United Nations Condemns Gay Death Penalty
Yesterday the United Nations approved a resolution that condemns the killing of LGBT persons either by governments or via “extrajudicial” means such as hate crimes. Via press release from the International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission:An international coalition of organizations dedicated to human rights celebrated yesterday’s historic vote in the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) to pass resolution condemning extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. The vote reversed the events of 2010 when the same body voted to strip the resolution of reference to “sexual orientation.” The UNGA also expanded upon its commitment to the universality of human rights by including “gender identity” for the first time in the resolution’s history. The resolution, which is introduced biennially in the Third Committee, urges States to protect the right to life of all people, including by calling upon States to investigate killings based on discriminatory grounds. It was introduced by the Government of Sweden and co-sponsored by 34 states from around the world.
IGLHRC notes that the United Arab Emirates attempted to strip ”sexual orientation” from the resolution on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, just as they did two years ago. (See the photo [below] for the vote tally on that amendment.) They add: “Another failed effort, led by the Holy See, would have stripped all specific references to groups at high risk for execution; however it was never formally introduced.”
The governments of the United States, Brazil, and many others spoke in favor of the resolution. IGLHRC reports that Egypt “spoke frequently” in opposition. Japan broke its long silence on the issue with this declaration: “We cannot tolerate any killings of persons because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Our delegation voted against the proposed amendment to this paragraph because we think it is meaningful to mention such killings from the perspective of protecting the rights of LGBT people.”
Read the full resolution here.
“Moron Of The Week” Inductee President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: Has Anybody Given Birth Through Homosexuality?
Egypt & Libya: Riots At US Embassy After Film Depicts Mohammed As Homosexual
Egyptian protesters today overran the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and tore down the American flag after seeing clips from an anti-Islam film produced by Florida-based Pastor Terry Jones.[SEE UPDATE BELOW] The movie apparently depicts Mohammed as a homosexual and child molester.Nearly 3,000 demonstrators, most of them hardline Islamist supporters of the Salafist movement, gathered at the embassy in protest over a film deemed offensive to the Prophet Mohammed which was produced by expatriate members of Egypt’s Christian minority resident in the United States. A dozen men scaled the embassy walls and one of them tore down the US flag, replacing it with a black one inscribed with the Muslim profession of faith: “There is no God but God and Mohammed is the prophet of God.” Demonstrators also daubed part of that slogan - “There is no God but God” - on the walls of the embassy compound. A US State Department spokeswoman confirmed the incident.The movie is called Mohammed Nabi al-Muslimin, or Mohammed, Prophet of the Muslims. If you’ve never heard of it, that’s because most of the few clips circulating online are dubbed in Arabic. The above clip, which is allegedly from the film (update: Kurt Werthmuller, a Coptic specialist at the Hudson Institute, says he’s confirmed the clip’s authenticity) is one of the only in English. That’s also because it’s allegedly produced by Florida Pastor Terry Jones (yes, the asshole who burnt the Koran despite Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates’ pleas) and two Egyptians living in the U.S., according to Egyptian press accounts. The Egyptians are allegedly Coptic, the Christian minority that makes up about a tenth of Egypt. [snip] Other scenes in the above clip seem to portray Muslim Egyptian characters, who for some reason all have strong New York accents, as immoral and violent, particularly toward the Christians whom they pursue with near-genocidal fervor. A number of Islam’s founding figures, including the prophet, are accused of homosexuality and child molestation.
Terry Jones has just posted a new clip on YouTube.
UPDATE: The violence has now spread the American consulate in Libya.An armed mob has attacked the US consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi and set fire to the building, witnesses reported, in what they said was a protest at a film they said offended Islam. A little earlier, Libya’s deputy interior minister Wanis al-Shari, told AFP the crowd had attacked the building and that information was confirmed by the US embassy in the capital Tripoli. “There are fierce clashes between the Libyan army and an armed militia outside the U.S. consulate,” Abdel-Monen Al-Hurr, spokesman for Libya’s Supreme Security Committee, said to Reuters, adding that roads had been closed off and security forces were surrounding the building. A U.S. embassy source said there had been “an attack” on the diplomatic office in Benghazi, but gave no further details.
RELATED: In April 2011 eleven people were killed in Afghanistan, including some United Nations employees, after riots erupted when Jones burned the Koran outside his Florida church.
UPDATE II: Mitt Romney has issued a statement denouncing the president.“I’m outraged by the attacks on American diplomatic missions in Libya and Egypt and by the death of an American consulate worker in Benghazi,” the statement read. “It’s disgraceful that the Obama Administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.” The assertion that the administration sympathized with attackers was derived from a statement by the U.S. Embassy in Cairo — before the compound was breached — criticizing an anti-Muslim film that “hurt the religious feelings” of others. Even after coming under attack, the Embassy spent much of the day defending and reasserting the statement on Twitter. Whether Obama deserved the blame for the Embassy’s messaging is a point of debate; what was not was the news value of Romney’s harsher-than-expected statement.
UPDATE III: Contrary to the reports first linked above, US-based Pastor Terry Jones did NOT produce the film, he has merely been promoting it.
UPDATE IV: US Ambassador Chris Stevens was killed in Libya:
The attacks occurred Tuesday night in the eastern city of Benghazi by protesters angry over a film that ridiculed Islam’s Prophet Muhammad, according to Libya officials. Ambassador Chris Stevens was killed when he and a group of embassy employees went to the consulate to try to evacuate staff as the building came under attack by a mob guns and rocket propelled grenades. Three other Americans were also killed. The State Department identified one of the other Americans as Sean Smith, a foreign service information management officer. The identities of the others were being withheld pending notification of next of kin. Obama called Stevens a “courageous and exemplary representative of the United States.” “I strongly condemn the outrageous attack on our diplomatic facility in Benghazi,” Obama said in the statement. The four Americans, he said, “exemplified America’s commitment to freedom, justice, and partnership with nations and people around the globe.”
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.”
Turkey: Stop “Honour Killing” Of LGBTs
Gay and transgender persons in Turkey face “honour” killings by their families in Turkey to save face and respect for their children’s sexuality.
Sexual identity and homophobia in modern-day Turkey and the systematic violence and discrimination faced by Turkey’s LGBT community must be brought to the forefront
The 2008 killing of Abmet Yildiz was the first publicised gay so-called “honour killing” in Turkey, though not the first for sure. A recent case of a transsexual murdered by her brother has also highlighted the issue.
As does the news that Burhan Tatliwas was killed by his brother for being gay. His younger brother reportedly had been made fun of by his peers because of his brother’s sexuality. The murderer cut his brother’s throat and stabbed him four times on different parts of his body.
The cases emphasise the fact that men and transsexuals can also be victims of honour killings.
A fact that even Human Rights Watch, does not acknowledge but defines honour killings as something that happens to women.
The killings therefore raise the possibility that the definition and documentation of so-called honour killings needs to be re-examined. Families in Turkey want to protect the “reputation” of their name and so rarely this is reported to the authorities who also turn a blind eye. As such, cases are reported as other incidents.
The Turkish government is gradually opening up on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues. But LGBT rights are still not part of Turkish law, and there is even less in terms of anti-discriminatory legislation. LGBT communities and vibrant gay scenes have been developing across Turkey in the last two decades. The country has also become a refuge for LGBT from neighbouring countries, most notably Iran and Iraq.
Despite the legal and social difficulties, the country is slowly opening up, yet many problems remain as recent events aptly portray.
Turkish LGBT activist Kemal Ordek summation of ‘this portrays how this system and morals turn a child into a murderer’ speaks volumes.
It is therefore called upon President Abdullah Gül to express his disapproval for the murder, to enshore that the culprit is suitably punished, establish laws condemning hate crime, homophobia and honour killings, provide extra protection for victims of hate-crime, and establish laws to prevent violence against gay and transgender citizens.
Sign the petition here.
Islamic Cleric Abu al-Dema al-Qasab Says Sodomy Is OK If The Purpose For It Is Jihad
Picture Caption: Cleric Abu al-Dema al-Qasab (left) reportedly said suicide bombers like Abdullah Hassan al-Asiri (right), who hid explosives in his rectum, were allowed anal sex.
The Advocate reports:
Suicide bombers were allowed to ask fellow militants for anal sex so it would be easier to hide explosives in their rectums — at least according to a researcher at a conservative think tank.
Raymond Ibrahim, a fellow at the conservative David Horowitz Freedom Center, said he’s found a 2010 Arab news video in which a Muslim cleric is caught explaining why sodomy is permissible if part of “martyrdom operations.”
“Is it permissible for me to let one of the jihadi brothers sodomize me to widen my anus if the intention is good?” someone asks cleric Abu al-Dema al-Qasab, according to Ibrahim’s account.
Although the cleric reminds everyone that sodomy is forbidden, he offers an exception.
“Jihad comes first,” he said, according to Ibrahim’s translation, “for it is the pinnacle of Islam, and if the pinnacle of Islam can only be achieved through sodomy, then there is no wrong in it.”
The cleric actually makes the case that not only is sodomy allowed, it could be required.
“If obligatory matters can only be achieved by performing the prohibited, then it becomes obligatory to perform the prohibited, and there is no greater duty than jihad,” the cleric reportedly says. “After he sodomizes you, you must ask Allah for forgiveness and praise him all the more.”
Ibrahim ties the philosophy to Abdullah Hassan al-Asiri, who attempted to assassinate a Saudi Arabian security chief in 2009. The bomber’s parents said their son had been taken by extremists, and he went on to become the first suicide bomber to use the new body-bomb tactic.
The 23-year-old al-Asiri is said to have hidden an explosive device inside himself to avoid metal detectors, then detonated it.
CORRECTION: According to The Electronic Intifada, this is a hoax:
This claim reported byThe Advocateis pure nonsense. It is a hoax purveyed by someone affiliated with the David Horowitz Freedom Center, an extreme right-wing organizationwhose founder and namesakeis well-known for uncivil and racist attacks on liberal, progressive and leftist political groups.
The Advocate’s source isRaymond Ibrahim, a fellow at the Horowitz Center and at the Middle East Forum, who claimed that the religious directive was contained in a “2010 Arabic news video that aired on Fadak TV” and was advice given to Abdullah Hassan al-Asiri, who blew himself up in an attempt to assassinate Saudi Prince Muhammad bin Nayif in 2009. Some press reports stated that al-Asiri had carried explosives in his rectum.
In his post on the Gatestone Institute, Ibrahim elaborates:
- Apparently a cleric, one Abu al-Dema al-Qasab, informed al-Asiri and other jihadis of an “innovative and unprecedented way to execute martyrdom operations: place explosive capsules in your anus. However, to undertake this jihadi approach you must agree to be sodomized for a while to widen your anus so it can hold the explosives.”
This is the video he’s writing about:
To a non-Arabic speaker, it would be reasonable to believe that the person speaking in the video is “Abu al-Dema al-Qasab” because Ibrahim does not give any context to the video. ApparentlyThe Advocatebelieved this, because it posted a screenshot of the man from the video next to a photo of al-Asiri with the following caption:
Cleric Abu al-Dema al-Qasab (left) reportedly said suicide bombers like Abdullah Hassan al-Asiri (right), who hid explosives in his rectum, were allowed anal sex.
However, the person in the video is Abdallah al-Khallaf, host of“The morals of the Prophets, Peace Be Upon Them,”a show broadcast on UK-based satellite channel Fadak TV whose target audience is Shia Muslims.
In the video, al-Khallaf tells the audience that he is going to read an item from a website called “Muntadayat Usud al-Sunna” (Lions of theSunnahforums).
Al-Khallaf reads the item from the website as if it is real. He also characterizes the alleged protagonists as “Wahhabis.” It appears his intention is to incite his audience’s disgust at the supposed thinking and behavior of Wahhabi Sunni Muslims who, he suggests, will justify anything in pursuit of their goals.
So, basically, their argument is that The Advocate and think tank David Horowitz Freedom Center are creating an Islamophobic crusade by putting this out of context. This TV personality was just telling a story, which might as well be fictional. Here’s the translation (by Ali Abunimah)
It is said that the terrorist who blew himself up in an attempt to assassinate Prince Muhammad bin Nayif inserted capsules of explosives in his anus like suppositories.
It is said – only God knows – that before he acted, the terrorist asked a sheikh, that he intends to insert explosive capsules in his rectum, seeking jihad, in order to carry out jihad operations, in desire for virgins.
The terrorist asked the sheikh the question in the following way: Our Sheikh, May God give you martrydom and virgins in paradise. I want to carry out a martrydom operation and so I presented myself to “Sheikh Bloody Butcher” [Sheikh Abu al-Dema al-Qasab].
He told me we devised a completely new and unprecedented way for martyrdom operations and that is to put explosives in your rectum. And in order to train you for this method of jihad you must agree to be sodomized for a period in order that your anus will be widened such that your rectum can take the explosives.
And my question, God have mercy on you: Is it permitted to offer my anus to one of the mujahidin brothers if the intention is pure and the goal is to train for jihad, and to widen my rectum?
And the sheikh offered praise to God and said: In principle sodomy is forbidden and out of the question. Except that jihad comes first, it is the pinnacle of Islam. And if the pinnacle of Islam cannot be achieved except through sodomy then there is no wrong in it.
The jurisprudential rule says: necessity overcomes what is forbidden. And if the only way to carry out a duty is with a certain thing, then that thing becomes a duty, and there is no greater duty than jihad.
After you are sodomized you must ask forgiveness from God and praise him abundantly and you must be certain my son that on Judgment Day, God rewards the mujahidin according to their intentions, and your intention, God willing is the victory of Islam.
The Electronic Intifada is asking for a retraction by The Advocate. The accuse the magazine for publishing Islamophobic, anti-Palestinian and pinkwashing rants from pornographic filmmaker Michael Lucas.
Personally, I never thought this could be a hoax (I still have my doubts). But as I do not speak Arab, I must go with what’s published, and it’ll be interesting what The Advocate’s reactions is going to be.
I, as a gay man and an atheist, feel no guilt nor fear of attacking someone else’s faith when being discriminatory in any form. Their religious freedoms end where my Human Rights are not being respected.
And besides, it ain’t like Islam is free of guilt when it comes to oppressing the LGBT Community and its rights. And because Israel is the only country in the Middle East that is gay-friendly, most of our Community ain’t goint to hasitate to defend those who defend and protect our rights in the most hostile zone in the world.
South Africa & Brazil Demand UN Action On LGBT Rights
Pink News UK reports:
United Nations ambassadors for South Africa and Brazil have demanded more action and discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity as part as universal human rights standards, and to combat hate crimes.
The Ambassador of South Africa to the United Nations, on behalf of his country and Brazil, delivered a statement on 2 July to the United Nations Humans Rights Council, saying that LGBT rights are part of the Universal standard of Human Rights, and demanding action against discrimination and hate crimes.
The statement calls for further discussion and work on the issue of violence against LGBT people and their rights being part and parcel of the universal declaration of human rights.
This joint statement came after the first global panel discussion on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) which was held in the UN Human Rights council on 7 March 2012.
The panel discussion was conducted due to a report from the High Commissioner from the council that showed the enormity of the situation facing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. It stated although there are scarce official statistics, in all regions, there is widespread bias in jobs, schools and hospitals. People have suffered sexual assault, been imprisoned, tortured and killed
The discussion ended in disagreement with some countries agreeing that further action was necessary and that SOGI should be part and parcel of the universal standards of Human Rights. Others, mostly lead by the Organization of Islamic States (OIC), refused to take part and along with some African states, China and Russia, rejected the idea, saying it was a ‘cultural notion’. The OIC further demanded ‘that this will be the last time that the Human Rights Council discusses LGBT rights.’
Since then the matter has not been discussed and the joint statement by South Africa and Brazil stated this must change: ‘We should not inadvertently undermine the promotion and protection of human rights by remaining silent.’
The joint declaration further rejected the objections by the OIC reaffirming that SOGI is part and parcel of the Universal idea of Human Rights and that ‘discriminating against people on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity is no more acceptable than doing so on the basis of race, religion, nationality or other grounds… Nobody should be excluded from the protection of international human rights law.’
The statement also called to find a way ‘to end the violence and discrimination that existed in all regions … In the spirit of ubuntu in Africa, meaning “I am because you are”, all people share a link with one another through their common humanity, which also carries with it a shared responsibility to care for one another. The same principle underpins the concept of universal human rights.’
South Africa and Brazil further called upon all countries not to shy away from dialogue and engaging with opposing views (of countries objecting the inclusion of SOGI as a universal standard of Human Rights) stating: ‘reconciling universal standards of human rights with local ideas of culture was challenging but necessary work.’
Experts point out that the joint statement comes at an important time, as different countries and stakeholders from all regions consider next steps and follow-up initiatives in the wake of the panel last March.
Strong pro LGBT statements were also delivered by Norway, the Council of Europe, and civil society including a joint statement by ILGA-Europe, COC Netherlands and ARC and other organizations.
Indonesia: Security Concerns Prompt Lady Gaga To Cancel Jakarta Concert
Lady Gaga has canceled her concert in Indonesia, her management said Sunday, citing security concerns after Islamic hardliners denounced her costumes and dance moves as too risqué.
If the concert were held, there would be concerns the singer, her crew and attendees may be in harm’s way, said Minola Sebayang, the lawyer for the promoters.
“This is an advice from her security team. So the cancellation is purely based on the decision made by her management,” Sebayang said.
Earlier this month, Jakarta police recommended that Lady Gaga’s sold-out June 3 show not be issued a permit because of security concerns.
The pop diva appeared to acknowledge the incident in a post on Twitter on Saturday:
There is nothing Holy about hatred.— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) May 26, 2012
On Sunday, she tweeted confirmation of the cancelation: “We had to cancel the concert in Indonesia. I’m so very sorry and the fans & just as devastated as you if not more. You are everything to me,” she wrote.
“I will try to put together something special for you. My love for Indonesia has only grown,” the performer said.
Islamists and conservative Muslims have decried Lady Gaga’s upcoming concert, saying her revealing costumes and sensual dance moves are forbidden by Islamic law.
The chairman of the Islamic Defenders Front, Habib Rizieq, said his group could not guarantee security if the concert were held.
Indonesia has the largest Muslim population in the world.
In March, the pop star got a thumbs-down by the country’s highest Islamic authority, according to The Jakarta Globe.
Indonesian Council of Ulema chairman Cholil Ridwan was urging Muslims not to attend the controversial singer’s upcoming concert in Jakarta, the newspaper reported.
“(The concert is) intended to destroy the nation’s morality,” Ridwan told the Globe.
Ridwan is concerned that the singer’s revealing outfits and sexy dance moves will set a bad example for Muslim youths.
Newspaper reports said more than 25,000 tickets were sold in the first two hours after the concert went on sale in March. Police said the promoter should not have started selling tickets before getting a permit.
This is not the first controversy surrounding the singer’s “Born This Way” tour. Gaga also ran afoul of Christian groups in South Korea, prompting the government to ban people under the age of 18 from attending her show.
Last week, Christian groups in the Philippines protested Lady Gaga’s performances there Monday and Tuesday.
Gay Activist Peter Tatchell Urges Eurovision Singers To Fight For Free Speech In Azerbaijan
Pink News UK reports:
Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has urged Eurovision contestants and organisers to stand up against President Aliyev and his dictatorial regime in Azerbaijan, which many see as being incompatible with the competition’s inclusive values.
The glare of the media spotlight is now on the country after its act, Ell and Nikki, won the Eurovision song contest last year, but the majority of headlines have focused on the country’s human rights record and its commitment to LGBT people, rather than the music.
“President Aliyev is using Eurovision as a propaganda tool to project a modern, liberal image to the outside world. The song contest organisers are colluding with his spin and PR,” said Tatchell, ahead of the contest which takes place in Azerbaijan’s capital, Baku, on Saturday.
“The Eurovision organisers have received no guarantees from the Azerbaijani regime that it will respect human rights, that visitors to Eurovision will not be victimised and that journalists covering the event will be able to report freely.”
Tatchell is urging those taking part to make a stand in whatever way they can against the restrictions on freedom of speech – even making a statement such as ‘I love freedom’, he says, may make an impact.
Open criticism of the contest, which was seen by the International Lesbian and Gay Association as an opportunity for the country to ‘move towards openness’, may be viewed with suspicion by the police. Last year, protesters who voted for the neighbouring country of Armenia had their phone numbers noted and some were jailed.
The country’s gay rights record is also under scrutiny. Despite homosexuality being decriminalised in 2001, members of the LGBT community still suffer police harassment and homophobic violence.
Relations between Azerbaijan and neighbouring country Iran were tested after rumours of a ‘gay parade’ marred the build-up to the contest. Iran later recalled its ambassador to Azerbaijan, accusing the country of insulting its religious saints.
Kuwait: Mass Arrest By Police For “Immorality”
Emirates 24/7 reports:
Kuwaiti police arrested 149 people, including 65 women, during massive raids against suspected prostitution dens as part of a crackdown against vice in the oil-rich Gulf emirate, newspapers reported on Sunday.
Hundreds of policemen and security agents participated in the campaign in several areas of the capital Kuwait City on Saturday.
The campaign, targeting suspected buildings and houses, resulted in the arrest of 149 people, including 65 women, mostly expatriates.
Police said 14 Arab women would be immediately deported while several gays and tomboys have been locked up pending trial.
“The campaigns will intensify in the next period to end such illegal practices inside suspected apartments and houses,” a police source said.
According to Pink News UK, this ain’t the first time it happens:
On the 29 April, seven gay men were arrested for wearing “indecent clothing” while spending time at the beach. Ten days earlier, 44 people were arrested, of whom, 4 were gay and 5 merely labelled as “cross-dressers.”
According to the activist, this is an attempt to appease MPs from the Islamist parties that now have a majority in Parliament (34 out of 50 seats).
Last week the Emir of Kuwait blocked a constitutional amendment to article 79 as to make Sharia “the only source” of legislation rather than a major or main source as it is now. Nevertheless the Islamists MPs have vowed that they will not desist and continue with pressures for constitutional amendments.
On 24 May, MP Dr. Al-Damkhi, a member of the parliamentary committee on tackling “practices alien to Kuwaiti society”, proposed to set up a “Rehab centre” to ‘treat negative phenomena alien to Kuwaiti society.’ DR Al-Damkhi explained that such a facility is needed ‘in light of the occasional spread of negative phenomena alien to our Kuwaiti society.’
He suggested that the centre would aim ‘to promote noble values amongst Kuwaiti youth, who are the future of the country; to fight what affects the moral values of the society; and to encourage the youth to be involved in fields that serve the nation’.
In addition it would ‘treat cases of gender identity disorder” which will solve the problem of “inappropriate treatment by the police” and allow “imitators” to receive treatment “for their conditions”. He stated that ‘providing rehab to such patients has become a necessity’.
On December 10, 2007, the parliament passed a bill proposed by Islamic MPs that amended article 198 of penal code so that anyone “imitating the appearance of a member of the opposite sex” could be jailed for up to a year or fined up to 1,000 dinars. Bill architect and long standing Kuwaiti politician Al-Otaib, who headed at the time the parliamentary committee monitoring “practices alien to Kuwaiti society”, said: ‘The law criminalising people who imitate the appearance of the opposite sex must be implemented and respected … Kuwait should ignore any international criticism.’
This law caused massive persecution and misery to transgender people in Kuwait which was slammed in a HRW report published on 15 January this year, criticising arrests, torture and abuse of transgender people in the country.
Article 193 of the Penal Code punishes homosexuality between men, over the age of 21, with up to seven years imprisonment. If the conduct involves persons under the age of 21, then imprisonment can be for a maximum of ten years.
Iran: Four Men Due To Be Hanged For Sodomy
Pink News UK reports:
Iran court sentence four men from the town of Choram, in the Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad Province, to death by hanging for sodomy.
Four men named ‘Saadat Arefi’, ‘Vahid Akbari’, ‘Javid Akbari’ and ‘Houshmand Akbari’ are due to be executed shortly after their verdict was approved recently by high court judges, according to a report from the Human Rights Activist News Agency (HRANA) in Iran.
The four men are said to be from the town of Choram, in the Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad Province of Iran.
According to HRANA and JOOPEA, these four men will be hanged for sodomy according Shari’a law.
A gay activist based in Iran said: ‘Although being gay is not a crime based on Iranian criminal law but this is the most clear statement against same sex-acts in past months.’
He added that ‘there wereof our other men hanged in past five months.’
London based Iranian Human Rights Lawyer, Mehri Jafari said: ‘I am horrified and saddened to have heard the news about these four men. Not only with regards to the execution which is about to take place, but the fact that is beyond our control.
‘There are two important issues in this case; the location of the alleged occurrence and the interpretation of the Sharia’ law that a Hodud (strict Sharia punishment) is eminent. Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad is one of the most undeveloped provinces in Iran and it is obvious that a lack of access to lawyers and fair trial can be considered a serious issue in this case. After this announcement it is very likely that the execution will be carried out soon, and the remote location makes it difficult to exert any influence on the process.’
Mehri further pleaded: ‘I hope international organisations act quickly and effectively on this specific case.’
Gorji Marzban chairperson of the Austrian-based Oriental Queer Organization (ORQOA) said: ‘The recent death sentence for the four Iranian men is a shocking reality and demonstrates the discrepancy between Western and Islamic perception of queer life. The rhetoric of announcement makes the link between same-sex sexual activity, or sodomy with corporal punishment very clear. Last month the Iranian authorities hanged a young man and the local news agencies/authorities were intentionally unclear about the reason for the death penalty. In the case of these four men we have a clear text attributing the reason for hanging is sodomy.
‘The judicial denial of same-sex relationships in Iran stems from its relationship to Shari’a law and patriarchy. This is a warning signal not only for the queer population of Iran but also for all types of gender inclusive the heterosexuals who have sexual relations outside marriage.
‘The death penalty has failed to eradicate homosexuality from Iran but it was successful to force queer people into the closets. Sooner or later any Islamic community is obliged to integrate queer people. We believe that Iranians should gain more gender equality and rights and wholly condemn such an archaic sentence to murder which is inherently unislamic!’
Human Rights Watch (HRW) in its 2011 - We are a Buried Generation: Discrimination and Violence Against Sexual Minorities in Iran - stated that because trials on moral charges in Iran are usually held in closed sessions, it is difficult to determine what proportion of those charged and executed for same-sex conduct are gay and in what proportion the alleged offense was consensual.
Because of the lack of transparency, Human Rights Watch said: ‘It cannot be ruled out that Iran is sentencing sexual minorities who engage in consensual same-sex relations to death under the guise that they have committed forcible sodomy or rape.’
The issue of the death penalty for same-sex acts is further compounded by the fact that the Iranian legal code does not differentiate between rape and homosexual acts.
Furthermore, in many cases, it is often unclear whether the accused has actually committed a sexual act or it is a mere accusation based on some dispute. Even in the cases where the same-sex act has happened, often it is not clear whether the individuals involved are actually gay or it is an occasional act of sexual gratification.
Iranian Human Rights activists constantly note the fact that the two genders are strictly segregated increases the tendency for same-sex acts among the youth, in a phenomena that is also similarly known in single gender prisons. Indeed this phenomenon happens throughout highly segregated societies in the Middle East and North Africa.
Saudi Arabia: Gays And “Tomboys” Banned From Government Schools
According to a report on Emirates 24/7, Saudi Arabia has banned gay boys and “tom boys” from attending government schools and universities.The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, the most feared law enforcement authority in the oil-rich country, has been asked to enforce the new orders, Sharq Arabic language daily said. “Instructions have been issued to all public schools and universities to ban the entry of gays and tom boys and to intensify their efforts to fight this phenomenon, which has been promoted by some websites,” it said. The paper did not make clear who issued those instructions but said gay and tom boy students can go back to schools and universities if they prove they have been corrected and have stopped such practices. It said high-level orders have been issued to the Commission to immediately enforce the new rules and to step up efforts to combat this phenomenon and other “unacceptable behavior” in public places.
More on this as information becomes available…
Islamic Terrorists Threaten Eurovision: We Will Use Chemical Weapons And Knives
Because Azerbaijan won last year’s competition, this year will be the host of the contest.
Islamic terrorists have threatened to use chemical weapons against attendees and performers at the Eurovision Song Contest, which this year will be held in Azerbaijan, an almost entirely Muslim nation. The 57 year-old competition is heavily followed by gay fans, many of whom travel to the host cities every year for associated parties and nightclub events.The Azeri terrorists, an Islamic group, have said they will target the participants of the Eurovision song contest in Azerbaijan as they are “European scum”. It has threatened the use of “knives and chemical weapons” at the contest. The terror group said in a statement yesterday “Blood of the European scum must be shed by the will of Allah.” The annual musical contest has attracted entries from 42 countries from eastern and western Europe this year, but the group said the Eurovision is “a nightmare for all Muslims.” The statement comes after a widespread crackdown by Azeri authorities on the group in preparation for the contest - 17 members were arrested and one blew up himself and a policeman in recent raids.
According to the above-linked report, additional security will be added for the contestants. Anxious to put on a good show for the world’s media, the Azeri government has reportedly spent more than €500m on Eurovision-related infrastructure, included upgrading hotels, roads, the airport, and constructing a massive new arena just for the event.