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19 Jan 2012 - NPWJ News Digest on LGBTI Rights
UAE group says gov’t attempts to “cure” LGBT community
by Sharifa Ghanem, Bikyamasr, 19 Jan 2012
In an open letter to the United Arab Emirates government in Canada late last month detailing the continued persecution facing the gay and lesbian community in the Gulf emirate. In the letter, it said that UAE officials have used hormonal treatments in an effort to “cure” homosexuals.
The activist network Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transexual Rights UAE sent the open letter to Canada’s Prime Minister and Human Rights Minister as well as the United Nations and media outlets.
The group said that the situation in the UAE for the gay community depends on the specific autonomous emirate that one finds itself in, and the level of conservative Islamic law that is implemented.
Derby Muslim denies gay hate crime charge
The Guardian, 19 Jan 2012
A 28-year-old man has told a court he felt he was doing his duty as a Muslim by handing out leaflets alleged to have been threatening to gay people.
Kabir Ahmed said he handed a leaflet called "Death Penalty?" to a passing policeman and put them through letterboxes around the Madeley Street area of Derby in July 2010 because he was spreading the word of God as taught through Islam.
He said: "My intention was to do my duty as a Muslim, to inform people of God's word and to give the message on what God says about homosexuality."
Gay Marriage Ban ‘Based on Ignorance’
by Ewan Palmer, International Business Times, 19 Jan 2012
A Conservative campaign to sabotage David Cameron's plans to legalise gay marriage is based on ignorance and prejudice, according to a leading gay and lesbian charity.
Andrew Gilliver, communications manager for the Lesbian and Gay Foundation (LGF), blasted the rebel MPs for their plan to defeat the prime minister's plans.
"Why would you not support gay marriage?" he asked. "Every couple that makes a commitment to each other deserve the same right as anybody else.
"It should be a non-issue."
According to a report in the Independent, Cameron is facing a revolt from his own backbenchers, who held a meeting of the right-wing 1922 Committee, which serves as a conduit to the party's leadership, to register their opposition to the move.
Ugandan Ambassador: Parliament No Longer Considering Antigay Bill
By Nick Visser and Andrew Harmon, Advocate, 19 Jan 2012
Perezi K. Kamunanwire, the Ugandan ambassador to the U.S., was scheduled to speak at a Martin Luther King Jr. Day event on Monday, but withdrew after organizers expressed concerns regarding his country’s push for a long-pending antigay bill that calls for death sentences in certain cases.
Kamunanwire stepped aside after being asked by the event’s sponsor, the United Negro College Fund, to talk about the “kill the gays” bill during his keynote, the Washington Blade reports. In a letter to the fund’s chairman of the board, the ambassador wrote that he refused to do so because he felt it would detract from the meaning of the holiday, and he called such a request needlessly “incendiary.”
Report: Trans woman killed by Cuban police
by Paul Canning, LGBT Asylum News, 18 Jan 2012
Florida-based news website Cubanet is reporting that a young transgender woman has been beaten to death in police custody in Cuba.
Eighteen-year-old Leidel Luis, who was known as Jessica, originally from the province of Santiago de Cuba and who lived with her partner named Yariel in Las Tunas, died after receiving a brutal beating in Guáimaro in Camaguey, southern Cuba.
It is alledged that she was picked up at a traffic stop 4 January by police calling her "faggot, nigger and disgusting."
Sweden keeps sterilisation rule for trans recognition
byJoseph McCormick, PinkNews , 17 Jan 2012
The Swedish Government have announced that they will not modernise a law from the 1970s which makes sterilisation compulsory for transgender people before the state will recognise their gender identity.
Many have argued that the current law breaks Article 3 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, which protects “the right to respect for [everyone’s] physical and mental integrity”.
The majority of the Swedish Parliament are reportedly in favour of the change, but the process has been blocked by a small conservative party.
Another gay Ugandan activist fears for life
by Natasha Barostti, Xtra, 16 Jan 2012
Almost a year after Ugandan gay rights activist David Kato was bludgeoned to death with a hammer, his comrade-in-activism, Frank Mugisha of Sexual Minorities Uganda, says he's now being targeted with threatening emails, phone calls and other intimidatory tactics and is afraid for his life.
In an interview with the Huffington Post, Mugisha says he now leaves his home with a heightened sense of anxiety and is apprehensive about eating in restaurants for fear of being poisoned.
"Even when I want to go shopping I have to call a friend and say, 'Can you come with me?' because my face has been in the newspapers; my face has been in the media," he says.
Man arrested in Saudi for dating men on facebook
by Dan Littauer & Sami Hamwi, GayMiddleEast, 13 Jan 2012
As British Prime Minister, David Cameron visits Saudi Arabia today, activists report the plight of a man arrested by the religious police who may face corporal punishment.
Activists are concerned for the safety of a 30-year-old man arrested by the religious police in Saudi Arabia for using Facebook to date other men. The man, whose exact identity is not known, was arrested on 23 December (2011) but full details of the incident are only now becoming clear after a detailed investigation by Gay Middle East. Experts warn he may face blackmail and/or corporal punishment.
He is being held in custody in the Dammam Police Department awaiting the Dammam’s General Attorney office for prosecution. The case has been reported to Amnesty International, while Facebook declined to comment.