LGBTI briefs: Pakistan, Russia, Botswana, many more

Pakistani transgender rights activist Didar, who was shot, gives an interview under the supervision of medical personnel. (Photo courtesy of Express Tribune)
Pakistani transgender rights activist Didar, who was shot, gives an interview under the supervision of medical personnel. (Photo courtesy of Express Tribune)

In Pakistan, trans activist Didar was shot. She was rushed to the hospital, and her life is out of danger.

In Russia, officials shut down BlueSystem, the country’s most popular website for LGBT news and entertainment.

See below for more news briefs.

These brief accounts of LGBTI-related issues in countries with anti-gay laws were excerpted with slight modifications from several sources, mostly UNAIDS’s Equal Eyes and ILGA’s LGBulleTIn recaps of the world’s LGBTI news.



Pastor Steven Anderson (Photo courtesy YouTube via Religion News Service)
Pastor Steven Anderson (Photo courtesy YouTube via Religion News Service)

Botswana deported anti-LGBT U.S. pastor Steven Anderson after he told a local radio station during an interview that the government should kill gays and lesbians. He also described the victims of the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando, Fla., as “disgusting homosexuals who the Bible says were worthy of death.” Anderson had previously been blocked from entering South Africa. Human rights organisations had petitioned the Botswana government to take a position “(rejecting his) divisive and violent teachings and denying him entry into Botswana.”

The annual Miss Fa’afafine pageant was held in Samoa, marking the 10th anniversary of this fundraising event.  Fa’afafines are a traditional third-gender category in Samoan society, comprising people who are male at birth but are raised with many feminine traits.

The LGBT Fund has launched grants for projects aimed at supporting access to HIV services for LGBT people in Kenya, Uganda and Mozambique.

Two women who were said to be in a relationship attempted suicide in Mumbai, India, after they were forbidden from seeing each other. One of them died, while the other survived after she was rushed to the hospital.

Muhammadu Buhari (Photo courtesy of Daily Post)
President Muhammadu Buhari (Photo courtesy of Daily Post)

President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria reinstated the “War Against Indiscipline” brigade (WAI), members of whom can impose punishments on the public with impunity. The government plans to add 170,000 WAI volunteers and LGBT activists fear abuse against the community will explode.

Fear of damage to Antigua‘s international reputation has forced the government to issue a statement in which it says that it does and will continue to protect and uphold the human rights of Antigua & Barbuda’s LGBTI community. According to the Minister of Information Melford Nicholas, the need for the statement and a further diplomatic note to Toronto were spurred by comments of Canada-based LGBTI activist Tasheka Lavann. Antiguan law provides for 15 years in prison for buggery, but officials say that law is not enforced.

In a short Huffington Post interview, Lavann, who once resided in Antigua and identified herself as a lesbian, said she feared violence as a member of the LGBTI community. She later said that some of her stronger statements were taken out of context and she was not referring to the twin-island state when she made them. Nonetheless, her statements garnered a harsh public backlash from residents who felt she had tarnished the country’s name, as the Antigua Observer reports.

The Belize government will challenge one aspect of the chief justice’s ruling that deemed that anti-gay Section 53 of the Criminal Code is inconsistent with the country’s Constitution. The government asks that the Constitution’s use of the word  “sex” not be understood to include sexual orientation.

According to reports, the house of a human rights defender in Tunisia, where members of the LGBTI community were hosted, has come under repeated attack by the same group of men.

The deputy minister for health, community, development and gender of Tanzania claimed that the country “does not allow activist groups carrying out campaigns that promote homosexuality.”

Dozens of apps and websites with LGBT content face a ban in Indonesia, following a closed-door interagency summit held at the country’s Ministry of Communications.


Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. After his retirement from paid newspaper work in 2011, he launched Erasing 76 Crimes and helped with the Spirit of 76 campaign that assembled a multi-national team of 26 LGBTI rights activists to advocate for change during the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., in July 2012. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, including the Erasing 76 Crimes news site and the African Human Rights Media Network. Contact him via Twitter @76crimes or by email at Mailing address: 21 Marseille, Laguna Niguel CA 92677 USA.


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