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Human Rights Watch Hub



04/19/2007


Human Rights Organizations Want U.S. Ambassadors to Uganda and Nigeria Recalled Over Anti-Gay Laws

The Human Rights Campaign yesterday called on Secretary of State John Kerry to recall U.S. ambassadors to Uganda and Nigeria in reaction to legislation and oppression of LGBT citizens in those nations.

Via HRC:

Kerry"The Ugandan and Nigerian governments' decisions to treat their LGBT citizens like criminals cannot be accepted as business as usual by the U.S. government. We urge Secretary Kerry to recall both Ambassadors for consultations in Washington to make clear the seriousness of the situation in both countries," said HRC President Chad Griffin.

Last week, a spokesperson for the Ugandan president announced that President Yoweri Museveni is set to sign an archaic anti-LGBT bill into law that was passed by the Uganda parliament last December. The bill, which once included the death penalty, calls for gay Ugandans or anyone "promoting" homosexuality to be jailed -- potentially for life. The passage of the AHB and subsequent approval by Museveni is part of a broader clawback in fundamental freedoms in Uganda over the last several years, particularly regarding freedom of expression, assembly and association. Human rights violations are on the rise and the AHB represents an especially troubling escalation of this trend.

An equally horrific law was signed by Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan in January. The law criminalizes same-sex marriage, punishes homosexuality with jail terms of up to 14 years, and threatens any person who supports or is a member of an LGBT organization with 10 years' imprisonment. Since the law was enacted, Nigerian activists and human rights groups have reported dozens of LGBT individuals have been arrested, many of who work to combat HIV/AIDS in the country. It has also been reported LGBT Nigerians are facing blackmail by the police and mob violence.

Over the weekend, U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice reported on Twitter that dialogue with President Museveni urging him to refrain from enacting the Anti-Homosexuality Bill (AHB) had proven unproductive. President Barrack Obama also issued a statement condemning the AHB.

International human rights organizations agree in an interview with the AP that the "quiet diplomacy" from the U.S. is not working:

"Quiet diplomacy up to the final moment clearly has failed," said Maria Burnett, senior Africa researcher for Human Rights Watch.

"We need a better strategy," said Julie Dorf, senior adviser at the Council for Global Equality. "We do believe that our government here in the U.S. needs to ramp up the potential consequences that countries might face for these regressive anti-human rights measures. I have no doubt that President Museveni watched very carefully what happened after President Jonathan signed the Nigeria bill. And the truth is, there wasn't much of a reaction."

Human Rights Watch and the Robert F. Kennedy Center are both calling on the U.S. ambassador to Uganda to be recalled for consultation.

Canada has threatened to cut ties with Uganda over the anti-gay bill, according to an interview with the Canadian ambassador to Uganda published earlier this week.


Russian Gay Men Beaten on Camera in Devastating Clip from Human Rights Watch: VIDEO

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Human Rights Watch has released a disturbing clip detailing many of the violent criminal exploits of Russian anti-gay vigilante groups like 'Occupy Paedophilia', whose leader Maxim Martsinkevich (below, right) was recently arrested after fleeing to Cuba.

They write3_hrw_russia

As the host to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, which begin on February 7, 2014, in Sochi, Russia should act in accordance with the principle of nondiscrimination, a core provision of the Olympic Charter. As a member of the Council of Europe, and party to multiple human rights treaties, it should meet its obligations to provide equal respect and protection for LGBT people.

“The Russian authorities have the power to protect the rights of LGBT people, but instead they are ignoring their responsibility to do so,” said Tanya Cooper, Russia researcher at Human Rights Watch. “By turning a blind eye to hateful homophobic rhetoric and violence, Russian authorities are sending a dangerous message as the world is about to arrive on its doorstep for the Olympics that there is nothing wrong with attacks on gay people.”

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Continue reading "Russian Gay Men Beaten on Camera in Devastating Clip from Human Rights Watch: VIDEO" »


Police Targeting and Torturing Gay Men in Kyrgyzstan: VIDEO

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Human Rights Watch has published a disgusting and devastating report about police extortion and torture of gay men in Kyrgyzstan. Kyrgyzstan is a parliamentary republic located in central Asia, vordered by Kazakhstan to the north, Uzbekistan to the west, Tajikstan to the southwest and China to the east.

Watch a video in which some of the gay men targeted by police tell what happened to them, AFTER THE JUMP...

Writes HRW:

Kyrgyzstan The report is based on detailed interviews with 40 gay and bisexual men in four regions of Kyrgyzstan. The government should condemn and thoroughly investigate reports of abuse and establish a confidential complaint mechanism for all cases of abuse by police officers...

...Kyrgyzstan police target gay and bisexual men in parks, gay clubs, hotel rooms, and on dating websites. Human Rights Watch documented cases of severe physical violence against gay and bisexual men including punching, kicking, and beating with gun butts, batons, empty beer bottles, or other objects. Several gay men also reported sexual violence by police officers including rape, group rape, and attempts to put a stick, a hammer, or an electric shock device in the person’s anus, as well as gratuitous touching during a search, or being forced to undress in front of police.

Police use the cell phones of the men they have targeted to locate other victims.

You can download the 65-page report here.

Watch a video in which some of the gay men targeted by police tell what happened to them, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Police Targeting and Torturing Gay Men in Kyrgyzstan: VIDEO" »


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