Archive for the ‘LGBTQ’ Category

Call for participants:

Legislating LGBTQ, a conference on Anti-Discrimination Law

http://www.iglyo.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=156&Itemid=42

To coincide with the Spanish EU Presidency, and in the context of the important discussions taking place around the proposed horizontal Anti-Discrimination Directive among EU Member States, we feel that this is a prime opportunity to meet in Spain for a conference focusing on Anti-Discrimination legislations. IGLYO aims with it to empower young LGBTQ activists to be part of high-level decision-making.

The Conference is organized in collaboration with Bolo-Bolo, the regional branch of FELGTB, the State Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Transsexuals and Bisexuals of Spain, and will be held in the Castle of San Servando, Toledo, from May 30th (Sunday) to June 4th 2010 (Friday).

Some of its main objectives are:

• Studying current anti-discrimination legislations and discuss their strengths and limitations in order to afford protection to LGBTQ young people, based on case studies ;
• Train activists to ’win the argument’ for anti-discrimination legislation at a local and national level;
• Explore methods of engaging with policy-making processes at a national and international level;
• Sharing best practices as well as creating a network of activists;
• Planning future actions and supervision of the implementation process.

Please if you are interested, read thoroughly the full call here.

You can find the online Application Form Click here!

Deadline for receiving applications 24th March 2010.
Candidates will be notified by the 1st April 2010.

Gay refugees face prejudice across the world
http://www.pinknews.co.uk/news/view.php?id=7403

15th April 2008 18:20
Adam Lake

Biplob Hossain, a gay refugee from Bangladesh who is seeking asylum in Australia, and Joaquin Ramirez, facing deportation to El Salvador, have highlighted the plight of gay men who flee their countries to escape persecution.

Mr Hossain, 25, moved to Australia on a student visa when he was 19.

He applied for asylum on the basis that he would suffer persecution in Bangladesh. He was placed in a detention centre for 29 months.

After three rejections by the Refugee Review Tribunal and a failed High Court bid, Mr Hossain is hoping for a personal intervention from the Minister for Immigration, Senator Chris Evans.

He was released from Villawood Detention Centre in October 2006, but is not allowed to work or collect social security benefits.

Sandi Logan, a spokesperson for the Immigration Department, told Australian SX News:

“A person’s sexual orientation does not of itself enable that person to be granted asylum.”

“We provide protection for asylum seekers under the UN definition of a refugee, under the Convention 67 protocol, which doesn’t include their sexual orientation or their fears of persecution associated with that orientation.”

Bangladeshi law states that gay sex acts are illegal and will be punished with deportation, fines and life imprisonment.

The national law itself is rarely directly enforced however there have been numerous reports of incidents of vigilantism.

People suspected of homosexuality have also been sentenced to death by a fatwa.

Meanwhile, in Canada, a gay man is facing deportation to his native El Salvador where he claims that three police officers who raped him are now out to kill him.

Joaquin Ramirez, a 39-year-old HIV-positive man said the accused perpetrators have visited his family and threatened to kill him because he infected them with the HIV virus.

Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board doubted Mr Ramirez’s claims, asking why he did not seek legal support in his own country when the incident occurred.

Mr Ramirez told Canadian newspaper The Star:

“How could I go to the same people and ask them to protect me when it’s those people who did this to me?”

Mr Ramirez worked as a volunteer outreach worker with the Young Men’s Christian Association and the Salvadoran Network of People Living with HIV.

He said he was picked on by three drunken officers at a restaurant in 2006 and driven to a plantation field where he was allegedly beaten and raped.

Five months later he claims a stranger called his sister and threatened to kill him for infecting them with the virus.

The refugee didn’t believe Ramirez left El Salvador because of the alleged assault as he had already planned to leave in November 2005.

The two stories come just weeks after the much published case of Iranian asylum seeker Mehdi Kazemi.

Mr Kazemi came to London in 2005 to study English but later discovered that his boyfriend had been arrested by the Iranian police, charged with sodomy and hanged.

The UK rejected his first asylum plea, but Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has now granted him a temporary reprieve from deportation while she reconsiders his case.

Last week the International Lesbian and Gay Association released the latest version of their map of LGBT rights across the world.

In 76 countries people face jail for having gay sex.

Homosexual acts officially carry the death penalty in several nations including Saudi Arabia, Iran, Mauritania, northern Nigeria, Sudan, and Yemen.

In many Muslim countries, such as Bahrain, Qatar, Algeria and the Maldives, homosexuality is punished with jail time, fines, or corporal punishment.

In Egypt, openly gay men have been prosecuted under general public morality laws.

Some liberal Muslims, such as the members of the Al-Fatiha Foundation, accept and consider homosexuality as natural pointing out that the Qu’ran speaks out against homosexual lust, and is silent on homosexual love.

However, this position remains highly controversial even amongst liberal movements within Islam, and is considered beyond the pale by mainstream Islam.

The UK is a signatory to the United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, which means that it has a responsibility under international law not to return refugees to a place where they would face persecution.

Full Article Pink News

Olympic torch ambushed in London

Bus halted, gay activist Tatchell arrested

“Gordon Brown colludes with China’s tyrannical leaders”

London – 6 April 2008

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.

“Hu Jia was jailed for three and half years last week for campaigning for free speech, Tibetan autonomy, environmental protection, and for the human rights of the rural poor and people with HIV,” said Mr Tatchell.

“He exposed the Chinese government’s cover up of the use of HIV contaminated blood, the lack of support and care for people with HIV, and he challenged social prejudice and discrimination against people with the virus.

“Hi Jia is a truly heroic figure, who has shown immense foresight, determination and bravery. He has kept campaigning, even though he knew it would put him at risk of arrest, torture and imprisonment.

“In jail, Hu Jia is likely to be mistreated, denied medical treatment for his hepatitis B infection and starved of proper food.

For more information about Hu Jia, see here:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/hu-jia-chinas-enemy-within-804589.html
http://www.rfa.org/english/news/2006/03/29/china_hujia/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hu_Jia_(activist)

“Gordon Brown has shamed himself and Britain by greeting the Olympic torch at Downing Street, at a time when China is shooting dead Tibetan protesters and jailing and torturing hundreds of political prisoners,” added Mr Tatchell.

“It is hypocritical for the Prime Minister to boycott the Zimbabwean regime, but not the dictatorial regime in China. These double standards bring our government into disrepute.

“The UK should not be colluding with a police state like China. Attempts to gently persuade the Beijing leaders to stop their human rights abuses have failed. They are manipulating the Olympics. We must
not allow them to exploit the Beijing games to divert attention from China’s abysmal human rights record.

“All countries that love freedom, democracy and liberty should refuse to host the Olympic torch and boycott the opening and closing ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics. Athletes should wear Tibetan flags during their events and on the podium when they collect their medals.

“China should be subjected to sporting protests in the same way that apartheid South Africa was subject to sporting protests.

“China is one the world’s most vicious anti-worker regimes. It has poor labour laws. Employees have little protection against abuse. Independent trade unions are banned and their leaders jailed.

“To make way for new cities, millions of rural people have been forced off their land with little or no compensation. China is free market state capitalism at its worst. The gap between the rich and poor is
one of the widest of any country on earth.

“The idea that China is any longer a communist state is laughable. The Communist Party has become a new ruling class and a route to personal advancement, corruption and wealth aggrandisement.

“The Beijing leaders are new emperors who ride roughshod over their own people. They have almost total power and they abuse it to oppress and exploit the Chinese nation, in ways that are often similar to the old feudal and colonial powers of the nineteenth century,” said Mr Tatchell.

Further information:

Peter Tatchell 020 7403 1790


Conservative MEP John Bowis made the following powerful speech in the European Parliament in favour of the successful resolution supporting Mehdi and Pegah Emambakhsh.


Bruxelles: The European Parliament has approved with 60 votes (46 in favour, 2 against and 12 abstentions) an urgent resolution on the case of Seyed Mehdi Kazemi – the 19-year-old Iranian gay – member of EveryOne Group – who is about to be extradited from Holland to the United Kingdom. He risked immediate deportation from London to Teheran, where the death sentence awaits him because of his homosexuality.

SEE ALSO :
https://gayswithoutborders.wordpress.com/2008/03/14/irqo-update-on-mehdi-kazemi-case/

Full text of the European Parliament’s Resolution on Mehdi Kazemi’s case:

The European Parliament,

– having regard to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), and in particular to Article 3 thereof, which prohibits the removal, expulsion or extradition of persons to countries where there is a serious risk that they would be subjected to the death penalty, torture or other inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment,

– having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights, and in particular to Articles 18 and 19 thereof on the right to asylum and on protection in the event of removal, expulsion or extradition respectively,

– having regard to the Geneva Convention of 28 July 1951 and the Protocol of 31 January 1967 relating to the Status of Refugees,

– having regard to Council Directive 2004/83/EC on minimum standards for the qualification and status of third country nationals or stateless persons as refugees or as persons who otherwise need international protection and the content of the protection granted (Qualifications Directive) and to Council Regulation (EC) No 343/2003 on the criteria and mechanisms to determine the Member State responsible for assessing asylum applications (Dublin Regulation), as well as to other EU asylum instruments,

– having regard to the letter of 10 September 2007 from its President to the UK Prime Minister on the case of Pegah Emambakhsh, an Iranian lesbian who risked being sent back to Iran after her request for asylum was turned down,

– having regard to Rule 115(5) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas Mehdi Kazemi, a 19-year-old gay Iranian citizen, requested asylum in the United Kingdom and had his application turned down; whereas, fearing deportation, he fled to the Netherlands, where he applied for asylum; whereas Dutch authorities, after examining his request, have decided to send him back to the UK,

B. whereas UK authorities are now left with the final decision on his asylum application and possible deportation to Iran,

C. whereas Iranian authorities routinely detain, torture and execute persons, notably homosexuals; whereas Mehdi’s partner has already been executed, while his father has threatened him with death,

D. whereas in the similar case of Pegah Emambakhsh the UK authorities decided, after international pressure, not to deport her back to Iran, but whereas it is still not clear what her fate will be,

E. whereas the UK Prime Minister’s spokesperson, while not commenting on the case of Mehdi Kazemi, gave general assurances as to the conformity of UK asylum procedures with international commitments and to the possibility of appealing against asylum decisions to an independent judge, as well as to the fact that the authorities would not remove anyone who would be at risk on his or her return,

F. whereas more attention should be devoted to the proper application of EU asylum law in Member States as regards sexual orientation,

1. Expresses its serious concern regarding the fate of Mehdi Kazemi;

2. Asks for the proper and full application of the Qualifications Directive, which recognises persecution for sexual orientation as a ground for granting asylum and requires Member States to consider the individual case and the situation in the country of origin, including laws and regulations and the manner in which they are applied;

3. Believes that the EU and its Member States cannot apply European and national laws and procedures in a way which results in the expulsion of persons to a third country where they would risk persecution, torture and death, as this would amount to a violation of European and international human rights obligations;

4. Appeals to the Member states involved to find a common solution to ensure that Mehdi Kazemi is granted asylum or protection on EU soil and not sent back to Iran, where he would be executed, thus ensuring that Article 3 of the ECHR is fully respected by all European authorities and notably, in this case, by the UK; asks the Commission and the Council to fully cooperate with the Member States on this case;

5. Asks EU institutions and Member States to take action to prevent similar situations, in the future, through cooperation and EU guidelines to find solutions in similar cases; asks the Commission to monitor and evaluate the application of EU asylum law in Member States, and in particular as regards sexual orientation, and to report to the European Parliament; underlines the fact that the Commission has announced, for 2008, amendments to the Dublin Regulation and the Qualifications Directive which will address the issues raised in this resolution;

6. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council, the Member States, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees and Mehdi Kazemi.

tatchell-homeoffice.jpg

Mehdi must stay demo

Iran’s homophobic persecution condemned

Call to reform the asylum system to protect LGBT refugees
London – 25 March 2008

Over 120 protesters braved hail and rain 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 demonstration took place opposite the Prime Minister’s residence, Downing Street, on Saturday 22 March.

See photos of the protest:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/outrage/sets/72157604215757814/
(credit: OutRage! – free use, no charge)

“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!.

“Following worldwide protests, the Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith MP, has agreed to review Mehdi’s case. While there is no guarantee that this review will result in him being allowed to stay, we are hopeful that he will be permitted to lodge a fresh asylum claim and that this will result in Mehdi being given refugee status in the UK.”

Saturday’s protest was sponsored by Middle East Workers’ Solidarity and the National Union of Students LGBT campaign, with the support of OutRage!

The protest’s three main demands were:

– Don’t send Mehdi Kazemi back to Iran
– Iran’s homophobic laws violate human rights
– Give the victims of homophobic persecution the right to settle in the UK

mehdidemo.jpg

Peter Tatchell told the rally:

“There needs to be a fundamental reform of the way the Home Office processes LGBTI asylum applications.

“The government is currently failing LGBTI refugees:

“Asylum staff and adjudicators receive race and gender awareness training but no training at all on sexual orientation issues. As a result, they often make stereotyped assumptions: that a feminine woman can’t be a lesbian or that a masculine man cannot be gay. They sometimes rule that someone who has been married must be faking their homosexuality.

“The government refuses to explicitly rule that homophobic and transphobic persecution are legitimate grounds for granting asylum. This signals to asylum staff and judges that claims by LGBTI people are not as worthy as those based on persecution because of a person’s ethnicity, gender, politics or faith.

“The Home Office country reports on homophobic and transphobic persecution are often partial, inaccurate and misleading. They consistently downplay the severity of victimisation suffered by LGBTI people in violently homophobic countries like Iran, Nigeria, Iraq, Uganda, Palestine, Algeria and Jamaica.

“Cuts in the funding of legal aid for asylum claims means that most asylum applicants – gay and straight – are unable to prepare an adequate submission at their asylum hearing. Most solicitors don’t get paid enough to procure the necessary witness statements, medical reports and other vital corroborative evidence.

“The Home Office has failed to take action to stamp out anti-gay abuse, threats and violence in UK asylum detention centres. Some LGBTI detainees report suffering homophobic or transphobic victimisation, and say they have failed to receive adequate protection or support from detention centre staff,” said Mr Tatchell.

Further information:

Peter Tatchell, OutRage!

Protest photos:

Photos of the protest can be viewed and used free of charge for publication from the OutRage! photo website:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/outrage/sets/72157604215757814/

Professional photos by photojournalist Marc Vallée can be viewed here:
http://www.marcvallee.co.uk/blog_mehdi_220308.html

Permission is required from Marc Vallee for publication:
Mark Valee:

http://www.marcvallee.co.uk

http://www.blog.marcvallee.co.uk

http://www.archive.marcvallee.co.uk

ENDS

killing2.jpg

U.S. invasion has made life worse for Iraqi LGBT community

BY MELISSA MEINZER

Iraq has never been a great place to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. But since the U.S. invasion began five years ago, it has become much worse, according a gay Iraqi who fled to London two years ago.

“Are gay people in the United States, Britain and Australia aware of what their governments have done to our country?” writes Ali Hili on his group’s blog, Iraqi LGBT (iraqilgbtuk.blogspot.com). “Their armies invaded and occupied our land, destroyed the infrastructure of government, and created the chaos and lawlessness that has allowed religious fundamentalism to flourish and to terrorize women and gay people.”

The chaos and resulting power grabs have made Iraq an extremely dangerous place to be queer or gender variant. “Violence against gays has intensified sharply since late 2005,” he writes.

So Hili formed Iraqi LGBT, a group dedicated to providing safe houses for LGBT people living in the war-torn nation. And the University of Pittsburgh’s LGBT group, the Rainbow Alliance, is hoping to help.

The group, which recently had to close three of its five houses because of financial constraints, provides safe group housing, food and medical care for LGBT people living in Iraq. Many of the residents it serves need medical treatment for HIV or gender transitioning.

“With strong social and political oppression against homosexuals and specific targeting by Islamic militia groups, LGBT Iraqis face abduction and death in the streets,” says Sean Casey, director of the Global Equality Network for Heartland Alliance. A Chicago-based nonprofit human-rights organization, Heartland Alliance handles U.S. fund-raising for the group.

Aaron Arnold, the president of Pitt’s Rainbow Alliance, interned with Casey last summer and learned about Iraqi LGBT through him.

“We’d done some international issues before; we figured our membership would be pretty interested,” says Arnold, a junior majoring in sociology with certificates in African studies and women, gender and sexuality studies. The student group is collecting funds and plans to match students’ donations with money from its own coffers. Next week is Pride Week at the university, so Rainbow will be staffing a fund-raising table on campus and hopes to collect money then. (To donate without visiting campus, click the donation button on iraqilglbtuk.blogspot.com.)

Some students, says Arnold, have objected to their fund-raising efforts, but he thinks it’s because they’re misinformed about what the group seeks to do.

“I think a lot of people on the surface hear that we’re trying to support LGBT people in Iraq and [think] that it’s antiwar or not patriotic,” he says. “We’re just trying to emphasize that these are human beings that were leading relatively normal lives until the infrastructure of their country collapsed. It’s not a statement about war; it’s a statement about humanity.”

Galloway’s Iranian propaganda?

FULL TEXT HERE

The Respect MP has turned on supporters of gay rights in Iran and falsely accused us of war-mongering

By Peter Tatchell

The Guardian – Comment Is Free – 26 March 2008

http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/peter_tatchell/2008/03/galloways_iranian_propaganda.html

Left-wing Respect MP George Galloway has been accused of making allegations that border on paedophile smears and play to homophobic prejudice. He claims that the boyfriend of gay Iranian asylum seeker Mehdi Kazemi was executed for “committing sex crimes against young men.”

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/a-life-or-death-decision-792058.html

The insinuation of such a claim is that Mehdi’s boyfriend was a rapist or a child sex abuser. It also stigmatises Medhi with the shame that he was the partner of someone who committed sexual assaults on male youths. He may now suffer with this stigma when he is returned to the UK and could face considerable personal hostility from people who have heard and believe these allegations against his boyfriend. Mr Galloway made his astonishing allegation on The Wright Stuff programme on Channel 5 television.

At the anti-war protest in London on 15 March, which I supported and attended, Mr Galloway repeated these claims in his keynote speech. He said the “khaki war machine now has its pink contingent.” He went on to imply that people who support gay rights in Iran are “useful idiots” and said their aim is to “bamboozle the public to go along with mass murder in Iran.”

It is untrue and deeply offensive to suggest that those of us who oppose homophobic persecution in Iran are backing the bombing and invasion of Iran. We are not. I am on record in my writings and speeches as opposing an attack on Iran. When, for example, I exposed Tehran’s racist and neo-colonial persecution of its Ahwazi Arab ethnic minority, I stated categorically: “I am part of a new campaign group, Hands Off the People of Iran (HOPI).

http://www.hopoi.org/

“HOPI opposes both a US war on Iran and the tyranny of the Iranian regime. My motto is: Neither Washington nor Tehran! “A war against Iran would be another disastrous neo-imperial adventure, which would strengthen the Tehran dictatorship. President Ahmadinejad would play the patriot and manipulate nationalism to rally the population behind him. He would use a US military attack as an excuse to further crack down on dissent in the name of safeguarding national security. “The overthrow of the theocratic police state by the Iranian people – not by US military intervention – is the best way to resolve the nuclear crisis and prevent a needless, unjustified war. With no dictatorship in Tehran, President Bush and the neo cons would lose the rationale for a military strike against Iran.”

FULL TEXT HERE

Representatives of LGBT organizations “TEMA information center” and “Volunteers Without Borders” took part in number of events dedicated to 90th anniversary of the Belarusian National Republic (BNR) in Gomel and Minsk.

23 March, Gomel. LGBT activists, with rainbow flags, joined to representatives of the United Opposition for Freedom Day anniversary celebration events. United Opposition organizes an excursion by historical places of Belarusian democracy.

1.00p.m. Around 30 people took part in this excursion. Faces of all people were recorded by KGB cameraman. This excursion of 30 people was controlled and followed by 10 KGB officers in plain clothes.

During the excursion, activists attracted the attention of passers-by and present balloons to children. “Officers in plain clothes” follow us, not forgetting to record participants from all sides.

1.40p.m. Participants of festive excursion not yielded for numerous of provocations by the KGB officers in plain clothes and left the park by Proletarskaya Street for Novobelitsa. There we visit house of first female minister of Belarusian National Republic (BNR) Paluta Bodunova subsequently killed by KGB in 1938.

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25 March, Minsk. LGBT activists of “TEMA information center” and “Volunteers Without Borders” with flowers and flags took part in peaceful demonstration in honor of Freedom Day in Minsk.

5.35p.m. Metro trains don’t stop at Yakub Kolas station, where a protest action is to begin at 18.00. city buses don’t stop on Yakub Kolas Square, too. The public transport goes to Victory Square or Academy of Sciences, and drivers announce: “the bus won’t stop at the square due to the demonstration.” We go out on Victory Square and go by foot to Yakub Kolas Square.

5.50p.m. Participants of the action on Freedom Day are gathering on Independence Avenue opposite the Minsk Gymnasium No23. About 1000 people, shouting “Long live Belarus!”, have already gathered. We join to them with our flags.

6.05p.m. The number of action participants is growing. About 2-3 thousands of people are on Independence Avenue now, white-red-white and EU flags are waving. Demonstrants are carrying a big banner “European Belarus”, shouting “Long Live Belarus,” and moving to Victory Square. Militia and riot militiamen are following us.

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6.15p.m. Militia and riot militiamen began to beat people. They caught even journalists, broke their equipment. They snatched away flags and broke flagpoles. But the protestors managed to defend the people, militia was trying to detain, and the column under whit-red-white and European flags is moving along the avenue.

6.30p.m. People are beaten brutally in the backyards near Independence Avenue, and taken away in unknown direction. We are in the center of mass of people, so we are in safe now.

6.35p.m. At the moment about 3,000 people have gathered near the Academy of Science. They are people who hadn’t managed to Yakub Kolas Square. On Victory Square the confrontation of demonstrators with riot policemen continues. Riot policemen went onto the offensive. Clasping hands, they moved as one chain, pushing protesters off the avenue. But participants of the rally nevertheless are trying to break through riot policemen’s cordons. Militia began to detain people near Victory Square. Ten and probably hundreds of people are arrested. People are beaten brutally. Militia detain even journalists.

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7.00p.m. Demonstration near the Academy of Sciences goes on. About four thousands of people stay here. A large amount of European and national white-red-white flags are waving. People carry a huge banner “Freedom for Kazulin!” Opposition leaders are holding a meeting there. The authorities permitted the demonstrants to meet near the Academy of Sciences. Demonstrants had to go there after cordons of militia and riot militia didn’t allow them to meet on Yakub Kolas Square. People, who managed to avoid arrest near Victory Square, came here, too.

7.15p.m. About 300 people moved from Victory Square to October Square and were detained on the bridge above the Svislach. Tens of people were packed into buses and taken away. Most of the detained are members of the United Civil Party.

7.45p.m. A column of demonstrators is trying to march from the Academy of Science along Independence Avenue towards Yakub Kolas Square. The road was cordoned off by riot policemen in helmets, two armoured MAZ trucks and a bus. We are really effraid to be arrested or detained, so we try leave this demonstration to safe our health. One of our activist got some beats by policemen.

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8.15p.m. Peaceful and legal demonstration was broken up by police. Near Yakub Kolas Square and Victory Square riot policemen divided people into small groups, and brutally beating up, packed them into buses. Near the place where buses were standing, jackets, scarves, gloves and broken flag poles were left. When people were shoved into paddy wagons, they were beaten up, no matter what their gender or age was. Elderly women and girls were beaten up as well. They were crying for help and weeping. Young people were those who had been battered most, especially those who had white-red-white flags and flags of the European Union. Riot policemen with extraordinary fury were breaking flags poles and trampling national and European flags. We went to railroad station and now waiting for train to go home to Gomel.

As we know, no one LGBT activist (of our members) was arrested or detained, some were beaten. But ofcourse, some of hundreds arrested people are homosexuals.

Copyright with link http://www.pride.by/en/show.php?id=26

Svyatoslav Sementsov
co-president
TEMA – information center
www.pride.by
p.o.box 118
246048 Gomel
BELARUS


Activist Peter Tatchell explains the life-threatening situation for lesbian and gay people in Iran, during the BBC News – 12 March 2008 – item on gay asylum seeker, Mehdi Kazemi.

preview_16x16.png SIGN THE PETITION FOR MEHDI’S FREEDOM HERE

March 14, UK: Mehdi Kazemi, Pegah Emambakhsh, Iranian Gays and Lesbians Still Facing Deportation from the Kingdom of Fear

March 14, IRQO: Update on Mehdi Kazemi Case And The European Resolution

March 13, Mehdi Kazemi Is Safe – EveryOne Group Celebrates With Allies And Announces New Human Right Campains

March 13, UK: George Galloway’s Iranian Anti-Gay Propaganda – Mehdi Kazemi’s Boyfriend Defamed

March 13, Mehdi Kazemi – Peter Tatchell: Iranian LGBTs Deserve Asylum, BBC News

March 12, Mehdi Kazemi: EveryOne Group Requests Urgent Meeting with Gordon Brown

March 11, Mehdi Kazemi, Gay Azylum UK Press Release: Mehdi Kazemi will be Deported to the UK from Holland Within the Next 72 Hours

March 9, Mehdi Kazemi, Gay Iranian Refugee, EveryOne Group: “United Kingdom Is a Danger for All Refugees”

March 7, Mehdi Kazemi Must Stay – No Deportation to Iran, by Peter Tatchell

March 5, The Iranian Gay Mehdi Must Receive Asylum in the Netherlands

March 1, Mehdi Kazemi, the Iranian Homosexual, Is Presently Being Held in Rotterdam Detention Centre

February 26, Petition for Mehdi Kazemi: Europe Must Stop Deportation of Iranian Queers

February 24, Mehdi Kazemi: Iranian Gay Refugee Risks Deportation From the United Kingdom, Urgent Appeal to Europe

February 20, Mehdi Kazemi: Iranian Gay Refugee Risks Deportation From the United Kingdom, Urgent Appeal to Europe

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I have just received the following message from the association Panteras Rosa in Portugal.
For further information contact them at panteras.lisboa@gmail.com
Doug Ireland

Portugal:
Transphobia kills again: international call for action!

Two years after the brutal murder of Gisberta, in Oporto, another transsexual woman was murdered and her body placed in a rubble dumpster in the Lisbon area last month.

Other crimes followed, shocking the country. However, the surge of violence cannot hide neither the victims nor the nature of these crimes. This is the case of Luna, 42, partially deaf, of Brazilian origin, for many years resident and worker in Portugal, prostitute at Conde de Redondo area (in Lisbon).

Two years after Gisberta, transsexual people are still targets for hatred and violence based on prejudice and ignorance. The crime is under investigation and under justice secret, so we know very few about its circumstances or about its motivation; we hope the investigation undertaken by the Police can provide answers.

Nevertheless, we know that transphobia kills and that trans people are more prone to suffer violence than the majority. We know prostitution is often a job for those who have no other way of earning a living, and that it is hard
to have a gender different from the one your body suggests. We know prejudice and discrimination are pervasive, that ignorance feeds hatred and generates violence. We know the State, society, all of us, have responsibilities towards the deadly victims, and mainly towards all those other people in whose life the fight for survival coexists with fear and the risks that cause it.

Luna was born a woman although her body suggested otherwise; her body, masculine, didn’t fit her identity. She was being followed at Hospital de Santa Maria by the multidisciplinary team in charge of helping trans people change their bodies; she had projects, wishes and frustrations just like anyone else. She was dear to some people and maybe wished to go back to Brazil, where her family lives. Luna was a woman who fought against many obstacles and, according to newspapers, died victim of great violence, possibly fed by hatred, prejudice and ignorance. Her body was left in a dumpster, hidden by rubble and dust, as if it was garbage, as if her life had not been worth living.

Like all potential victims, trans people need forms of protection that guarantee equality of opportunities and the possibility of a dignified life.

Panteras Rosa Web Site