Archive for January, 2010

“This is our caricature for GayRussia.Ru on Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov who called this week to punish gays and gay parades: “It’s high time that we stop propagating nonsense discussions about human rights, and bring to bear on them the full force and justice of the law”. He knows he will loose… agony…”Nicolas Alexeyev

Mayor Luzhkov Has Again Hits Out at Gay Pride Parade in Moscow, Calling it Satanic

Organisers vow to go ahead and will return to the streets of the capital on May 29

Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov has fiered his customary broadside at the Russian Capital’s annual Gay Pride, repeating his usage of such descriptions as “satanic”.

Speaking at the opening of the XVIII Christmas Educational Readings in Moscow, Mayor Luzhkov, said that for several years there had been unprecedented pressure to hold a Gay Pride Parade.

“[The parade] cannot be called anything but a Satanic act, the Mayor said. “We have prevented such a parade and we will not allow it in the future. Everyone needs to accept this as an axiom.

“It is high time to crack down on the parade with all the power and justice of the law, instead of talking about human rights.

“We need a social whip or something like that, not a liberal ginger cake,” the Mayor said in a speech that closely resembled his remarks about Gay Pride a year ago to Christmas Educational Readings.

He coupled what he called the “open propaganda of same-sex so-called love”, with such “social ills” as drug abuse, xenophobia and ethnic hostility.

“There was nothing in Luzhkov’s speech that we haven’t heard before,” Moscow Pride organiser Nikolai Alekseev said this afternoon.

“All the same medieval and homophobic rhetoric, under the obscurantist sauce.”

According to Mr. Alexeyev, the approaching inevitability of gay pride in Moscow is not a theorem and an axiom.

“Our axiom is much stronger than Luzhkov’s because ours is based on the law and the European Convention on Human Rights,” he pointed out.

The European Court of Human Rights in Strasburg will, in the next month, be considering the cases against Russia of the banning by Mayor Luzhkov of Moscow Gay Prides 2006, 2007 and 2008, along with other bans affecting the capital’s gay community.

Mr. Alexeyev pointed out that the Strasbourg Court has given Russia until February 20, to justify its position on the bans.

And he added that when he was in London in 2007 attending an “M4” meeting with the mayors of Berlin, London and Paris, Mayor Luzhkov promised to respect the decision of the court.

There are some doubts that the decision of the European court of Human Rights will be announced in time to put Luzhkov to the test following his 2007 promise for this coming May’s Moscow Pride.

Mr. Alexeyev confirmed that as far as organisers are concerned, Moscow Pride will go ahead as planned on May 29. He added that a number of well-known politicians and activists from Europe and the USA had already indicated that they will be present.

Full Article on GayRussia

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5th ILGA LGA LAC Conference: Message of the President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva

Brasília, January 28, 2010

Ladies and Gentlemen, I was very honoured to receive the invitation sent to me by the General Coordination of the 5th Conference of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transex and Intersex Association in Latin America and the Caribbean to take part in this important event. Owing to an international journey I am unable to be with you, but thank you for your kind invitation.

To begin, I send my best wishes to all the participants of this conference and my special welcome to the participants from other countries who honour us with their presence. I wish them a pleasant stay among us and trust that they will enjoy our well known Brazilian hospitality.

I have to state that the fight against intolerance and discrimination, and the consequent efforts to respect human nature, including sexual orientation, have guided our Government since its first mandate. At the beginning of our Government, we conferred ministerial status on the Special Secretariat for Human Rights and we created the Special Secretariat for Policies for the Promotion of Racial Equality and the Special Secretariat for Women’s Policies, also with ministerial status, all three of which were intended to articulate their respective efforts with all the other areas of the Government. Care was thus taken to ensure that human rights protection was conceived of as an integrated Government action and, moreover, as a true policy of State, with guaranteed continuity in the event of alternation between political parties in power, something which is natural and even essential to democratic life.

As such, the Special Secretariat from Human Rights, which had already given origin to the Brazil Without Homophobia Programme, approved by us in 2004, prepared the 3rd National Human Rights Plan, launched by our Government last December. Among its strategic objectives, the Plan contains the guarantee of the respect for free sexual orientation and gender identity. Another of its objectives is the reduction of violence motivated by differences of gender, race or ethnic group, age, sexual orientation and situations of vulnerability. As a consequence, policies are proposed which encourage integral women’s health care programmes, taking into consideration their specificities, including sexual orientation.

Aware of our proposals and measures, we are sure that the organizations involved in the fight for the free expression of sexual orientation will continue to progress with their work, which is already achieving good results among us, and which will always have our effective support.

I hope that the debates that will take place here will produce proposals that will contribute to the strengthening of the LGBT segment and also contribute to the enhancement of the Governmental measures that are already being taken at the federal level in Brazil.

Please will you all accept my brotherly embrace.

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva
President of the Federative Republic Of Brazil

No executions in Iran: A new campaign

By Doug Ireland

I recently wrote an article for Gay City News about 12 Iranian youths now threatened with or sentenced to execution for “sodomy”. Now I’ve just received the following press release from my friend Arsham Parsi, the Iranian gay activist:

Today, five human rights advocacy groups in five Western nations announced the official launching of the 346 No Executions campaign, a coordinated worldwide effort to inspire at least 346 citizens in each member nation to submit letters of petition to their respective foreign ministries, specifically requesting that diplomatic pressure be applied to the government of Iran to abolish its death penalty. The Iranian regime routinely carries out government-sanctioned executions in arbitrary, capricious and inhumane fashion to homosexuals, women, young girls, religious minorities, minors and now Green protesters, all of which are in defiance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to which Iran is a signatory.

The five participating groups in the 346 No Executions campaign to date are: The Iranian Homosexual Human Rights Councils (Canada, United States), OutRage! (United Kingdom), The Hirschfeld-Eddy Foundation (Germany) and the Everyone Group (Italy). The participants hope to recruit more human rights groups in other countries to the campaign as word spreads. ‘346’ is derived from the official figure of executions carried out in Iran in 2008, according to the latest Amnesty International report.

Mr. Arsham Parsi, who represents the campaign as communications director of the Iranian Homosexual Human Rights Councils, recently stated that AI’s official figure of 346 does not accurately reflect the actual number of executions carried out annually by the Iranian regime:

“Three-hundred and forty-six is a conservative estimate,” Mr. Parsi stated in a recent interview. “The unofficial number is likely much higher. Iran must stop taking innocent lives in such cavalier, arbitrary and brutal ways. Our campaign’s mission is to petition member governments to apply diplomatic pressure on Iran to cease and desist with these barbaric and unjust executions.

“It is the express goal of the 346 No Executions campaign to bring these arbitrary executions in Iran to an end. We seek to do this through letters of petition and by expanding the campaign to other nations, particularly in the European Union. Many EU member states conduct a great deal of commercial trade with Iran, yet the EU is also signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This dichotomy between principles and actions represents a clear conflict of interest in the EU vis-a-vis trade with Iran and the fundamental human rights EU member nations swore to uphold in the Universal Declaration.

“It is our hope that these letters of petition will compel as many governments as possible to address the situation in Iran, and will as a result apply diplomatic pressure on the regime to uphold its own legal, moral and human rights obligations under the Universal Declaration. We also hope that by increasing awareness of this intolerable situation in Iran to concerned citizens and human rights advocacy groups around the globe, that even more governments will pressure Iran. There is great strength in numbers.”

For more information on the 346 No Executions Campaign, members of the press and the media are welcome to inquire further at info@noexecution.com and www.noexecution.com.

If you are a member of a human rights organization or NGO and would like launch your own 346 No Executions campaign in your country, we will gladly assist you.

Please contact Mr. Arsham Parsi direct at info@noexecutions.com.

Full Article

Norway threatens to deport Asghar Hedayati to Iran. Please stop his deportation
Thursday, January 28, 2010, by EveryOne Group

A letter to His Majesty The King Harald V of Norway , the Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, the Chief Justice Topre Schei, the minister of Justice Knut Storberget, the Immigration Appeals Board of Norway – Utlendingsnemnda and the Norwegian Ministers and Parliamentarians.

28th Jan 2010

His Majesty The King Harald V the King Of Norway
Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg
Minister of Justice Knut Storberget
The Immigration Appeals Board of Norway
Honorable Norwegian Ministers and Parliamentarians

cc

The European Parliament
The European Commission

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Your Majesty,
Honorable Sirs,

we are contacting you to request your assistance on a very urgent case involving Asghar Hedayati a gay Iranian, who is currently in Norway. We received some information about him through the IRanian Railroad for Queer Refugees, based in Toronto, Canada.

Asghar Hedayati is a citizen of Iran, with case number DUF 2003 046 114 08. He escaped Iran in 2003 because of his well-known fear of persecution on basis of his sexual orientation. He applied for asylum in August 2003, but the Norwegian Government unfortunately denied his asylum status for several times and he is now at risk for deportation.

His asylum judge said that he can live in Iran if does not ‘come out’, which is against fundamental human rights. We would like to express our deep concern about his situation, as he will experience imprisonment, torture, and even execution upon his forced return to Iran.

We are urging you to reconsider this case under the spirit of respect for human rights and we are requesting you to grant Iranian queer refugees the full state of asylum in Norway because there a lot of evidence that Iranian queers in Iran are threatened because of their sexual orientation and gender identity.

Yours sincerely,

Roberto Malini, Matteo Pegoraro,
Dario Picciau, Glenys Robinson
EveryOne Group

See Also:

San Francisco Vigil for Honduran Gays and Democracy by Michael Petrelis

Today was inauguration day in Honduras, and Porfirio Lobo was sworn in as the country’s new President. To mark the occasion, gay and democracy advocates took to the street in solidarity with Hondurans. For two-hours this morning, 14 activists staged two vigils at the Honduran consulate in San Francisco’s historic Flood Building on Market Street.

The first vigil took place first, when five gay and HIV/AIDS activists went to the consulate’s office, only to find it closed for the special day. We spent half an hour in the hallway, talking with people from other offices on the 8th floor. We snapped a few pics and thought to leave a message for the workers, when they return tomorrow.

Our signs with Walter Trochez’s visage were taped to the consulate’s door, and a few were slipped under it. A small way to express our concern for the gay citizens of Honduras, especially those who’ve been murdered, and for the full protections of human rights protocols for all Hondurans.

The remainder of the morning was spent engaged in a vigil and flyer-distribution in front of the office building housing the consulate. Members of the Bay Area Latin American Solidarity Coalition, BALASC, including several seniors born in Honduras whose families have suffered harms by rightwing forces over the years. Click here to learn more about the orgs that comprise BALASC, and its multi-faceted political agenda.

This Saturday, January 30, starting at 4 pm, BALASC is holding a town hall meeting with Jose Luis Baquedano, an Honduran labor and political leader active in anti-coup efforts. That meeting is at the Center for Political Education, located at 522 Valencia Street, between 16th and 17th Streets. Stop by to learn more about pro-gay and pro-democracy forces in Honduras.

And big thanks to all the wonderful folks who came out today, on just two-days’ notice, to stand in solidarity with gay people in Honduras, and that nation’s democracy.

Full article: San Francisco Vigil for Honduran Gays and Democracy by Michael Petrelis

See also:

Photographs by Nicole Richwald

Sent by Chicago Rose:

Hi everyone,

Approximately 200 people participated at some point to the demo today, during a Berlin cold snap -10 degrees celsius. The demo started in front the Department of Foreign Affairs (German State Department) and moved through the main streets during rush hour, escorted by a LGBTI drum choir yelling, “STOP HOMOPHOBIA!” Hundreds of flyers were handed out to the bystanders calling for an end to the human rights violations in Honduras and non-recognition of the government which takes office January 27th.

The German Green Party and the Linke (Left party) were present with representatives. The demands from our rally were handed over to the FDP party personnel after we arrived in front of the office.

The spirits and camaraderie was high, the activists, some with possible frost bite made their voices heard and we will continue to do so.

Feel free to distribute the photos.

I look forward to seeing the US demo fotos and videos!

Watch the youtube.com/eriksherwood for upcoming video of the demo.

In solidarity,

Liebe Grüßen / Take care…

Chicago Rose
www.chicagorose.de
www.myvideo.de/mitglieder/ChicagoRose
www.youtube.com/chicagorose030

Photographs by Erik Sherwood

See also: Walter Tróchez Queer Alliance: Demo in Berlin – 26 January 2010 – Rally & Vigil – San Francisco – Washington – Los Angeles

The “Walter Tróchez Queer Alliance” in Berlin is a grass roots group comprising of LGBTI and friends human rights activist. Our goals are: to call world attention to the dreadful situation in Honduras, raise awareness of the human rights violations and support the local LGBTI community, and prevent the establishment of a non-democratic government.

We are angry about the human rights violations in Honduras and we are saddened by the news of Walter’s death. We are concerned about German independent and local press reports that the Friedrich Naumann Foundation, a German foundation for liberal politics, which is related to a major German elected party – the German Liberal Party “FDP”, justified the coup d’état and acknowledges the authority and credibility of the current Honduran administration. The head of the FDP party is also the Minister of Foreign Department, Guido Westerwelle. We call for a thorough investigation regarding the relationship between the German FDP, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation and its support of the coup d’état.

Aufruf zu Kundgebung und Demonstration: Dienstag, 26.01.2010

15:00 Kundgebung der Honduras-Koordination vor dem Auswärtigen Amt, Werderscher Markt 1:

„Keine Anerkennung für den Staatsstreich in Honduras“

16:00 Demonstration des Queeren Bündnisses Walter Tróchez, vom Auswärtigen Amt zur FDP-Zentrale, Reinhardtstr. 14

„Gegen homo- und transphobe Gewalt in Honduras und weltweit!“

Wir, das Queere Bündnis Walter Tróchez, sind entsetzt über den Mord an dem schwulen LGBTI*- und Menschenrechtsaktivisten Walter Tróchez. Seit dem Militärputsch vom 28.6.2009 sind viele weitere Transgender, Schwule und Gegner_innen der Putschregierung ermordet worden. Unsere Solidarität und unser Mitgefühl gelten den Familienangehörigen und Freund_innen der Ermordeten. Auch wenn homo- und transphobe Gewalt in Honduras schon vor dem Putsch nicht unbekannt war, so hat doch erst der Putsch diese aktuelle Welle der Gewalt und Rechtlosigkeit in Gang gesetzt.

Wir sind empört über die Aktivitäten der deutschen FDP und ihrer politischen Stiftung, der Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung. Der Leiter des Hondurasbüros der Naumann-Stiftung, Christian Lüth, hat den Putsch von Anfang an gerechtfertigt und verharmlost. Gemeinsam sind sie bereit, die demokratische Fassade zu akzeptieren, die sich die Putschisten mit der Wahlfarce vom 29. November geben wollten, um den Putsch nachträglich zu legitimieren. Dass sich die Menschenrechtssituation in Honduras nicht verbessert, zeigt sich schon darin, dass die Putschisten sich nun selbst mit einem Amnestiegesetz vor strafrechtlicher Verfolgung schützen wollen.

Anders als FDP und Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung werden wir das nicht hinnehmen, denn Menschenrechte sind unteilbar.

Deshalb fordern wir:

1. Unterstützung der honduranischen Menschenrechtsaktivist_innen und LGBTI*! Gegen homo- und transphobe Gewalt in Honduras und weltweit!

2. Keine Anerkennung der unter undemokratischen Verhältnissen zustande gekommenen Wahl von Porfirio Lobo, dessen Amtseinführung für den 27.1. 2010 vorgesehen ist – weder durch die deutsche Bundesregierung noch durch die EU!

3. Sofortige Aufklärung der seit dem 28.6.2009 in Honduras verübten Verbrechen!

4. Beendigung der Zusammenarbeit von FDP und Naumann-Stiftung mit den Putschisten und ihren Verbündeten!

*LGBTI = Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Trans* and Intersexuals

Türkçe:

Yürüyüşe ve Eyleme Davet: 26 Ocak, Salı günü

15:00 Honduras Koordinasyon’unun Eylemi (Dışişleri Bakanlığı, Werderscher Markt 1):

«Honduras’taki Darbenin Kabul Edilecek Yanı Yok!»

16:00 Walter Tróchez Eşcinseller İttifakının Yürüyüşü (Dışişleri Bakanlığı’ndan FDP parti merkezine, Reinhardtstr. 14):

«Honduras’ta ve Bütün Dünyada Eşcinsel Düşmanı Saldırılara Son!»

İnsanhakları ve LGBTI* aktivisti eşcinsel Walter Tróchez’in öldürülmesi, bizi Walter Tróchez Eşcinseller İttifakı olarak dehşete düşürmüştür. Cuntaya karşı çıkan birçok kişi gibi, 28 Haziran 2009 darbesinden sonra birçok eşcinsel ve trans kimlikli insan öldürüldü. Honduras’ta homofobik ve transfobik saldırılar darbeden önce de bilinirken, darbeyle başlayan süreç şiddeti ve haksızlıkları artırdı. Öldürülen bireylerin yakınlarına ve arkadaşlarına başsağlığı diler, dayanışmamızın onlarla olduğunu bildiririz.

Bu bağlamda, Almanya Hür Demokrat Partisi FDP’nin ve parti vakfı Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung’un etkinlikleri bizi rahatsız etmektedir. Nauman-Stiftung’un Honduras büro başkanı Christian Lüth, darbeyi başından itibaren meşrulaştırıp darbecileri masumlaştırmaktadır. Darbeyi sonradan meşrulaştırmak için düzenlenen 29 Kasım seçimleri ilkel bir oyunken, vakfın sonuçları kabul etmesi, demokrat bir görünüş sergilemek isteyen darbecilerin ekmeğine yağ sürmek olmuştur. İnsan hakları ihlallerinin devam ettiği, darbecilerin ceza kanunundan kaçabilmek için kendilerine çıkardığı af yasasından dahi görülebilmektedir.

Biz, bu olayları FDP ve Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung gibi kabul etmeyeceğiz, insan hakları evrenseldir!

İsteklerimiz

1. Honduras insan hakları ve LGBTI* aktivistlerine acil destek olunmalı, Honduras’ta ve bütün dünyada eşcinsel düşmanı saldırılara son verilmelidir!

2. Demokratik olmayan yollarla Porfirio Lobo’yu iktidara getirecek seçim sonuçları kabul edilemez! Yemin töreni 27 Ocak 2010’da gerçekleşecek olan Lobo, ne Almanya hükümeti ne de Avrupa Birliği tarafından desteklenmelidir!

3. 28 Haziran 2009’dan sonra işlenen cinayetlerin failleri derhal bulunmalıdır!

4. FDP ve Naumann-Stiftung’un darbecilerle ve işbirlikçileriyle ortak çalışmaları derhal son bulmalıdır!

Queer demonstration for human rights and LGBTI *- in Honduras

4 pm In front of the Foreign Office, Werderscher 1 then to FDP party headquarters (following the rally of the Honduras Cordination at 3pm)

Kidnapping, arrest and the murder of human rights activists increased since the military coup in Honduras. Among them was Walter Tróchez, who was shot from a vehicle and later died in the hospital on December 13 2009. Tróchez was a victim of harassment and death threats prior to his murder. One such case occurred on July 20th 2009, which he was beaten up by police while in custody, and insulted about his sexual orientation after he attended a human rights rally against the military coup. Tróchez lead the fight for legal protection for gays, lesbians, bisexuals, trans and intersex as well dedicated himself for education about HIV and AIDS.

He took a stand against the killing of many transgender people and gay men since the military coup. Although the situation for LGBTI in Honduras was dire, it became life-threatening after the coup. Everyday life became brutal through increased military presence and increased power for right-wing political groups and religious fundamentalist. The crimes committed since the military coup, some sanctioned by national institutions through the police and military will go unpenalized and receive amnesty. The perpetrator will go free.

The de facto government will go into office on January 27th with their “President” Porfirio Lobo. We fear the recognition of Lobos by the German federal government. We carry the torch of Walter Tróchez and hope that our actions will help our LGBTI friends in Honduras.

For more information, see the attached detailed press release.
For questions please contact: Chicago Rose +49 (0)30 57 70 84 86

See also:

SGN: US Meets Gay Hondurans Over Walter Trochez Murder by Michael Petrelis

Spread the word: D.C. rally & vigil Wednesday

http://quotha.net/node/714

Mon, 01/25/2010 – 11:34 — AP

Walter Trochez Queer Alliance Rally & Vigil
Wednesday, 27 January 2010
In front of the U.S. State Department, 23rd St. between C & D Streets NW
Facebook event here.

TWO rallies at the State Department on the occasion of the inauguration of Pepe Lobo, the new face of the Honduran dictatorship:
8-9am (for those of you who work 9-5)
1-2pm (to catch press at daily briefing)
…and if you have any time between 9 and 1, join us in a small quiet vigil demanding respect for the human rights of members of the LGBTI communities and for all in Honduras.

Berlin, DC, SF: Protests This Week Over Gay Honduran Assassinations

On January 27, Honduras will inaugurate Porfirio Lobo as the new President of the country, and gays in three cities will mark the occasion demonstrating on behalf of human rights protections for LGBT people and pro-democracy forces in Honduras. Since the military coup of June 29, 2009, many other transgender and gay people as well as opponents of the coup government have been murdered. Our solidarity and compassion go to the family members and friends of those murdered.

Gay activists are particularly concerned that no has been arrested and charged with the assassination of Walter Trochez, a 26-year-old gay man and HIV/AIDS advocate, killed on December 13, who worked with human rights organizations against the coup leaders.

Here is the information for the actions this week. Activists will share images of the protests shortly after they occur:

Berlin, Germany
Date: Tuesday, January 26
Time: 3 pm
Action: Rally in front of the Foreign Office
Location: Werderscher Markt 1

San Francisco, California
Date: Wednesday, January 27
Action: Meeting at Honduran consulate
Location: 870 Market Street

Washington, DC
Date: Wednesday, January 27
Action: Picket and speak out at U.S. State Department
Location: 2201 C Street NW

Gay and human rights activists in other cities are encourage to stage similar public actions this week in solidarity with LGBT and pro-democracy citizens in Honduras. A list of Honduran embassies around the world can be found here:
http://www.embassiesabroad.com/embassies-of/Honduras

And the locations of Honduran consulates in the United States are posted here:
http://honduras.visahq.com/embassy/United-States/

The organizers of the actions in Berlin, San Francisco, and Washington, DC, are making the following demands:

  1. An independent investigation into the murder of gay and HIV/AIDS activist Walter Trochez, and full prosecution of those responsible for his death.
  2. The support of Honduran human rights activists and the LGBTI* community against homophobic and transphobic violence in Honduras and throughout the world.
  3. The non-recognition of President-elect Porfirio Lobo, elected under undemocratic circumstances, whose inauguration is scheduled to take place on January 27, 2010 – by the U.S. government!
  4. The termination of the cooperation of the U.S. Government with the plebiscite government and coup d’état allies.

Please support and participate in the upcoming demonstrations, or plan your own!

Call to rally in Los Angeles (see below)

> When: 1/27/10
> Where: Honduran Consulate/Consulado General de Honduras en Los Ángeles
> 3550 Wilshire Blvd., Los Ángeles, CA 90010
> Time: 5:00pm to 7:00pm

Source Image : http://www.globalgayz.com/country/Norway/NOR

Please support this URGENT call for support for Asghar Hedayati, a 40 years-old Iranian gay man from Norway — he may be sent back within a few days to a country where numerous gay men are currently on death row.

http://www.irqr.net/English/231.htm

This urgent CALL TO ACTION comes via Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees (IRQR). They say that Hedayati has been seeking asylum in Norway since 2003. He is one of IRQR refugee cases who has not lucky so far, but he is still fighting for his rights.

“I was waiting for good news, everyday for the last seven years,” he says. “I was optimistic that I can start a normal life here in Norway. Unfortunately, it did not happen for me, I lost my hope, energy, happiness, and future when I got negative answers from Norwegian authority.

“There is no light for my future now but I never ever give up,” Asghar says in a letter to Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees – IRQR.

Asghar was in love with his boyfriend, Mr. J [for security reason we can not publish his name] and they were so happy but their happiness until Asghar’s family forced him to get married.

It was really difficult time for Asghar and “J” as they could not ‘come out’ for their families and Asghar did not have any reason to convince his family that he did not want to get married. Finally, he was forced to get married.

“I did not love her, I did not like her, and she was not the right person at all,” he says. “We lived together but we were together just at kitchen table. I could not stop thinking about [Mr. J] for a moment.”

After all the difficulties, he left Iran for Denmark and sought refugee status on basis of his sexual orientation. Unfortunately, his asylum application was refused by the Danish government and he was scared to death because he did not want to be deported back to Iran.

So he fled Denmark, going to Norway where he applied for asylum. At that time, he did not imagine that one day he will be in the same situation again. He has now received a letter from the Norwegian government that he has to leave by January 25, 2010 and he does not know what will happen in next day.

He has been told by the Norwegian authorities he can go back to Iran and “nothing will happen for you if you do not come out”.

“How it can be possible? Can they recommend it to Norwegians as well to just shut up and do not ask your basic rights?” Asghar said.

His life is now in danger and the Norwegian government has to grant his asylum because there a lot of evidence that Iranian gays in Iran are threatened because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. There is no doubt his life will be in danger.

Asghar Hedayati is in an unjust situation and needs your urgent action. Please show your support by writing to the Norwegian government to urge them to grant refugee status to Asghar Hedayati. You may copy and paste the sample letters (below) into an email and send it to the provide emails below or you may write your own letter in support of Asghar Hedayati. Please CC IRQR: info@irqr.net for tracking purposes. Thank you for your support.

Further information:

* UK Gay News: “Now I Have Lost Hope” – Gay Iranian Who Faces Deportation from Norway in Hours
* Twelve Men Face Execution for Sodomy in Iran: For first time, activist confirms queer organizing on university campuses (Doug Ireland, published in Gay City News)
* From Teheran to Riyadh, this is how we are discriminated against
* Human Rights Watch: Iran prepares to execute gay teens

Send your letters to:

Mr. Knut Storberget

Minister of Justice and the Police

E-mail: postmottak@jd.dep.no

Phone: Switchboard +47 22 24 90 90

Mailing address: Postboks 8005 Dep, 0030 Oslo, Norway

&

Immigration Appeals Board of Norway – Utlendingsnemnda

Email: postmottak@une.no

Telephone: +47 21 08 50 00

Mailing address: Utlendingsnemnda, Postboks 8165 dep. 0034 Oslo, Norway

In addition, if you or your organization is interested in hosting an event to support Asghar Hedayat or interview him, please contact us at info@irqr.net as soon as possible. Thank you for your support.

– – – – – – Sample Letter – – – – –

Date:

To: Minister of Justice and Police, Mr. Knut Storberget, postmottak@jd.dep.no

Immigration Appeals Board of Norway, postmottak@une.no

CC: IRQR, info@irqr.net

Subject: Norway threatens to deport Asghar Hedayati to Iran – Please stop him deportation

Dear Minister,

I am contacting you to request your assistance on a very urgent case involving Asghar Hedayati a gay Iranian, who is currently in Norway. I received some information about him through the IRanian Railroad for Queer Refugees, based in Toronto, Canada.

Asghar Hedayati is a citizen of Iran, with case number DUF 2003 046 114 08. He escaped Iran in 2003 because of his well-known fear of persecution on basis of his sexual orientation. He applied for asylum in August 2003, but the Norwegian Government unfortunately denied his asylum status for several times and he is now at risk for deportation.

His asylum judge said that he can live in Iran if does not ‘come out’, which is against fundamental human rights. I would like to express my deep concern about his situation, as he will experience imprisonment, torture, and even execution upon his forced return to Iran.

I am urging you to reconsider this case under the spirit of respect for human rights and I am requesting you to grant Iranian queer refugees the full state of asylum in Norway because there a lot of evidence that Iranian queers in Iran are threatened because of their sexual orientation and gender identity.

Sincerely

X

– – – – – – – End of Sample Letter – – – – – –

Arsham Parsi
Executive Director
= = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees – IRQR
www.irqr.net
info@irqr.net
(001) 416-548-4171
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Peter Tatchell is Liberal Voice of the Year

Left-wing Green wins vote by Liberal Democrat Voice readers

London – 20 January 2010

Peter Tatchell has won Liberal Democrat Voice’s third annual Liberal Voice of the Year award for his “tireless and fearless international human rights campaigning.”

The runner-up was author and journalist Ben Goldacre. Other contenders were Joanna Lumley, Rory Stewart, Terry Pratchett, Henry Porter, Guy Herbert and Alan Rusbridger.

The two previous years’ Liberal Voice winners were Shami Chakrabati (2007) and the campaigners on behalf of Jean Charles de Menezes (Justice4Jean.org) and the Stockwell Shooting Inquest Jury (2008).

See the Liberal Democrat Voice report about the online readers poll result here:

http://www.libdemvoice.org/ldv-readers-vote-peter-tatchell-your-liberal-voice-of-the-year-17607.html

Responding to winning the vote, Peter Tatchell said:

“I am honoured, but quite surprised, to win Liberal Voice of the Year, given that I’m a left-wing Green. It shows that Liberal Democrat Voice readers are non-sectarian and inclusive, putting values and principles above narrow party interests, which is how it should be.

“There are progressive people in all parties, apart from the BNP and possibly UKIP. We should work together more, focusing on what we have in common rather than on what divides us.

“In Britain, the combined supporters of liberal, green and left values constitute the majority. If people from these three political strands cooperated more closely, and if we had had a fair voting system, Britain need never again suffer a Conservative government. We could move the country forward on a progressive agenda for social justice, democratic reform, civil liberties and environmental renewal.

“At the international level, it has been a real privilege to write and campaign in support of the freedom struggles in Iran, Russia, Balochistan, Uganda, Iraq, Somaliland, West Papua, Sudan, Palestine and Saudi Arabia. The democracy activists in these countries are truly heroic and inspirational. I crawl in their shadows.

“One of the things I have learned from my 43 years of human rights campaigning is that no matter how small and weak we may feel, we can all help make a difference. I do my bit for human rights, as do millions of others. Together, cumulatively and collectively, slowly but surely, we are shaping a better world,” said Mr Tatchell.

www.petertatchell.net

Human Rights Day protest against Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill – Ugandan Embassy, London, 10 December 2009 – Photograph by Brett Lock

Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill – Briefing

Death penalty proposed for consenting same-sex relations

Misreported & unreported aspects of the legislation

By Peter Tatchell, human rights campaigner

London, UK – 11 January 2010

Below is a full and comprehensive briefing on the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which is currently before the Ugandan Parliament and which proposes the death penalty for certain consenting homosexual acts.

Sponsored by the Ugandan MP, David Bahati, the Bill is expected to be debated and voted on in the coming weeks.

This briefing includes details of the already existing extreme homophobic laws in Uganda and their hateful social effects, a link to a full copy of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill and my summary of its key elements.

Although there have been reports that death penalty clauses will be dropped, to date the Bill has not been amended, watered down or scrapped. All the original provisions, including the death penalty, remain.

Indeed, the Bill’s sponsor, MP David Bahati, said late last week that he stands by the Bill and will not withdraw it.

Read the full text of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill:
http://www.ukgaynews.org.uk/Archive/09/Nov/Bill-No-18-Anti-Homosexuality-Bill-2009_Uganda.pdf

Summary of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill

Peter Tatchell of the London-based lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) human rights group OutRage! said:

“The Anti-Homosexuality Bill proposes the death penalty for two classes of same-sex acts.

“First, for ‘aggravated’ homosexuality, which is defined as gay sex with under 18s or disabled persons and gay sex by a person in authority or by a person with HIV, even if they use a condom.

“Second, for ‘serial’ homosexual acts, meaning for persons who have repeated same-sex relations ie. more than once or twice.

“The Bill extends the existing penalty of life imprisonment for same- sex intercourse to all other same-sex behaviour, including the mere touching of another person with the intent to have homosexual relations.

“Life imprisonment is also the penalty for contracting a same-sex marriage.

“Promoting homosexuality and aiding and abetting others to commit homosexual acts will be punishable by five to seven years jail. These new crimes are likely to include membership and funding of LGBT organisations, advocacy of LGBT human rights, supportive counselling of LGBT persons and the provision of condoms or safer sex advice to LGBT people.

“A person in authority – gay or heterosexual – who fails to report violators to the police within 24 hours will be sentenced to three years behind bars.

“Astonishingly, the new legislation has an extra-territorial jurisdiction. It will also apply to Ugandan citizens or foreign residents of Uganda who commit these ‘crimes’ while abroad, in countries where such behaviour is not a criminal offence. Violators overseas will be subjected to extradition, trial and punishment in Uganda.

“This bill is even more draconian than the extreme homophobic laws of countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran.

“It is part of a wide attack on civil society and is symptomatic of Uganda’s drift to Mugabe-style authoritarianism,” added Mr Tatchell.

Read this report by me on the tyranny of President Yoweri Museveni’s Ugandan regime:
http://www.blackstarnews.com/news/135/ARTICLE/6164/2009-12-18.html

Existing anti-gay laws in Uganda – and their consequences

The Uganda Penal Code Act of 1950 (Chapter 120) (as amended)

Section 145. Unnatural offences.
–Any person who– (a) has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature; (b) has carnal knowledge of an animal; or (c) permits a male person to have carnal knowledge of him or her against the order of nature, commits an offence and is liable to imprisonment for life.

Section 146. Attempt to commit unnatural offences.
–Any person who attempts to commit any of the offences specified in section 145 commits a felony and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.

Section 148. Indecent practices.
–Any person who, whether in public or in private, commits any act of gross indecency with another person or procures another person to commit any act of gross indecency with him or her or attempts to procure the commission of any such act by any person with himself or herself or with another person, whether in public or in private, commits an offence and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.

“The current anti-homosexual laws were originally imposed on Uganda by the British colonial administration in the nineteenth century, during the period of imperial subjugation. They are not authentic Ugandan or African laws,” added Peter Tatchell of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) human rights group OutRage!

“The consequences of this already existing legislation can include long terms of imprisonment for homosexual relations between consenting adults in private.

“Criminalisation also often results in the failure of police to protect the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) victims of mob violence. It gives a green light to blackmailers and to the police harassment of LGBT people, including the framing of LGBT Ugandans on false charges.

“The outing of LGBT people by the Kampala tabloid newspaper, Red Pepper, has resulted in some victims losing their jobs and homes. Others have been disowned by their families and forced to go into hiding.

“The Anti-Homosexuality Bill is just the latest of many attacks on the LGBT community of Uganda.

“In recent years, the Ugandan government of President Yoweri Museveni has passed a law banning same-sex civil marriage, fined Radio Simba for broadcasting a discussion of LGBT issues, and expelled a UN AIDS agency director for meeting with LGBT campaigners.

“Some years ago, a heterosexual Anglican bishop of the West Buganda diocese of Uganda, Christopher Senyonjo, was denied the right to preach and denied his pension by the Church of Uganda after he defended the human rights of LGBT people,” said Mr Tatchell.

See photos of the London protest against the Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill on 10 December 2009:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/outrage/sets/72157622975859486/
These photos are free to use. Please credit Brett Lock of OutRage!

See videos of this London protest:
http://www.petertatchell.net/international/videos-of-uganda-protest-in-london.html
These videos are free to use.

More information:

peter@petertatchell.net

www.petertatchell.net