during her speech at the recent Golden Globes ceremony (she… Read more »

The Cultural & Religious Debates on HIV/AIDS in the Muslim World

On December 8, 2012, the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) hosted a Red Gala Dinner at the Fairmont Hotel in Cairo, Egypt to raise awareness about the virus and how it affects the lives of over three hundred thousand people across the Arab world. The by-invitation-only event featured high-profile celebrity attendees, including satirical… Read more »

Kuwait arrests young trans woman and her mother

Kuwait continues with ‘morality’ campaigns that also target LGBT people, and in particular the trans community, with at least 16 transgender women now imprisoned A young transgender woman described as ‘mutashabeh’ (‘boy in women clothing’) was spotted and then arrested along with her mother by a police patrol in Salmiya, Kuwait city. A security source… Read more »

Activists slam Emirates depiction of LGBT rights as ‘evil’ and ‘diseases’

Gay activists criticize the Emirates attempt to ‘pick and choose’ what constitutes human rights The United Arab Emirates was elected last month to a seat in the UN Human Rights Council despite criticism from the UAE LGBT rights group. The group called upon the UAE to respect the universality of human rights of which LGBT… Read more »

Palestinian gay couple killed by Israeli Gaza bombing

Two gay Palestinians who lived in Gaza and were in a relationship were killed when an Israeli bomb directly hit their apartment building A gay Palestinian couple was killed by an Israeli bomb that directly hit their apartment building. The two men, one aged 21 the other 31 years-old, were spending time in their apartment… Read more »

Kuwait arrests two trans women

Kuwait continues with ‘morality’ campaigns that also target LGBT people, and in particular the trans community, with at least 13 transgender women now imprisoned Two transgender women were arrested this weekend in Kuwait. The two are the latest to be arrested in a continuous ‘morality’ campaign that had in just over two months imprisoned 13… Read more »

Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood Decries Halloween Party As Homosexual

Islamists in Jordan have condemned a Halloween party held in an Amman cafe, decrying it as homosexual and Satanic. The Muslim Brotherhood blasted the celebration held Friday in a statement on its website the following day. “We watched with disgust and shame last night homosexual and Satanic rituals in an Amman cafe,” the Brotherhood is… Read more »

Hope For Trafficked Gay, Bisexual Men Lured Into Sex Slavery In Arab Gulf As Law Signed By Kibaki

A New law signed into law by President Kibaki promises to offer support and compensation to victims of trafficking including university gay men and bisexuals who were lured into sex slavery to Arab countries with promises of jobs. The Counter-Trafficking in Persons Act, which was signed into law by the President more than 18 months… Read more »