SOMALIA: Gay Teen Stoned To Death In Somalia In Front Of “Horrified” Village
Identity Kenya reports:A gay man was allegedly stoned to death as punishment for homosexuality, a gay Muslim group has said Saturday. According to Somali Gay Community, the young man, Mohamed Ali Baashi ,18, was buried in a hole up to his chest and then pelted with rocks by members of the Al Qaeda link group Al Shabaab on Friday, March 15, in Barawe, about 50 miles from the capital, Mogadishu. The group, through its Facebook page, Somali Gay Community, posted three photos of alleging they were from the stoning. However, Identity Kenya could not independently verify this claims or the alleged stoning and efforts to reach the group have not been successful.
Gruesome photos of the alleged execution are here, if you dare.
RELATED: In recent years US aid to Somalia has been primarily focused on international humanitarian reliefs campaigns involving food and medicine. However two months ago the United States officially recognized the government of Somalia for the first time in 22 years after the election of a moderate president who has denounced the Al Qaeda-backed group that once controlled much of the nation."There is still a long way to go and many challenges to confront, but we have seen a new foundation for that better future being laid," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday in a joint news conference with Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who stood beaming at her side.Even as they were fighting extremists, the country’s leaders were working to create a democratic government, and have done so — with a new president, a new parliament, a new prime minister and a new constitution, she said. Mohamud was elected president in September. Clinton noted that the United States supported the changes, providing more than $650 million in aid to the African Union mission in Somalia, more than $130 million to the country’s security forces, nearly $360 million in emergency humanitarian aid over the past two years and more than $45 million in development-related assistance to help rebuild the economy. In addition, U.S. largesse has provided more than $200 million in aid for Somali refugees throughout the Horn of Africa, she said.
NEW YORK: Gay Activist Lou Rispoli Near Death After Savage Attack In Queens
Well-known NYC activist Lou Rispoli is reportedly not expected to survive after a brutal attack on the streets of Queens last week. Andy Humm reports at Gay City News:Lou Rispoli, described by friends as the heart and soul of the gay community in Sunnyside, Queens, where he has lived for more than 30 years, was attacked by two men with whom he was seen walking at 2 a.m. on October 20 outside 41-00 43rd Avenue. He was hit in the head with a blunt object with such force that neighbors who heard the assault but did not see it thought he had been shot. Rispoli has been removed from life support and is now in hospice care at Elmhurst Hospital. “He will not survive, and this will be a homicide,” said City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, fighting back tears, at an October 25 press conference. Van Bramer, who is gay and represents Sunnyside, said the assault on Rispoli, whom he knew as a friend and someone who worked on his 2009 campaign, “is a tragedy for our neighborhood and our city.” The victim is 62 years old.
Police do not yet know if the attack was a bias crime. City Councilman Van Bramer today held a press conference urging residents of the neighborhood to come forward with any information they may have. Rispoli married his partner of 31 years last summer shortly after same-sex marriage became legal in New York state.
United Kingdom: PM David Cameron On Tackling Down Hate Crimes
Pink News UK reports:
Prime Minister David Cameron has reaffirmed the government’s commitment in tackling homophobic crime and has described the current hate crime statistics for England and Wales as “appalling”.
The prime minister made the remarks in a letter of support for last weekend’s London Vigil against Hate Crime in Trafalgar Square.
Mr Cameron said:
“I am passionate about tackling hate crime. And this government is acting. For the first time we have published statistics on hate crime recorded by the police in England and Wales. And we are highlighting the best examples of what works locally, because we know that hate crime is most effectively prevented at a grass roots level, by frontline professionals who have a deep local knowledge of victims and offenders”.
The prime minister went on to say:
“The introduction of elected Police and Crime Commissioners will give local communities more of a say over policing priorities in their area. But let me say clearly: the police and courts will treat all hate crime as a priority – whether that crime is committed because of a person’s race, culture nationality, language, religion, belief, sexual orientation, transgender identity, physical or mental impairment or learning disability”.
Mr Cameron added: “Last year there were more than 43,000 hate crimes in our country. That figure is appalling and it has to change”.
Letters of support for the vigil were also received by Liberal Democrat leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, London Mayor Boris Johnson, and Ed Miliband.
The Labour leader wrote: “In the three years since the appalling murder of Ian Baynham in Trafalgar Square, awareness of hate crimes has grown, not least because of the London Vigil and countless other local events springing up all over the country.
“We have come a long way on the journey against homophobia and transphobia. Together, we have brought equality closer, from ending Section 28 to outlawing discrimination in the everyday provision of goods and services. But we know there is more to do”.
Mr Miliband added: “My commitment is to work with you to overcome fear and prejudice”.
Turkey: Father & Uncle Allegedly Kill Gay Teen In Honour Killing
Hurriyet Daily News reports:
A gay teenager was allegedly killed last month by his father and uncle in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır in a murder that the boy’s rich and powerful tribal family subsequently sought to cover up, according to local members of the LGBT community.
R.A., 17, had allegedly been exposed to violence by his family because of his sexual orientation before seeking refuge at a friend’s house, daily Cumhuriyet reported.
R.A.’s uncle, however, forcibly removed the teenager from his friend’s house; later, the boy reportedly had an argument with his father, after which the latter allegedly shot his son 14 times before he and his brother deposited the body by the side of the road, Cumhuriyet reported.
R.A.’s father and uncle were subsequently arrested for their alleged role in the murder.
A member of the local LGBT community said the family had sought to cover the incident up.
“The family wanted to cover up the murder which happened one month ago because they were a rich and powerful tribal family. They wanted the police to hide the incident,” the person said. “We are subjected to violence, but there is no place where we can make a complaint or search for our rights. Police insult and swear at us, doctors make fun of us.”
OKLAHOMA: Gay Man Injured After His Car Was Firebombed In Hate Crime
A metro man comes close to losing his life after his car explodes right in front of him. What’s worse is the victim may have been the target of a hate crime.
It happened the morning of Saturday, July 21, in an alley behind his home on N.W. 140th Street near Western and Memorial in Oklahoma City. Jon Ferguson says his car alarm woke him up and when he walked outside, a couple of people were vandalizing his car.
As Ferguson approached them, one of the suspects threw something in his Camaro that caused an explosion and fire. Ferguson rushed inside his home and called 911. He also jumped in the shower and attempted to peel parts of his melted shirt off body. One of his roommates took a photo of the burning car while waiting for fire and police crews to arrive.
Ferguson was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance with first and second degree burns to his face, arms and torso. He was treated and released. On Sunday, the 25 year old returned home for the first time since the fire. He’s frustrated because he has no idea who did this; but to make matters worse, the vandals spray painted a three-letter homophobic slur on his car. Ferguson is an openly gay man now doubting his decision to come out.
"It’s almost not worth being proud of who you and trying to show you’re gay because stuff like this really does happen," said Ferguson. "I’ve always seen it on the news that kids are dying and stuff because they’re being bullied, and you’re 25 years old and something like this happens to you. It’s almost not worth it, and you understand why kids don’t come out of the closet."
Ferguson says he spoke on Saturday with investigators with the Oklahoma City Fire Department.
The Oklahoma City Fire Department is investigating the fire and right now the case is considered to be an act of arson. Chief Homer Jones tells News 9 investigators plan to interview Ferguson again to obtain additional information and details, but right now there are no suspects.
Chief Jones said if it is a hate crime, the Oklahoma City Fire and Police Departments would continue to conduct the investigation.
Sunday evening, Scott J. Hamilton, the execute director of Cimarron Alliance released a statement to News 9:
"When anyone is victimized in this way, it is a tragedy. When it is compounded by hate based only on sexual orientation, it victimizes an entire community. This horrific incident is a sad and vivid reminder that Oklahoma City’s LGBT community is still not fully accepted. Cimarron Alliance will work diligently with authorities to make certain those responsible for this hate-based crime are punished to the fullest extent of the law. Hate is not an Oklahoma value and those responsible for this crime must be brought to justice."
Anyone with information on who started the fire is urged to call the Oklahoma City police or fire departments.
NEBRASKA: No Suspect Yet In Horrific Hate Crime Attack Against Lesbian
Early Sunday morning, a quiet neighborhood in Lincoln, Nebraska, was startled by the appearance of police cars, responding to a vicious attack on a lesbian in which the assailants carved anti-gay slurs into her skin and tried to light her house on fire.
The 33-year-old woman, whose name is being kept private, was attacked by three masked men who broke into her home and tied her up before cutting her all over her body. They also poured gasoline on the floor and lit it with a match, according to reports.
The victim was able to crawl free from her home, naked and bleeding, and reach a neighbor for help.
Police are investigating the incident as a hate crime, but are keeping details out of the press to avoid tainting the investigation. “We don’t want to provide too many details,” said a spokeswoman for the Lincoln Police Department.A vigil held in the woman’s honor drew hundreds, with many holding candles and waving rainbow flags.
“Hate crimes are despicable and appalling to me and to all Lincoln residents,” said Mayor Chris Beutler. “Lincoln strives to be a community that embraces tolerance and equality. We stand united with our gay and lesbian citizens in denouncing violence directed at any group.”
WASHINGTON, D. C.: Gay Couple Bashed In Hate Crime
Washington DC police are investigating an attack on a local gay couple who was attacked by a mob as they walked home. Investigators say they suspect the assault was hate-motivated as the assailants “did not ask for anything and did not take anything.”Michael Joel Hall and his partner, Michael Roike, were jumped by a gang of men as they were walking home. The men had been dropped off near their home, when friends say they were ambushed. The group severely beat Hall. His cheek was broken and he suffered other facial injuries. Roike was also beaten, but his injuries were far less severe. Roike’s mother, Michelle, says she is convinced the men would have been killed had it not been for a woman and her boyfriend who intervened. The attackers ran away with tone of the victim’s cell phone. Hall was taken to Howard University Hospital where he underwent surgery on Monday afternoon.
Chile: President Sebastian Pinera Signs Hate Crime Legislation Into Law
Pink News UK reports:
Chile’s president Sebastian Pinera signed anti-discrimination legislation into law today. The move comes after the Neo-Nazi killing of a gay man, Daniel Zamudio, in March.
Mr Zamudio’s killing shocked Chile and sparked a national debate on hate crime. He suffered severe head injuries and his body was found in a city park with cigarette burns and swastikas carved in his skin.
The hate crime bill had languished in Congress for over seven years, but was finally fast-tracked to approval after the attack. It cleared its final hurdle with a 25-3 vote in the Senate.
Mr Zamudio died three weeks after the attack.
Chilean police arrested four men aged between 19 and 25 shortly afterwards.
Patricio Iván Ahumada Garay, Fabián Alexis Mora Mora, Alejandro Axel Angulo Tapia and Raúl Alfonso López now face charges of second-degree homicide.
La ley antidiscriminación es hoy una realidad. Trabajemos todos por un país que respete la diversidad: chilecumple.cl/chile-hoy/pres…— Sebastian Piñera (@sebastianpinera) July 12, 2012
TEXAS: Sketch Released In Shooting Of Teen Lesbian Couple
Police have released a sketch of a suspect in the shooting of a South Texas couple that left one dead and another wounded last month.
With help from a witness, Portland police described the alleged gunman as a skinny male in his 20s, weighing 140 pounds. The sketch was released late Wednesday. Mary Kristene Chapa, 18, and Mollie Judith Olgin, 19, were both found June 23 in a park with gunshot wounds to the head. Olgin died from her injuries and Chapa remains hospitalized. The two women were involved in a relationship, according to family and friends, though it’s not clear if that was the motive for the shootings. So far, the incident has not been ruled a hate crime. The couple had planned to spend time in the park before going to see a movie. Olgin’s family became worried when she didn’t show up for work the following morning. Portland Police Chief Randy Wright told msnbc.com the shooting appears to be a random act, but the investigation is ongoing. Police recovered a bullet casing at the scene, but no weapon. Witnesses told police they heard what could have been gunshots or firecrackers the night before the girls were found, but they never reported it.Chapa has not been formally interviewed by police because of her medical condition. The Texas Rangers joined the investigation, which is being led by Portland police, after offering their assistance.No one from the Portland Police Department was immediately available for comment.
Brazil: Young Brothers Victims Of Hate Crime, Mistaken For Gay Couple
The attackers were turned over to the authorities. The gay community in Brazil rejected the violence.
A young man walked embraced his brother early Sunday in a city of Bahia died after being beaten by a group of eight men who allegedly beat two young men considering them a gay couple, police said Thursday.
Jose Leonardo da Silva, 22 years, died of his blows and his brother stayed with fractures in his face, according to local media reported.
"We started the investigations. Five young men still detained at the police station and all were questioned but have no justification for aggression. Working with the suspicion of homophobia," he told reporters in charge of the police unit, Maria Tereza Santos Silva.
"The perpetrators and the victims did not know and had no previous fight," he added.
The legal profession in Brazil on Thursday asked the government to take part in the investigation of crime.
"Even if they had been homosexuals, [that’s no reason for them to be victims of] any aggression, much less of a homophobic murder and brutal [attacks]," said Jaime Asfora, president of the Human Rights Commission of the Order of Lawyers of Brazil, the highest body representing the lawyers.
According to the Grupo Gay da Bahia (GGB), which has been collecting statistics on violence against the gay community for three decades, as stated on its website, 266 members of the gay community were killed in 2011 in Brazil.
Malta: Gender Identity & Sexual Orientation Included In Hate Crime Laws
Pink News UK reports:
The Maltese parliament has extended its hate crime laws for the first time to protect citizens on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.
The amendment to the hate crime laws, which until now made motives based only on religion, race and disability an aggravating factor in a criminal incident, came after a pair of attacks on lesbian women.
In January, a 16-year-old lesbian and her girlfriend were assaulted in a public square. The following month, another lesbian couple were physically attacked on a bus.
The Malta Gay Rights Movement welcomed the law, saying: “We thank both sides of the House for supporting this bill and sending a strong message to society that targeting someone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity is unacceptable and will incur tougher penalties.
“This Bill was proposed during a protest following the incident against two young lesbians in Hamrun earlier this year and was supported by aditus, We Are, LGBT Labour, Drachma and Drachma Parents, Graffitti, ADZ and Integra Foundation. The courage of these young people to report the crime played an important role in providing the required impetus to move forward with this legislative proposal which had been on MGRM’s agenda for a number of years.”
MGRM said the next step was to ensure police were properly trained in dealing with such crimes and in actively reaching out to the LGBT community to ensure that victims feel safe to come forward and report incidents.
It added: “We also look forward to the passing of a second bill which will extend the remit of the National Commission for the Promotion of Equality to also cover sexual orientation and gender identity. This is expected to take place this week. It will allow the Commission to act as mediator and to investigate allegations of discrimination in employment on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.”
A survey by the news agency MaltaToday found support among the population for equal marriage rights among gay couples had risen over recent years to 41 percent with 51 percent opposed, compared with 28 percent support in 2007. Among 18-35s, the support rose to 60 percent.
South Africa: Gay Trans Activist Thapelo Makutle, Victim Of Hate Crime
A young gay South African was murdered last week in the Northern Cape after getting into an argument with two men about his sexuality and gender.
Thapelo Makutle [pictured], a drag performer who may have identified as trans, was found in his apartment with his throat slashed. A volunteer with LGBT rights group Legbo Northern Capetown, he was seen being harassed earlier that night by two men at a nightclub. Witnesses say they saw the duo follow the victim home when he left at 1am.
Friend Moisama Boyang called Makutle “fun-loving and outgoing.”
A disturbing number of violent attacks on gay people has plagued South Africa, including a lesbian who was stabbed in the North Province and a string of gruesome homocides of gay men in Johannesburg.Meanwhile the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africaand other right-wing groups are pushing to get LGBT protections removed from the country’s constitution.