026_Global12_InSight_GayRights_V4

Global issue 12

Global InsightLGBT Rights Credit: OutRage! London Peter Tatchell (centre) at a protest outside the Ugandan High Commission in London  after receiving death threats. They were given no police protection. imprisoned for sexual acts, but merely for being gay and attending Government ministers in Namibia, echoing the hatred of President a gay social gathering. Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, have denounced lesbians and gays Iraq is an example of extreme persecution – LGBT Iraqis suffer as “un-African”, as traitors and as spreaders of HIV/AIDS. even more today than they did under the dictator Saddam Hus- However, homophobic oppression is most extreme in the Islam- sein. A BBC investigation in 2012 revealed that the police have ist states that impose the death penalty for same-sex relations, in- colluded with the targeted murder of up to 1,000 LGBT people by cluding Saudi Arabia, Iran, Mauritania, Sudan and Yemen. In some Islamist militias and death squads who seek the total extermina- regions of other countries – such as Nigeria, Pakistan and Somalia tion of ‘sexual deviants’. Gang rape, torture and detention without – shariah law is enforced and LGBT people can be stoned to death. trial are also commonplace. The Iraqi government is denying or The Iranian persecution of LGBTs continues unabated. Twen- ignoring this homophobic terror campaign. Francesco Motta, the representative of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Despite discrimination, LGBT people and its failure to take action against the killings makes the state anIraq, says the Iraqi government is in violation of international law have made huge strides forward in many accomplice to the crime. Amid this gloom, in 2008 something truly remarkable and his- parts of the world. Nowadays, the global toric happened: 66 countries signed a UN statement calling for tide is shifting in favour of emancipation. homophobic discrimination and violence. Although the statementthe universal decriminalisation of homosexuality and condemning In almost every country, there are LGBT fell short of majority support and is not binding on UN member freedom movements dressed the issue of LGBT human rights. Previous attempts had-states, this was the first time the UN General Assembly had ad been blocked by an unholy alliance of the Vatican and Islamist ty-two-year-old Amir was entrapped via a gay dating website. states. The person he arranged to meet turned out to be a member of the In March 2011, a new version of the statement was signed by morality police. Amir was jailed, tortured and sentenced to 100 85 countries. Three months later, the UN Human Rights Council lashes, which caused him to lose consciousness and left his whole passed a resolution condemning anti-LGBT discrimination and back covered in huge bloody welts. He is just one of many Iranian hate crimes, urging a UN report on the issue. The report, authored LGBTs who have been subjected to lashings, torture and impris- by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, was onment – and who are at risk of execution. In early 2006, Iran’s published in December 2011, and noted with concern: “Homopho- Gulf neighbour, the United Arab Emirates, imposed a six-year jail bic and transphobic violence has been recorded in all regions. Such sentence on 11 gay men arrested at a private party. They were not violence may be physical (including murder, beatings, kidnap- 26 lwww.global-briefing.org fourth quarter 2012global


Global issue 12
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