Archive for the ‘Homosexual’ Category
Translated by Ava
At 2 am on Saturday 15th November, Saeed attempted suicide by swallowing many pills. He was taken to the emergency room at the hospital. He was in critical condition and in a coma. Due to his comatose state the doctor did not wash out his stomach. They could not give him a vomit-inducing agent because of the potential danger. The deep coma could prevent him from vomiting. Since he had overdosed and the amount of pills he had taken was so large they did not want to take any risks.
They transferred Saeed to ICU so he could be placed in intensive care. They attached an oxygen mask to him until Sunday morning close to noontime when he gained consciousness. The risk of side effects to the kidney and lungs was high so they kept him under treatment and monitoring. He was given antibiotics to prevent infection.
Later in the day they transferred him to a different section where his medical treatment continued and he was placed under supervision of the mental health team to make sure he would not try to escape.
Around 5 in the evening the mental health team came to see him and after speaking to him decided to transfer him temporarily to the Mental Health Hospital so he could be watched over incase he made another attempt at taking his life. On Friday he was transferred to the Mental Health Hospital where he resides at the moment and is under surveillance.
At this point I should mention that in the past few months Saeed has been under intense emotional stress. He was dealing with the uncertainty of his refugee application and being ignored by Home Office. On the other hand he didn’t have a work permit and received little money from *social office*. He applied multiple times for a driver’s license and was refused because he did not have a passport or visa. He had a difficult time in the house he had been given, as his housemates would ridicule and belittle him because of his sexuality. This caused him to complain repeatedly to the office that supported him but they did nothing. (Paolo is aware of this situation)
Let me remind you of the background details of Saeed’s situation in case you don’t remember:
In 1999 when Saeed was 36 years old, due to his homosexuality and the problems it created for him in Iran, he fled Iran and went to the UK where he applied for refugee status. But his claim was ignored until in 2003 they rejected his appeal in court without granting him a lawyer, cut all his support, and gave him a deportation order. Numerous lawyers refused to take on his case until it gained some attention and was picked up again and pursued until, as you know, in 2006 Home Office arrested him and took him to a detention centre in Oxford. He was there for 10 days. With much support including those of IRQR and other friends they released him but without providing any support or work permit. They also demanded that once a week he goes to London to sign documents attesting to his presence.
A few weeks later, after he had requested that they space out the times he was required to provide a signature, Home Office sent Saeed a letter informing him that during the appointment they have given him officers will be going to his home and tagging his feet. (This is a police foot tag with radar and security alarm, which goes off if the person wearing it walks beyond the geographic limits legally assigned to him. If home office wants to arrest that person they locate him through the radar and publically embarrass him by turning his alarm on.)
Saeed was suffering from extreme skin allergies, which his doctor assigns to a reaction to metal, or any other potential allergenic triggered by the emotional and psychological pressures he is dealing with. Saeed’s doctor sent a letter to Saeed’s lawyer and to Home Office, preventing them from attaching the tag on Saeed’s foot.
After a long time of being homeless and sleeping on the street Saeed received some financial support and was given a place to stay. His housemates made his stay there unbearable. Moreover, ever since Saeed’s release from detention centre right up till this very day, every letter his lawyer has sent to Home Office has gone unanswered. Home Office does not respond at all and their dismissal of Saeed is very hard on him.
All these pressures and the toll of not seeing his family for 9 years caused him to try and end his life.
I visit him every day but he is not emotionally stable and says he does not want to live anymore. He doesn’t regret his attempted suicide and is likely to try again at any moment if he finds an opportunity.
This is why they have taken him to the Mental Health Hospital so they can control him and protect him so he will not have personal freedom and access to things he could use for suicide.
A friend of Saeed
IRanian Queer Railroad – IRQR
PH4-150 Graydon Hall Drive
M3A 3B3 Canada
Remember the movie ‘Das Leben der Anderen’ (The Lives of Others), where a Stasi agent was monitoring a playwriter’s life? This doesn’t translate anymore in French into ‘La vie des autres’, but rather into EDVIGE, the name of a newly created database to be used by French intelligence services and the administrative police.
EDVIGE will file “individuals, groups, organisations and moral persons which, due to their individual or collective activity, are likely to attempt to public order”. Not only these persons will be filed (without any offence committed), but also “those who undertake or have undertaken direct and non fortuitous relations with them.” Filing starts at age 13.
This, clearly, means filing everyone, in view of “informing the government and the representatives of the State” in any and all French town and region. In other words, EDVIGE, which has been created by a decree issued on 27 June 2008 in the framework of the merging of two French intelligence services (RG and DST), is the perfect instrument of a political police.
EDVIGE will contains data on “civil status and occupation; physical addresses, phone numbers, email addresses; physical characteristics, photographs and behaviour; identity papers; car plate numbers; fiscal and patrimonial information; moves and legal history.”
As highlighted by lesbians and gays associations, this will include data on sexual orientation and health, in particular HIV seropositivity. This has been confirmed by a representative of the Interior ministry, who declared that “the mention of these data will only be authorised for incidental need in relation with an activity. In the intelligence field, this mainly means activism.” Moreover, French EDRI member IRIS notes that the inclusion of “identity papers” in these data is particularly significant in the context of the newly created French biometric passport including 8 fingerprints and of the draft law in preparation on biometric ID cards.
A large mobilization against EDVIGE immediately started, with a petition calling for the withdrawal of this file. This petition is hosted and maintained by RAS (‘Réseau associatif et syndical’), an NGO acting as an ISP for its members, almost 200 activist NGOs and trade unions, among them EDRI member IRIS. The petition has already gathered since 10 July 2008 more than 16.000 individual signatures, and more than 170 signatures from associations, trade unions and political parties from the opposition. Signatories will organize into a global coordination against the EDVIGE file, and are preparing various actions starting from next September. In the mean time, some of these groups will file a complaint against the French government, requesting the annulment of the EDVIGE decree.
Defend Mehdi Kazemi
Oppose Iran’s homophobic persecution
Reform the asylum system to protect LGBT refugees
Join the protest
This Saturday, 22 March
2pm to 3pm
Opposite Downing Street, Whitehall, SW1
Friends and supporters of gay Iranian asylum seeker, Mehdi Kazemi, are asking you to join our protest opposite Downing Street this Saturday, March 22nd:
Our demands are:
– Don’t send Mehdi Kazemi back to his death in Iran
– Down with Iran’s homophobic laws
– For the right to settle in the UK.
The event is sponsored by Middle East Workers’ Solidarity and the National Union of Students LGBT campaign, and is supported by the LGBT human rights group, OutRage!
www.union-solidarity.org has more details.
OutRage! is highlighting the five failings of the Home Office with regard to LGBT refugees:
– No training on sexual orientation issues for asylum staff and adjudicators
– No explicit official policy supporting the right of refugees to claim asylum on the grounds of sexual orientation
– No action to stamp out the abuse of LGBT refugees in UK asylum detention camps
– No accurate, up-to-date information on the victimisation of LGBT people in violently homophobic countries
– No access to adequate legal representation for LGBT asylum applicants
We hope to see you on Saturday at 2pm.
Solidarity and appreciation, Peter Tatchell, OutRage!
A teenager from Syria who tried to claim asylum in the UK on the grounds of his sexual orientation has pleaded with the Home Office to reverse a deportation order.
Jojo Jako Yakob claims he faces certain death if he is returned to his homeland.
A deportation order was enacted against him after he was arrested for possession of a fake Belgian passport and placed in Polmont Young Offenders Institution in Scotland.
Yakob fled Syria when he was faced with persecution and arrest because of his sexual orientation.
The 19-year-old is to launch a legal challenge in order to reverse the deportation order so he can spend the rest of his life in Scotland.
He escaped Syria two years ago after surviving severe abuse at the hands of the Syrian police and prison guards, when he was arrested for distributing anti-government leaflets.
Following his transfer from police interrogation, prison guards soon discovered that Yakob was homosexual.
He then suffered horrific beatings and was assaulted so badly that he fell into a coma.
After being transferred to hospital, he managed to flee to Lebanon making for London hidden in a lorry.
He applied for asylum and was granted extended leave by the Home Office, but was then arrested in Aberdeen last April after being found in possession of a fake Belgian passport.
He was handed a 12-month sentence and sent to Polmont Young
Offenders Unit in Falkirk.
His lawyers say his asylum application was then mistakenly withdrawn and, as a result, he has been served with a deportation order, pending a final hearing this May.
If Yakob is deported to Syria, it is likely that he will be rearrested and could potentially face the same kind of abuse that caused him to flee to the UK.
Talking about the ordeal that he faced, Yakob told the Scotland on Sunday:
“I was tortured. I was beaten. At one point I was put up against a wall and a handgun pointed at me.
“I was told that if I did not tell the authorities what they wanted to know they would shoot me dead.
“I did not tell them anything, I did not think they would shoot me.
“The police officer then shot me in my upper left arm. At that point, I told them what they wanted to know as I believed that they would shoot me dead.”
Yakob says he was held in police cells for 20 days without charge and subjected to daily electric shock torture and beatings before being transferred to Ahdas Prison, near the Turkish border.
In prison, he formed a relationship with a gay prisoner named Hassain.
Yakob explained: “Hassain was serving a sentence, he told me, for 25 years.
“He told me that the sentence was only because he was gay.”
After the pair were seen sleeping together in jail, Yakob said he was subjected to systematic beatings, which “went on for days into weeks.”
“I was also subjected to cold-water torture, where I was put in a room and buckets of cold water were constantly thrown over me,” he told Scotland on Sunday.
“I could not remember what day it was or how long I had been in prison.
“One day I woke up in hospital in a nearby town of Kamishli. The doctor who was treating me told me that I had been in a coma for 20 days.
“He said to the authorities that I could not return to prison as I was not fit and I could not stand trial until I had had a rest. He suggested that I be sent home for recuperation.”
A spokesman for the Syrian Embassy in London denied that torture of gay people took place.
“Homosexuality is illegal in Syria, but there are no special units to deal with this problem,” he told Scotland on Sunday.
“People are not prosecuted – society looks at this as a disease for which they can be treated – it is a similar position to that taken by the Vatican.
“I cannot give a clearer answer.”
Yakob will appear before a full immigration hearing in Glasgow on May 7th to determine his fate.
His case is similar to that of Mehdi Kazemi, 19, who was studying in the UK and applied for asylum after his boyfriend was arrested and reportedly executed in Tehran.
The boyfriend named Mehdi as a homosexual, and police turned up at his father’s house with a warrant to arrest him.
His asylum application was unsuccessful in the UK, so Mehdi fled to Holland.
The Dutch authorities ruled he should be returned to the UK but after a campaign led by members of the House of Lords and MEPs the Home Office has decided to review his case.
Monday, February 25, 2008
BRAZILIAN GAYS DEMAND THAT FIDEL CASTRO ASK FOR FORGIVENESS FOR THE PERSECUTION OF HOMOSEXUALS IN CUBA
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.
Harsh penalties were then established to be applied to “the depraved who are repeat offenders and to the incorrigible anti-social elements.”
Many homosexual artists and writers were persecuted during that period of time, namely:
Virgilio Piñera, Lezama Lima, Gallagas, Anton Arrulat, Ana Maria Simon, and even the North-American poet Allen Ginsberg, who was deported [from Cuba] for having spread the permanent rumor in Cuba and abroad that Raul Castro, Fidel’s brother, was a closeted homosexual. Another persecuted North-American was the journalist Allen Young who went from poster boy of the Cuban revolution to persona non grata for having denounced the cruelty of the homophobia existent on that island. While visiting Brazil, Young became famous for having refused to greet the then president Castelo Branco.
In 1980, according to official briefings seventeen hundred “incorrigible homosexuals” were deported from Cuba to the United States, even though human rights organizations estimate that number to be higher than ten thousand gays and transvestites deported from their homeland.
At the beginning of the AIDS crisis, Cuba was denounced internationally for creating tough prisons for what they called the “sidosos” (a pejorative term for people ill from HIV/AIDS), most of them homosexuals.
inferno which is what it still represents to this day for gays in a country that never learned the lesson from Che Guevara:
“One must harden without ever losing tenderness.” (“Hay que endurecer, pero sin perder la ternura jamás”.)
And yet it is said that even Guevara upon finding the book Teatro Completo by Virgilio Piñera, an openly admitted homosexual, in the Library of the Cuban Embassy in Algiers that he threw it against the wall saying:
“How come you keep in our embassy a book by a “pájaro maricón”?!”, the latter being the equivalent of “effeminate faggot”.
For more information please call dialing
55 (int. phone code for Brazil) + 71 – 3328.3783 or 55 + 71 – 9989.4748.
Posted by Luiz Mott, http://br.geocities.com/luizmottbr
Peter Tatchell celebrated his fortieth year of campaigning on 10th December, Human Rights Day.
The Australian-born activist began campaigning for human rights, democracy and global justice in 1967, aged 15.
Now, at 55, his eyes still have the vividness and energy of a teenager, and he has no intention to retire, because, he says, there is still much work to do.
Speaking in his home in South London, surrounded by hundreds of documents on human rights issues, books and magazines about LGBT rights, and satirical posters of religious leaders, he talks about his long career and his many experiences.
But the list is so long, including campaigns against apartheid, dictators and torturers, and in favour of green issues, gay marriage and revision of the age of consent, that it is hard to believe he can cope with all that.
PinkNews.co.uk: How can you manage to campaign for all these issues?
Peter Tatchell: With great difficulty. I haven’t got much leisure time, not nearly as much as I would like. I desperately need an office, and a couple of paid staff to work.
Most of my campaigns are in response to appeals for help from individuals and organisations in Britain and around the world, but I get many more questions that I can possibly cope with, so I have to choose.
I tend to focus on issues where there is very little knowledge or coverage.
PinkNews.co.uk: For example?
PT: I helped highlight the loss of benefits to many same-sex couples in civil partnerships, that was an issue that no other organisation was covering.
I have taken up the cause of a number of gay Muslim asylum seekers, who couldn’t get help from other organisations. Until recently, very few Western gay organisations were supporting the campaigns of activists in Zimbabwe, Uganda, Nigeria, Iran, Palestine and Iraq.
PinkNews.co.uk: What about the UK? What do you think about gay rights here?
PT: We have got formal legal equality, but we haven’t got liberation. Even the battle for equal rights is incomplete. We still have a ban on same-sex marriage, which is a form of sexual apartheid.
If the government banned Jewish or black people from getting married and offered civil partnerships instead, people would be on the streets.
But the LGBT community has rolled over and accepted this inferior, second-class legal status.
PinkNews.co.uk: What exactly do you think gay people should aim for?
PT: Equality is not enough. There is little point being equal in a fundamentally unjust society. The idea that straight people live in some kind of paradise is absurd.
We need to transform society, not to conform to it. I advocate civil commitment pacts, in which people can choose their own individualised, tailor-made partnership agreements.
In our society there is a great variety of relationships and the law needs to recognise this diversity.
PinkNews.co.uk: What do you think about the Vatican and its attempts to hamper protection and recognition for gay people?
PT: The sooner someone outs Pope Benedict, the better. His homophobic policies remind me of the Inquisition, and the Hitler Youth, of which he was a member.
All the closeted homophobes in the Vatican should be outed, they are destroying the lives of LGBT people worldwide.
PinkNews.co.uk: A few days ago, the pope said that gay people threaten peace, how would you respond to that?
PT: These are the rantings of a semi-deranged Christian fundamentalist and a theocrat, whose ego is so enormous that he believes he has a hot-line to God.
If any ordinary person in the street did it, they’d probably put them in a mental asylum. It is amazing the indulgences that are allowed for the so-called “men of God.”
Pope Benedict he is the ideological inheritor of the Nazi homophobia. He’d like to eradicate homosexuality, but since he can’t put LGBT people in physical concentration camps, is doing his best to put them in psychological concentration camps.
PinkNews.co.uk: An issue that you are fighting for is the change of the age of consent.
PT: I am astonished by the way so many LGBT organisations are reluctant to challenge the often unrealistic age of consent that exists in Britain.
The age of 16 is totally out of step with young people, as the average age they start having sex is 13 or 14 in the UK.
I’m not saying that they should have sex, but if they do, they shouldn’t be criminalised. Under British law, two young people, gay or straight, under the age of 16, who kiss or cuddle can face a prison sentence up to five years.
PinkNews.co.uk: What is your view of the LGBT organisations in the UK, such as Stonewall?
PT: Stonewall has a very conformist, assimilationist agenda. It doesn’t question the legal status quo, it merely conforms with it.
Obviously equality is better than inequality, but it isn’t sufficient and is not liberation.
PinkNews.co.uk: Let’s talk about yourself. What is the thing you are most proud of?
PT: Many. The citizen’s arrest of Zimbabwe’s President Mugabe in 1999 and 2001, for his crimes against humanity. The ambush of Tony Blair in 2003 to protest against the impending war in Iraq.
The interruption of the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1998 during one of his sermons, to condemn his discrimination against gay people.
PinkNews.co.uk: Name a person you admire.
PT: There is more than one. Gandhi, Malcom X, Martin Luther King, Sylvia Pankhurst.
PinkNews.co.uk: OK. To finish, in two words maximum, how would you describe these people or groups?
Pope Benedict XVI: homophobic hypocrite.
Rowan Williams: coward.
Iranian President Ahmadinejad: theocratic fascist.
Russian President Vladimir Putin: Stalin lite.
Stonewall: equality only.
Gordon Brown: new Blair.
Tony Blair: tragedy.
Outrage! (the movement founded by Tatchell in 1990): effective.
A Roman Catholic Cardinal has suggested that gay people should be banned from political office.
Latvia’s Prime Minister Aigars Kalvitis resigned last week and the Archbishop of Riga Janis Pujats warned new candidates not to support LGBT related issues.
He asked that all candidates running for the post of Prime Minister state whether they intended to “defend the Latvian nation against the invasion of homosexuality in public life.
“Anyone who is not a stern advocate of the people’s moral values, must neither run nor be nominated for prime minister,” he said, urging candidates to give a public answer on the issue, as he said people were “entitled to it.”
During public debates yesterday, all three Prime Ministerial candidates voiced tolerant views about people with different sexual orientations.
In May the controversial Cardinal defined homosexuality “total corruption in the sexual arena” and “an unnatural form of prostitution.”
He also called on people to take to the streets of Latvia’s capital Riga to oppose the Pride march on June 3rd.
“If there are 1,000 sexually crazy people acting foolishly in the square of Pride, then the people’s march in Riga should have at least 40,000 or 50,000,” he wrote in a letter.
“That proportion would give the government and public thought enough reason to leave sexual perversion outside the law.”
What does it mean when your very existence is criminalized? When you can be sentenced to death or prison just for being yourself? When stepping outside your house makes you a target for violence or for being picked up by police? While these scenarios might initially seem to be the stuff of Kafkaesque fantasy, in many parts of the world they constitute the daily reality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people—a reality that is brutal and relentless—and worthy of attention on this International Human Rights Day, December 10, 2007.
Many of us responded with disbelief last September when Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claimed that there were no gay people in his country. But the Iranian President’s words betray a twisted truth. While there are plenty of LGBT Iranians, there is no public, visible gay presence in Iran. Because the penalty for same-sex conduct between men in Iran is death, gay life in Iran remains hidden, under threat of extermination. The execution just last week of Makvan Mouloodzadeh, a 21-year-old Iranian man accused of having sex with other young boys when he was 13 years old makes this point excruciatingly clear.
In other words, when your existence is criminalized, your human rights are compromised. Your rights to life, liberty and security of the person are eviscerated. Your privacy is a chimera. You don’t count.
And of course, this doesn’t just happen in Iran. More than 75 countries worldwide—from Afganistan to Zimbabwe, and from Sri Lanka to the Solomon Islands—still criminalize consensual same-sex relationships. Many of these laws are vestiges of colonial attempts to “civilize the savages.” In all countries, these laws are strictly oppositional to modern standards of human rights and respect for individual choice with regard to family, sexuality and relationships.
In Nigeria, homosexual acts can be punished by 14 years of imprisonment. And the situation for LGBT people in that country is grim. An activist living in northwest Nigeria says that she has “worked on a case of a transgender person who was picked up by police simply for being transgender… [and] helped a girl who was perceived by the community to be gay. She was beaten, raped and left unconscious.” In Nigeria, being gay means contending with a stark choice: hide who you are or become a target for violence and abuse.
Cameroon is another country where LGBT individuals experience consistent and severe human rights violations. Here more than 13 people have recently been detained under an article of the penal code that prohibits consensual same-sex sexual relationships between adults. On International Human Rights Day, various human rights organizations will stage demonstrations outside Cameroonian embassies in Paris, Pretoria and Washington, D.C., to protest that country’s treatment of LGBT citizens and those who stand in solidarity with them.
When your existence is criminalized, it is important that others stand in solidarity with you—both to protest injustice and to fight for a better world, one where people are treated with dignity, not distain.
International Human Rights Day marks the day in 1948 that the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This central global human rights principle states that, “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” This year, International Human Rights Day also marks the start of Dignity and Justice for All, a yearlong United Nations campaign designed to emphasize the universality of human rights—a universality that has often felt lacking to LGBT communities.
Dignity and respect for LGBT people must start with each country abolishing laws that criminalize consensual relations between two men or two women. Without freedom from criminalization, all other freedoms for LGBT people are compromised. We must call on each nation to show their belief in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by repealing laws that are so clearly an affront to dignity and respect.
Iranian born artist Sooreh Hera, is decided to expose the hypocrisy regarding homosexuality and Islam. She says it is frequent that married muslim men have sexual relations with other men (she mentions specifically Iran and Saudi Arabia).
If you check out her pictures you’ll see that homosexuality is a major part of her work.
When she invited two Iranian men to pose they asked to wear a mask in order not to be recognized. The masks she chose were the ones you see in the pictures below: Muhammed and his son-in-law Ali.
She was going to be at The Hague Municipal Museum but she was denied because her exposition “could offend certain groups”.
The city museum of The Hague has decided not to include in an exhibition a work of art that may offend Muslims, it was reported on Monday.
The picture, made by Iranian artist Sooreh Hera, is entitled Adam and Ewald and shows two gay men wearing masks of the Muslim prophet Mohammed and his son-in-law Ali.
It is part of a photoseries the Gemeentemuseum has included in the 7up exhibition due to open on December 15.
The Gemeentemuseum’s director Wim van Krimpen told reporters the museum is interested in purchasing Hera’s complete series, which he called “high quality works of art”.
However, he added he will not exhibit Adam and Ewald in the next few years because “certain people in our society might perceive it as offensive”.
Hera responded she was “disappointed” and added “apparently a Muslim minority decides what will be on display in the museum”.
Liberal-rightist Freedom Party (PVV) leader Geert Wilders, condemned the museum’s decision, adding it was “based on fear”.
Wilders has requested a reaction on the matter from Education and Culture minister Ronald Plasterk.
Meanwhile Siebe Weide, director of the Museum Association, told reporters “all Dutch museums are free to choose what they exhibit and what not”.
© 2007 AAP
See also: “Allah o gay-bar”: censurate le foto