Archive for the ‘Yogyakarta Principles’ Category
A Nepali MP has said his “eyes were filled with tears” when he read the full written decision of the country’s Supreme Court on a writ petition from four organisations representing lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people.
A summary decision was issued in December 2007, when the court issued directive orders to the Nepal government to ensure the right to life according to their own identities and introduce laws providing equal rights to LGBTIs and amend all the discriminatory laws.
The final judgement was issued today.
It reiterates that all LGBTIs are defined as a “natural person” and their physical growth as well as sexual orientation, gender identity, expression are all part of natural growing process. Thus equal rights, identity and expression must be ensured regardless of their sex at birth.
The writ petition was filed by Blue Diamond Society and other 3 LGBTI organisations in Nepal demanding the protection and defence of the equal rights of sexual and gender minorities.
“Reading this decision my eyes were filled with tears and I felt we are the most proud LGBTI citizens of Nepal in the world,” said Sunit Pant, Nepal’s only gay MP.
“A legal note of point has been raised for the new constitution of Nepal while ensuring the equal rights to individuals, like the bill of tights from South Africa, and non-discrimination provisions on the grounds of sexual orientations and gender identities must be introduced.”
The Court has also issued a directive order to form a seven-member committee, with a doctor appointed by Health Ministry, one representative from National Human rights commission, the Law Ministry, one socialist appointed by government of Nepal, a representative from the Nepal police, a representative from Ministry of Population and Environment and one advocate as a representative from the LGBTI community, to conduct a study into the other countries’ practice on same-sex marriage.
Based on its recommendation the government will introduce a same-sex marriage bill.
Mr Pant, founder of Blue Diamond Society, was named in May as one of five representatives of the Communist Party of Nepal-United in the 601 member new constituent assembly.
The Maoists are the largest party with 220 seats.
Maoist insurgents, who fought a ten-year guerrilla war against monarchist forces at a cost of over 12,000 lives, finally signed a peace agreement with the new democratic government in November 2006.
LGBT people joined the Maoist rebels and others to protest in a democracy movement against the king, demanding a freely elected, secular government.
King Gyanendra eventually relinquished sovereign power to the civilian government and elections were finally held for a new assembly on 10th April.
Gays and lesbians in the Himalayan kingdom previously suffered persistent persecution from security forces during the absolutist rule of King Gyanendra. The harassment of lesbian, gay and trans people continued at the hands of Maoist rebels.
The assembly will draft a new constitution, decide the fate of the monarchy and govern Nepal for the next two years.
Mr Pant is a hero to many gay activists across the world. On a visit to India last week he said:
“We have moved from being a marginalised and persecuted lot who were thrown out of homes, schools and jobs to people who have human rights and are now protected by the police, the same people who once harassed us.
“In Nepal, the LGBTI communities were part of the campaign for garnering votes for the Communist Party of Nepal.
“They approached me to campaign and I managed to secure 15,500 votes. It makes a statement that LGBTI people are interested in matters of politics and governance and not just sex.
“The campaign not only gave LGBTI issues visibility but a platform to negotiate for rights.
“It is one thing to clean up the city and stop transgenders from begging but one must provide them with alternative means of living.
“India is a very big country and a single strategy may not work. However, I’m sure it won’t be long before a political party will tap the LGBTI vote bank¯there are millions of untapped votes.”
In May 2007 the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission gave its Celebration of Courage award to Mr Pant.
Task Force Pride (TFP) would like to invite you and/or your group to participate in the 2008 Manila Pride March, which will happen in Malate on 6 December 2008, Saturday, from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM. On-site registration and assembly is from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM at the Remedios Circle or you can pre-register your participation online at www.manilapride2008.com.
This year’s Pride March pays tribute to: our rights, our lives, our loves, our selves. Thus, we envision the 2008 Manila Pride March to be the most visually spectacular to date. We encourage you to put on your best fairytale and fantasy costume, design your float accordingly and help transform the streets of Malate into a bursting display of rainbow colors and pride. The March is open to all human rights – and equal rights – believing individuals regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.
The route of this year’s march is: Remedios Circle – Remedios Street – MH Del Pilar – Pedro Gil – Maria Orosa Street.
The march will be followed by the coronation of Miss Queen Philippines, the official Pride Queen of the 2008 Manila Pride March with a brief cultural program showcasing both LGBT and non-LGBT talents and culminate in a street party along Maria Orosa Street by the Orosa-Nakpil Courtyard.
The Pride March is known for its overwhelming attendance. It attracts thousands of participants and generates extensive local and international media attention.
This year’s Pride March is particularly significant as it marks TFP’s 10th year, coincides with the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR60) and the launch in Manila of the Yogyakarta Principles (www.yogyakartaprinciples.org), an international declaration which affirms sexual orientation and gender identity and expression as fundamental human rights.
Gay refugees face prejudice across the world
15th April 2008 18:20
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.
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.
African and European LGBT organizations call on all States to fight homophobia and to adopt the Yogyakarta Principles.
On occasion of the Summit which will gather heads of states from the European Union and from Africa on December 8 and 9 in Lisbon, ILGA, Pan Africa ILGA and ILGA Europe join Solidarité Internationale LGBT to issue the following press release aimed at protesting against State Sponsored Homophobia on the African continent.
We invite LGBT groups from Europe and Africa as well as international NGOs to sign this statement. Please send your agreement to firstname.lastname@example.org
Les associations LGBT africaines et européennes demandent à tous les États de combattre l’homophobie et d’adopter les Principes de Jogjakarta.
Chères amies, chers amis,
A l’occasion du sommet qui réunira les chefs d’Etats de l’Union européenne et d’Afrique à Lisbonne les 8 et 9 Décembre prochains, ILGA, Pan Africa ILGA et ILGA Europe s’unissent à Solidarité Internationale LGBT pour diffuser le communiqué de presse ci-joint qui vise à protester contre l’homophobie d’état sur le continent africain.
Nous invitons les groupes LGBT d’Europe et d’Afrique ainsi que les ONGs internationales à signer cette déclaration. Envoyez votre accord à email@example.com
Philipp Braun & Rosanna Flamer-Caldera
ILGA International Lesbian and Gay Association
Danilo Da Silva & Linda Baumann
Pan Africa ILGA
Solidarité Internationale LGBT / Inter-LGBT
Supreme Court Hearing Update, Nepal
Supreme court has heard the writ petition yesterday (6 Oct 2007) filed against the government of Nepal by Blue Diamond Society and three other LGBTIQ organizations on 5th September 2007 , demanding to protect and defend LGBTIQ rights . The writ petition was heard by Honorable Judge Balaram K.C.and Honorable Judge Pawan Kumar Ojha. Advocates Bhuwan Prasad Nirula, Hari Phuyal, Prem Rai, Sharmila Dhakal and Rupe Narayan Srestha pleaded the case on behalf of the petitioners. Advocate Bhuwan Prasad Nirula highlighted on the institutional structure of Blue Diamond Society (BDS), its role on protecting LGBTIQ rights and the problem faced by LGBTIQ. He effectively dealt on the queries of the bench about BDS, who are LGBIQs, How their rights have been violated ? etc. Similarly, advocate Hari Phuyal focused on the part of International law and Human Rights practices on LGBTIQ issues. He shared many examples of the cases and laws adopted by many countries like South Africa, Fiji, Netherlands. He further requested to the bench to issue an order to form the independent committee to come up with recommendations/report for protecting LGBTIQ rights. Advocate Prem Rai, also highlighted the International jurisprudence (ICCPR) by Human Rights committee to protect LGBTIQ rights. The Bench appeared to be positive on LGBTIQ issues even though they decide not issue an order to form a independent committee right a way and asked the advocated to submit the International Jurisprudence and more specific country codes/laws and practices on LGBTIQ rights. One of the judges was even illustrating how he was familiar to the marriage bill (positive)decision from the State of Massachusetts, USA. The next hearing will be on November 21st 2007 by the same bench (very fortunate that our case went to this bench). There is a great hope that the positive decision will come out of the next hearing. International Observers are extremely welcome and we/our Lawyers need your support and Solidarity.
Sunil Pant 07 Oct 2007
Letter to Peter Piot, UNAIDS requesting to endorse “The Yogyakarta Principles“:
Mon, 1 Oct 2007 01:37:53 -0700 (PDT)
Dear Dr Peter Piot,
Although the we all are clear that various considerations and decisions of the UN human rights mechanisms confirm that lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgenders have the right to non-discrimination and equality before the law, efforts to obtain a UN declaration on the human rights of sexual and gender minorities have, over many years, been blocked by various countries. To address this gap, we undertook a project to develop a set of international legal principles relating to this issue. The outcome is the document titled “The Yogyarkata Principles” (http://www.yogyakartaprinciples.org/index.php?item=25) which was developed and drafted by a distinguished group of human right experts including Mary Robinson, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, a number of UN Special Rapporteurs, Justice Edwin Cameroon, and many activists.
The Principles conclude with a number of recommendations regarding endorsement, recognition or promotion of them by institutions including, that:
“Non-governmental organisations working on human rights at the national, regional and international levels promote respect for these Principles within the framework of their specific mandates”.
We would like to request you to take this up with UNAIDS, internationally, to consider endorsement of the Principles and follow the above recommendations. UNAIDS should take lead to protect all the rights of LGBTIQs including sexual health rights, right to HIV prevention and care support services by endorsing this principles, And Encourage others to do the same.
At a more practical level, Blue Diamond Society have been translated the principles into Neplai and disseminated these Principles in Nepal. Many government and non government organizations and institutions felt that the “The Yogyakata Principles” is very educating for them to protect LGBTIQ rights .
Thank you very much for your support and solidarity.
Blue Diamond Society