(Nigeria) - The Nigerian parliament is once again dealing with a Bill prohibiting same sex marriage. This is the third attempt to pass such piece of legislation in Nigeria. We asked Davis Mac-Iyalla to provide us some more informations. Read more...
(USA) - As part of Bibi's outreach to our communities, Bibi|SF will be hosting talks on various issues affecting queer South West Asian, North Africans (aka Middle-Easterners). Its first engagement is with Arsham Parsi of the IRanian Queer Organization on Thursday, June 26 at the SF LGBT Center. Read more...
(USA) - Gay human rights activists in San Francisco staged a speak out at the Russian consulate on May 16, in conjunction with IDAHO events around the planet. Before showing up at the consulate, the group sent emails to the staff explaining their reason for coming -- to press the government to grant parade permits to Moscow's Gay pride event. Read more...
(London) - Speaking at the London IDAHO event on 16 May, hosted by Amnesty International and the Gay & Lesbian Humanist Association, Peter Tatchell of the LGBT human rights group OutRage! challenged the UK asylum policy. Read more...
(UK) - The bus bearing the Olympic torch was today ambushed outside Selfridges department store in Oxford Street, London, by Gay human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell of OutRage! Mr Tatchell ran in front of the bus carrying the Olympic flame. He held up a placard which read: "Free Tibet, Free Hu Jia." He shouted the same words as he ran along in front of the bus. The police wrestled Mr Tatchell to the ground, which delayed the bus briefly while he was removed to pavement. After questioning, he was later released without charge. Read more...
(UK) - The British Government is currently failing Gay refugees, Peter Tatchell told a rally in Whitehall, outside the Prime Minister’s official residence 10 Downing Street. Over 120 protesters braved hail and rain on Saturday to demand that Gay Iranian asylum seeker, Mehdi Kazemi, be granted refuge in the UK. They also urged asylum for the Iranian Lesbian refugee, Pegah Emambakhsh, and an estimated 12 other Gay Iranians who are at risk of deportation back to Tehran. There were calls for a “fundamental reform” of the way the Home Office treats LGBTI asylum applicants. “The British government had ordered Mr Kazemi to be deported back to Iran,” said protest speaker Peter Tatchell, spokesperson for the LGBTI human rights group OutRage!.
Note: Read more on UK Gay News
(UK) - The British Government is coming under pressure from members of both houses of Parliament, mainly Liberal Democrats, to “come clean” about policies on who are deported to Iran – especially Gay men and women. At lunchtime at Prime Minister’s Question in the House of Commons, Greg Mulholland, the Liberal Democrat MP for Leeds North West, raised the matter, complaining about refugees being deported to Iran.
Note: Read more on UK Gay News
(UK) - The British government announced Thursday that it was ending efforts to deport Mehdi Kazemi, a 19-year-old Iranian who has been studying in Britain – a move that should be applauded by human rights activists everywhere. Had he been forced to return to Iran, Kazemi would almost certainly have been executed there. Roger Roberts, one of eight members of the House of Lords who petitioned British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith to allow Kazemi to stay in Britain, declared: “There is no doubt that he will be persecuted and possibly face state-sanctioned murder if he is forced to return.”
Note: Read more on FrontPageMagazine
(Canada) - The Canadian Refugee Board needs to establish clearer guidelines on sexual orientation to help adjudicators avoid stereotyping Gay and Lesbian refugees who have little proof they are Gay, say legal experts. Last week MP Thomas Mulcair exploded at hecklers in the Commons and later shed tears at a news conference after Immigration Minister Diane Finley refused to allow Canada's latest Gay refugee claimant Kulenthiran Amirthalingam stay in the country on compassionate grounds. He later told the Montreal Gazette that he had seen a disturbing video depicting the kind of brutal punishment Gay men receive in Malaysia, including strapping a naked man until raw flesh was exposed. Amirthalingam, who is now back in Malaysia where he spent time in jail for being Gay, was declared not credible by the one-adjudicator panel. He joined a growing list of refugee claimants who have been rejected because they can't prove they are Gay.
Note: Read more on Canada.com
(UK) - George Galloway MP is accused of mouthing "the propaganda of the Iranian dictatorship" after he claimed on the Channel 5 TV talk show The Wright Stuff this morning that the boyfriend of Gay asylum seeker Mehdi Kazemi was executed for sex crimes (see full transcript below). The criticism comes from the Gay human rights group, OutRage!. Read more...
(Netherlands) - A Gay Iranian teenager faces deportation from Britain and execution in his home country after a Dutch court refused to hear his asylum claim. Mehdi Kazemi, 19, will be forced to return to Britain, where his asylum application was rejected last year. He is then expected to be removed to Iran where his boyfriend was hanged two years ago for 'sodomy.' The ruling will put the Home Office under renewed pressure to reassess his case - or face the possibility of sending a young man to his death. The department’s own guidance concedes that Iran executes homosexuals but rejects the claim that there is a systematic repression of Gay men and Lesbians.
Note: Read more on Times Online
(Netherlands) - Mehdi Kazemi, a Gay asylum applicant from Iran, is in detention in the Netherlands. He is fighting attempts by the Dutch government to return him to the UK. Mehdi fled Britain and sought asylum in the Netherlands because the British government wants to deport him back to Iran. The Home Office bid to deport an Iranian Gay asylum seeker will put him at risk of arrest, imprisonment, torture and execution. Read more...
(Canada) - A Gay man from Malaysia who is to be deported Thursday after being refused refugee status is pleading with the federal government to intervene and let him stay in Canada. Kulenthiran Amirthalingan made a last-ditch appeal to Immigration Minister Diane Finley, asking her to stay the March 6 deportation order to his native Malaysia. He fears persecution because he is Gay. Amirthalingan moved to Montreal in 2003 and applied for refugee status in Canada on humanitarian grounds, arguing his life was in danger because his homosexuality made him a target of Malaysian police who detained him for five days, and abused him, physically and sexually. Amirthalingan lost his refugee status case because the judge was not convinced he was Gay. He filed for a humanitarian appeal and a pre-removal risk assessment, which were both rejected by the Quebec Immigration Board.
Note: Read more on CBC
(UK) - The scheduled February 26 extradition of Mehdi Kazemi, a 19-year-old Gay Iranian student, from the Netherlands to the United Kingdom, from where he will almost definitely be deported to his homeland, has been put off pending a Dutch court hearing on March 3. Kazemi fears that he could be executed by Tehran's theocracy, which in 2006 executed the lad who had been his lover. Homosexuality remains a capital crime in Iran. Kazemi fled to the Netherlands after the UK government of Prime Minister Gordon Brown ordered his deportation. It was only a last-minute legal appeal that postponed his return to Britain.
Note: Read more on Gay City News
(Jamaica) - Gay bashing in Jamaica is so prevalent that in 2006 Time Magazine wrote an article about the island headlined, "The Most Homophobic Place On Earth?" The New York Times this week showed that the anti-Gay climate has only worsened, with the island caught in a downward spiral of outright psychosis. It is time to hand an ultimatum to Jamaica's public officials: Stop allowing rampant abuse of Gay people or your economy will be crippled. The Times story is downright chilling. It details how last month five Gay men were having a dinner party when a mob appeared at the front door - kicking it in and attacking the men. While screaming homophobic epithets, between 15-20 thugs beat the victims senseless with sticks and cut them with machetes. One man is still missing, but police found blood at the mouth of a deep hole near the yard. This was not an isolated incident.
Note: Read more on PageOneQ
(EU) - He lived a marginalized and terrorized life as an Iranian homosexual in Iran; the burden of such a life became so strenuous that he finally left Iran for the UK with a student visa. Mehdi Kazemi is another Iranian Gay refugee who left his home country with the hope of securing a more dignified life for himself in the West; and yet he is another young refugee who sees his hopes for safety and human dignity fading in the face of European governments’ lack of respect for even the most basic human rights. The European governments claim to be the champions of human rights and democracy and condemn Iran frequently for its violation of human rights; and yet they willingly pave the road for the government of Iran to go ahead with its human rights abuses, and arrest and execute an identified Iranian Gay. Today, they sentence Mehdi to torture and possible death by deporting him to Iran, and tomorrow they issue statements commending this violent and unlawful act of execution. Read more...
(Brazil) - Grupo Gay da Bahia, the oldest homosexual non-governmental organization in Latin America, demands that the dictator Fidel Castro, before his death, recognizes and asks for forgiveness for the grave errors of the Cuban revolution responsible for the demoralization, persecution, imprisonment in concentration camps, forced labor, torture, deportation, and death of thousands of Gays, Transvestites and Lesbians in Cuba. The unfortunate resolution approved during The First Cuban National Congress on Education and Culture of 1971 decreed that “homosexual deviations represent a anti-social pathology, making it inadmissible in any way their manifestations, or propagation, establishing as preventive measure the shunning of recognizable homosexual artists and intellectuals from interaction with the [Cuban] youth," barring Gays, Lesbians, and Transvestites from representing Cuba artistically in festivals abroad.
Note: Read more on Vidas Alternativa
(Canada) - Toronto refugee lawyer El-Farouk Khaki recalls an incident in which one of his clients, seeking refugee status in Canada as a Gay man, was told by a member of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) that if he could be more discreet in his home country of Kenya, he would be just fine. With no appeal division and one-member panels, a great deal of a claimant's chance of being granted refugee status has to do with that single IRB member who hears their case.
Note: Read more on Extra
(Senegal) - The chairman of the national Council of Amnesty Senegal, Samba Guissé, has called on all affiliate groups of the Senegalese chapter of Amnesty International (AI) to oppose any campaign aimed at legalising homosexuality in the country. In a statement issued here, Guissé urged the various groups to dissociate themselves from the position of the International Human Rights Federation (FIDH) calling on the Senegalese authorities to "review the criminal code with a view to to decriminalising homosexual acts". Guissé denies FIDH’s claims that "member organisations (including Amnesty International Senegal) had requested the Senegalese authorities to review the criminal code to abolish the criminalisation of homosexuality".
Note: Read more on AfriK.com
(UN) - LGBT rights groups from Spain, the Netherlands and Brazil have been refused observer status that allows Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to participate in United Nations business. The UN Committee on NGOs was tied, with Columbia, Dominica, Israel, Peru, Romania, UK and the USA voting yes and Burundi, China, Egypt, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia and Sudan voting no. Angola, Guinea, India and Turkey abstained while Cuba was not present. The UK representative on the committee said they were discriminating against LGBT NGO applicants and that it is the right of the community to have their voice heard at the UN. Romania said the NGO Committee "engaged in a blatant act of discrimination today."
Note: Read more on Pink News