Physical attacks and arrests
Police arrested about 20 activists supporting the LGBTI community during the annual May Day parade in St. Petersburg, Russia. Two days before the march, Meduza reports, activists were told they were barred from participating. Two groups had then allowed activists supporting LGBTI rights to march along with them, as long as they did not carry flags or banners. On the day of the parade, activists unfurled a rainbow flag on Nevsky Prospect and, according to an eyewitness, they were arrested on the spot. While LGBTI rights defenders were barred and later arrested, officials seemed to have no issue in allowing a local neo-Nazi group from taking to the streets to join the same parade and reportedly marching under the slogan “For the unity of the Slavs and the White race.”
In Uganda in April, LGBTI human rights defender Kabuye Najib was attacked by a mob of eight men, who beat him severely and left him with a dislocated jaw, Kuchu Times reported.
In India, a recent study among communities of hijras and other trans women found that “police officials and law enforcing authorities were reported to be the perpetrators of physical violence in most of the 17 states” where the research was conducted.
In Kuwait, 41 male Asian migrants were arrested in the capital, Kuwait City, for allegedly engaging in homosexual sex work at massage parlours. They allegedly charged 10 dinars (US $33) for sexual services offered under the guise of massages.
Parliamentary attack; media allegations
Rebecca Kadaga, the speaker of Uganda‘s parliament, said the country’s harsh anti-homosexuality bill — passed in 2013, enacted in early 2014, and overturned in mid- 2014 — “can still be deliberated on if the movers bring it back to the floor of parliament.”
Responding to local media that often are fixated on same-sex issues, Nigeria‘s foreign affairs minister denied allegations that the Swiss Ambassador was being investigated for allegedly coming to the country with a male partner. Instead, StarAfrica reported, the Nigerian government was investigating the article that made those allegations.
Uganda’s former national football manager Chris Mubiru was cleared of sodomy charges on April 19, when an appeal court ruled that too much time had passed between the alleged crime in 2009 and the alleged victim’s report to police in 2013. Mubiru had spent eight months in prison awaiting a ruling on his appeal.
Families’ rejection, anti-LGBT advocate’s denial
A survey in Jamaica found that 47% of respondents would throw their children out of their homes if they learned the children were gay or lesbian. Another 36 percent said they would allow their same-sex attracted child to remain in the household, while only 17% of the 942 persons surveyed said they would be indifferent about the matter. The survey, commissioned by the LGBTI advocacy group J-FLAG, also asked about people’s willingness to report violence or discrimination against LGBT people. Employers (68%) and politicians (88%) said they would do so, but only 34% of the general public.
More than six in ten employers said they have implemented policies to protect LGBT people against discrimination.
In Barbados, the notorious US-based anti-LGBT World Congress of Families held its regional conference at the Accra Beach Hotel in Christ Church. A gay-rights advocate who attended the conference undercover said that it was attended by about 100 people, who were told by one speaker that “he knows for a fact that no Christian family treats their LGBT son or daughter or relative with disdain.”
New organization, new official recognition
In Uganda, a newly established coalition of sex workers’ organizations is joining the fight to decriminalize sex work. Organizations in the new Uganda Network for Sex Workers Organizations (UNESO) include:
- Lady Mermaids Bureau.
- Crested Crane Lighters.
- Youth on Rock Foundation (YRF).
- Organisation for Gender Empowerment and Rights Advocacy (OGERA).
- Action for Transgender Rights Initiative.
- Men of the Night.
- Women’s Organisation Network for Human Rights Advocacy (WONETHA).
- Foundation for Transgender Women Living with HIV/AIDS in Uganda.
- Foundation for Gender and Sexual Rights in Uganda.
In Botswana, Legabibo (Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana) confirmed that it had received a certificate of registration dated April 29 from the registrar of societies, confirming that it can legally operate in the country. In March, the Court of Appeal of Botswana ruled that the government’s denial of registration to Legabibo violated members’ constitutional rights to equal protection of the law, freedom of association and freedom of expression. The appellate judges also ruled that promoting the human rights of LGBTI persons and advocating for law reform are not unlawful.