Archive for January 29th, 2010

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

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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

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