Gay Libya News and Reports

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1 Gadhafi: ‘Straights’ don’t get AIDS 7/03

2 Human Rights Watch concerned over charges of 12 opposition members in Libya 8/07

3 EU provides additional 2m euros to Benghazi HIV/AIDS plan 12/07

4 Libya: Lesbian To Request Asylum In France 11/10

5 Libya: two men arrested for "indecent acts" 12/10

July 12, 2003 – Associated Press

Gadhafi: ‘Straights’ don’t get AIDS

(AIDS has already killed more than 17 million in sub-Saharan Africa and is the leading cause of death among South African women.)

by Elliott Sylvester, Associated Press Writer
Maputo, Mozambique – Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi told a conference of African leaders Saturday that Africans who are "straight" need not fear AIDS, which is ravaging many countries on the continent.

Speaking through a translator, Gadhafi drew some laughter with his reference to AIDS only affecting homosexuals. He told the closing session of the eight-day annual African Union conference, "All you have to do is observe the rules. If you are straight, you have nothing to fear from AIDS." However, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says HIV can be spread by an infected person through heterosexual or homosexual sexual contact, the sharing of needles or syringes and, less commonly, through transfusions of blood or blood clotting factors.

Also, babies born to HIV-infected women may become infected before or during birth, or through breast-feeding. Of the 42 million people worldwide infected with HIV, 29 million live in sub-Saharan Africa. AIDS has already killed more than 17 million in sub-Saharan Africa and is the leading cause of death among South African women. More than 11 million African children have lost at least one parent to the pandemic. The devastating AIDS pandemic was one of the major themes of President Bush’s five-nation African trip. He has proposed spending $15 billion over five years to help the hardest-hit African and Caribbean nations battle the disease.

Gadhafi added in his address to 40 African heads of state that they also should not "worry about tsetse flies and mosquitoes" – which carry malaria and sleeping sickness – saying they were "God’s armies" protecting Africa from its enemies, apparently foreigners. "If they come here, they will get malaria and sleeping sickness," he said. Malaria kills 5 million Africans a year, while sleeping sickness – also known as African trypanosomiasis – kills more than 25,000 people a year.

August 15, 2007 – Magharebia

Human Rights Watch concerned over charges of 12 opposition members in Libya

In a press release on Tuesday (August 14th), Human Rights Watch called on the Libyan government to drop charges against 12 opposition members. Fourteen people were arrested by the authorities in February, after they decided to hold a peaceful demonstration in Tripoli to commemorate the first anniversary of a violent clash between demonstrators and police that killed at least 11 in Benghazi, the HRW statement said. Two of them disappeared while in custody and the other 12 face the death penalty if found guilty on charges of planning to overthrow the government, possession of arms, and meeting with an official from a foreign government. "For all its promises of better behaviour and improved ties with the world, Libya still imprisons those who express alternative political views," AP quoted Sarah Leah Whitson, director of the Human Rights Watch’s Mideast and North Africa branch as saying.

17 December 2007 –

EU provides additional 2m euros to Benghazi HIV/AIDS plan

The European Commission (EC) decided to contribute an additional 2 million euros to the EU HIV-AIDS Action Plan for Benghazi, a press release said Friday (December 14th). The EC will also provide technical assistance to Libya’s Benghazi Centre for Infectious Diseases and Immunology (BCIDI) to help it to reach international standards.

During negotiations for the liberation of Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor who were held in Libya on charges of infecting Benghazi children with HIV, EU Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy Benita Ferrero-Waldner discussed plans for the facility, Ansa reported. "I promised that the European Union would ensure high quality treatment to the Benghazi children and that it would help Libya in taking appropriate measures in order to avoid similar tragedies from happening again", she said. The EU Action Plan for Benghazi was co-funded by the EC, EU member states and private donors and has been operational since 2005. It aims to help the country cope with its HIV-AIDS cases, which were first noted in Benghazi in 1998.

25 October 2010 – ASNA Med

Libya: Lesbian To Request Asylum In France

(ANSAmed) – Paris – Nessma Faraj, a Libyan girl who was arrested, raped and returned to her family which tried to force her into marriage after she announced on the internet that she is gay, has arrived in Metz travelling via Italy on a Schengen visa. France has authorised her to request asylum in the country. In fact she should have asked for asylum in Italy, the first country where she arrived. She only stayed in Italy for a few hours however, because France had decided to resolve the case using the sovereignty clause in the Dublin convention which regulates asylum requests since 1990.

Nessma’s request is supported by 126 associations and around twenty local people. According to Lesbian Coordination France (CLF), the woman has presented document of the Libyan police to the French authorities which show that she had been arrested because of her homosexuality, a crime in Libya for which people can be convicted to three to five years in prison.

A recent report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees claims that it has become difficult for Libyans to request asylum in Italy after the signing of the Italian-Libyan agreement on the return of refugees to Libya. (ANSAmed).

25 December 2010 – GME

Libya: two men arrested for "indecent acts"

by Dan Littauer – In Libya
Tripoli’s police arrested two men for “involving in indecent acts”. The men were a twenty nine and a thirty six years old cab driver who were caught in the cab.
The police report said that the younger man dressed like a “girl”, called himself Jumana, and was wearing make-up. It reported that the cab driver said he was "fooled" by the man’s appearance, thinking him a woman, despite that the two men confessed that they were having “indecent acts" in the car.

The police report also mentioned that the 29 year old was engaging in prostitution. GME is concerned about this report as it appears to be highly biased setting the 29 year old as the main culprit for the “crime”. Comments to the article were deeply disturbing; some said that the people of Lut are back and have to be stoned; others called upon the authorities to send such perverts to psychiatrists. Other comments went to point our places where gay men meet and encouraged the police to entrap men!

GME has informed IGLHRC and Amnesty International on this matter.