Africa

 

 

 

Egypt: Men arrested over same-sex wedding ‘test negative’ for homosexuality

Men arrested for taking part in a mock same-sex wedding in Egypt have ‘tested negative’ for homosexuality. Seven men were arrested over the weekend, over a video showing an unofficial same-sex wedding ceremony on a riverboat in the Nile. The video was posted in April, but had gone viral in Egypt this month, with many… Read more »

Gambia: President must reject homophobic law with life sentence for ‘aggravated homosexuality’

President Yahya Jammeh of Gambia should not sign a new Criminal Code amendment that would increase the punishment for “aggravated homosexuality” to life in prison, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said today. Several provisions of the law violate international human rights law and amount to persecution on the basis of real or perceived sexual… Read more »

How I Got Addicted to Africa (and Wrote a Thriller About It)

A semester outside Harare with a local family, a 11,000-mile trip that included a harrowing sailboat ride, a diplomatic career—and now writing thrillers that at last have an audience. “American audiences don’t want to read about Africa.” That was the reaction from one literary agent a few years ago in reply to my first pitch… Read more »

Gambia: Bill passed to allow life imprisonment for gays

A Gambian politician has said the country is soon to adopt a law which allows life imprisonment for those found guilty of crimes linked to being gay. The law was passed by the National Assembly, and amends the criminal code to bring life sentences for “aggravated homosexuality.” The Associated Press reports that a draft bill… Read more »

Egypt orders arrest of men over ‘gay marriage’ video

(Reuters) – Egyptian authorities have ordered the arrest of nine men who appeared in a video purporting to show the country’s first gay marriage, accusing them of inciting debauchery and undermining public morals. Gay marriage is not legal in Egypt, a conservative Muslim society where the footage, which went viral on social media sites last… Read more »

RGOD2: Why silence is golden for LGBT people in Tanzania and Zanzibar

(Editor’s note: The Rev. Canon Albert Ogle, author of the RGOD2 column, is on vacation. Today’s column is written by Bryan Weiner, who recently finished his master’s degree in International Policy Studies with a focus on Conflict Resolution from the Monterey Institute of International Studies in Monterey, California. He spent his final semester at graduate… Read more »

Ugandan Pride festival takes place in Entebbe

Days after its anti-gay law was declared ‘null and void’, Uganda’s local LGBT community celebrate with beachfront Pride rally Just days after the Uganda’s Constitutional Court struck down the country’s notorious anti-gay law – which threatened gay people with life imprisonment – jubilant LGBT citizens have been celebrating with a gay Pride parade on a… Read more »

Lonely track star, victim of Cameroon’s homophobia

Thierry Essamba, an internationally competitive runner in the 110-meter hurdles, was suspended from the Cameroonian track squad on May 24 because of rumors about his alleged homosexuality. When the story of his punishment first appeared, LGBT activists abroad offered him words of support. But none of those words led to any concrete assistance, either in… Read more »

Museveni okays ‘private’ gays

In an apparent change of attitude towards homosexuality, President Museveni has told NRM legislators that any re-enacted anti-gay law should respect the rights of two consenting adults who engage in same-sex relationships. Addressing the ruling party caucus at State House Entebbe on Monday, Museveni cautioned MPs to tread carefully on the mooted plan to return… Read more »

Confirmed: Uganda Speaker will bring back anti-gay law

Rebecca Kadaga has said the bill will be re-tabled this month and parliament will vote as soon as possible Uganda’s Speaker of Parliament has said the anti-gay law will return. Rebecca Kadaga, who previously called the passed law to be a ‘Christmas gift’ to the population, has said the bill will be re-tabled this month.… Read more »

Uganda anti-gay law struck down: Lawmakers strike back

‘Make no mistake the gymnastics and simple technicalities will never rule this country’ Uganda’s humiliated lawmakers have struck back after the anti-gay law was nullified earlier today (1 August). In an incredible victory, the Constitutional Court’s judges agreed with the gay rights activists that parliament did not follow proper procedure when they passed the law.… Read more »

Uganda Anti-Gay Law Struck Down by Court

Nairobi — A Ugandan court on Friday struck down a punitive anti-gay law that has strained Uganda’s relations with the West, but the court ruled on narrow technical grounds, preserving the possibility that the measure could be revived. In front of an overflowing courtroom, a panel of five judges announced that the Anti-Homosexuality Act, which… Read more »

How 2 Gay Men Live in a Country Where Homosexuality Is Illegal

Two young men bravely share their experience as homosexuals in Ghana Some 37 African countries criminalize homosexual relationships, with penalties ranging from misdemeanors to death sentences, according to a Human Rights Campaign Foundation and Human Rights First report released Tuesday. The report, which analyzed LGBT rights in 54 African countries in total, paints a picture… Read more »

Proud Healthy

Factors such as stigma, discrimination, violence, gaps in the knowledge and attitudes of health-care workers, and the criminalisation of same-sex acts have adversely affected the access to and uptake of health-care services by LGBTIs in Southern Africa. To address the need to build and strengthen the capacity of LGBTI organisations in Southern Africa in the… Read more »

MSM Advocates from the MENA Region Launch “M-Coalition”: The First Arab Coalition on MSM and HIV

(Melbourne, Australia) – As part of the International Aids Conference, the M-Coalition was officially launched and presented to the International community at large ceremony yesterday at the Clarendon in Melbourne, followed by a series of sessions and interventions across the global village. Hosted by the Arab Foundation of Freedom and Equality (AFE), the M-Coalition is… Read more »

Malawi to stop arresting people for having gay sex

Malawi has announced that it will stop arresting people for having gay sex, and will review its anti-gay laws. Responding to questions from the UN Human Rights Committee, Justice Minister Janet Chikaya-Banda said the country would stop arresting people for same-sex acts while a review of the country’s anti-gay laws is completed. She said the… Read more »

Ugandan LGBT rights workshop ‘promotes illegal same sex acts’

The Ugandan High Court has endorsed the government closure of a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights workshop, saying that workshop participants were ‘promoting’ or ‘inciting’ same-sex acts. The judgement relied on a single statement from an ‘ex-gay’ who said that the organisation was ‘training homosexual youths to safely engage in the same-sex practices… Read more »

Ugandan Police Arrest Five Amid Government Efforts To Reassure Donor Nations About Anti-LGBT Law

Ugandan Foreign Ministry says new anti-gay law “has been misinterpreted as a piece of legislation intended to punish and discriminate against people of a ‘homosexual orientation.’” Update Human rights lawyers who investigated the arrests following publication of the original report by a Ugandan newspaper found that the five had been arrested on June 26 and… Read more »

African Pride – the fight for gay rights in South Africa

Documentary to be screened at Galway Film Fleadh South Africa’S post-apartheid constitution was the first to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, but the legal aspiration and the reality on the ground are very different. Homophobia continues to find violent expression in assaults, rapes, and murders, and since April 2011 more than 20… Read more »

Morocco: Homosexuality Convictions Upheld

Appeals Court Applies Law Criminalizing Same-Sex Activities (Rabat) – A Moroccan appeals court on July 2, 2014, upheld the convictions of men accused of homosexual acts. At least four of the six defendants in the case in central Morocco were convicted on charges that included “lewd or unnatural acts with an individual of the same… Read more »

Reports: 60+ Arrested in Raid at Nairobi Gay Bar

Special Note: I’m traveling to Kenya later this summer to report on LGBT issues on an international media fellowship from the International Center for Journalists and the Ford Foundation. More in the weeks ahead. Disturbing news from East Africa. Dozens of people were arrested on Sunday morning during a police raid on a popular gay… Read more »

Sodomy in Zambia

On July 3, a court in Kapiri Mposhi, in Zambia, acquitted Philip Mubiana and James Mwape. They had been held in jail for almost fourteen months, charged with homosexual sex under Zambia’s sodomy law, which carries a sentence of up to fourteen years. (NOTE: see comments) The presiding judge didn’t comment on the justice of… Read more »

Despite acquittal, trial revealed deep Zambian injustices

The arrest, trial, year-long detention and recent acquittal of Philip Mubiana and James Mwape on homosexuality charges demonstrate much that’s wrong with Zambia’s legal, political and social life, along with a few strengths, lawyer Anneke Meekotter writes in the Southern Africa Litigation Centre blog. In the article, she discusses: Political statements “bordering on hate speech.”… Read more »

LGBTI refugees and Western saviors: Ugandans facing violence in Kenya, and how you can (and can’t) help

My friend Victor Mukasa, a distinguished Ugandan human rights activist, helped to found Sexual Minorities of Uganda (SMUG) many years ago. Now he’s leading a Kuchu Diaspora Alliance for Ugandan LGBTI people abroad; yesterday the group posted its first videos on YouTube. They describe violence beleaguering Ugandan queers who fled the country and now subsist… Read more »

Queer Rights in Kenya: A Conversation With Njeri Gateru

When asked about the recent progress of Kenya’s LGBT movement, Njeri Gateru doesn’t hesitate to answer with the word “visibility.” She describes promoting conversations on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression (SOGIE) in public spaces through events such as the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, International Human Rights Day, and World AIDS Day.… Read more »

Al-Sisi’s Egypt Is Worse For Gays Than The Muslim Brotherhood

President Sisi, already infamous for his crackdowns on dissidents and the press, is now going after the LGBT community. Cairo, Egypt — The party at a villa in a western suburb of Cairo was in full swing when three armored police trucks quietly pulled up to the main gate. More than 300 men and women… Read more »

Activists: Hundreds of LGBT Refugees Have Fled Uganda

A Kenyan activist, Ugandan asylum-seeker, and the American Jewish World Service hope to raise awareness about east Africa’s beleaguered LGBT community, even as hundreds reportedly flee Uganda. Hundreds of LGBT refugees — whose existence has been criminalized under Uganda’s draconian Anti-Homosexuality Act — have fled Uganda for neighboring Kenya after facing threats and being blackmailed,… Read more »

High Alert: Homophobia in Uganda peaks

In the wake of anti-gay legislation and escalating violence, activists show unimaginable courage You don’t forget the first time you watch a person beaten to death on camera. The cacophony of cracking bone, the wriggling body in its death throes and the enthusiastic camaraderie of the mob I’m watching aren’t part of a Faces Of… Read more »

US, German support for two men accused of homosexuality disappoints Government

Government is disappointed at the conduct of some diplomats accredited to Zambia who went to Kapiri Mposhi to show solidarity for two men accused of practising homosexuality, Ministry of Foreign Affairs permanent secretary George Zulu says. On Monday, United States charge d’affaires David Young, German ambassador to Zambia Bernd Finke and UNAIDS country co-ordinator Helen… Read more »

Homophobia not only affects human rights, but also growth

As a gay man living in Nigeria, my biggest challenge was choosing between my sexuality and my job. In 2004, I was at the start of my acting career. I had just left university, and I was featured in “Roses and Thorns,” a prime-time soap opera on Galaxy Television, one of Nigeria’s most popular TV… Read more »

Ugandan Court Rules Government Can Stop LGBT Groups

“This is like a second or third nail into our coffin.” A Ugandan court essentially sanctioned a crackdown on LGBTI rights organizations in a ruling issued Monday morning, worrying activists that government officials will be further empowered to pursue a witch hunt among civil society organizations under the guise of combating homosexuality. Although LGBTI activists… Read more »

What does it mean to be gay in Tanzania?

The International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) releases a map which shows gay rights by country. The countries with the most homophobic laws are shown in red and the countries with the most open laws are green. In between are various shades of orange, yellow and light green. Tanzania is colored a bright red, indicating… Read more »

Tanzanian LGBT group seeks facts about harassment

Human rights activists in Tanzania are raising money for a survey of LGBT people in Tanzania to measure how much harassment and discrimination they face from police, health-care professionals and businesses. So far LGBT Voice of Tanzania has raised $4,181 of its $21,020 goal for the project. Harassment and discrimination are facts of life for… Read more »

Pretoria Trans Pupil Attempts Suicide After School Abuse

A young transgender pupil in Pretoria has attempted suicide after he was abused by his schoolmates. Activists from Transgender and Intersex Africa (TIA) have reported that Tshepo (not his real name) has been targeted by his fellow pupils, and their older friends who are not pupils at the school. They tried to disrobe him, threatened… Read more »

Zambian Minister Confirms Government Won’t Recognize Gay Citizens’ Rights

The foreign affairs minister of Zambia says his government will not recognize the rights of its gay citizens because to do so would contradict that country’s Christian values. Zambia’s foreign affairs minister, Gabriel Namulambe, says homosexuality is an affront to Zambia as a Christian Nation and that foreign dignitaries who came to his country should… Read more »

African Homophobes Are Politicians, Not Lunatics, Writer Says

“To think that the Africans are doing something that has never been heard of — it’s not fair,” says the writer of new book about the impact of American anti-LGBT activists in Africa. Rev. Dr. Kapya Kaoma, a Zambian priest, was instrumental in drawing attention to the connection between American anti-LGBT religious activists and the… Read more »

South Africa’s Terrible Solution to the Gay Blood Donation Ban

The widespread ban on blood donations by men who have sex with men is idiotic not because it’s homophobic—which it is—but because it’s based on bad science. Ignore the FDA’s panicky anti-gay animus for a moment and consider its stated rationale: to “maximally protect the recipients of blood products” from diseases, namely HIV. The problem… Read more »

Marching against homophobia in anti-gay Lesotho

In Lesotho, where same-sex intimacy between men is illegal, a local LGBTI advocacy organization has held a peaceful march for the second year in a row, seeking justice and fair treatment for LGBT people. More than 200 people attended this week’s event, according to The Hub, a Lesotho-based website that supports human rights and protection… Read more »

Zimbabwe: Zanu PF councillor calls for gay rights to be respected

In a move likely to anger the party’s leadership, a Zanu PF councillor in central Zimbabwe said he supports gay rights. Richman Rangwani, a councillor and HIV campaigner in Mhondoro-Ngezi, attended an event in the Netherlands on Saturday for International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. He told delegates that many Zimbabweans were opposed to homosexuality… Read more »

Report: Anti-Gay Abuse Surges in Uganda After Bill Passage

Nairobi — Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International say homosexuals in Uganda have faced increased discrimination since the passage of an anti-gay bill last December. In Uganda, members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community, known by the acronym LGBT, say life has not been the same since the passage and signing of the… Read more »