Africa

Congo: Trans victim of anti-LGBT attack seeks safety

Live Consolé Bahati at the hospital in 2016 after the attack. (Photo courtesy of ALCIS, published with permission of Mr. Bahati)

Live Consolé Bahati at the hospital in 2016 after the attack. (Photo courtesy of ALCIS, published with permission of Mr. Bahati)

A young transgender activist — attacked, wounded and taken to the hospital in 2016 in the province of South Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo — now urgently needs a temporary relocation for his security, the LGBTI rights group ALCIS (Action for the Fight Against Social Injustice) reports.

A hut where seven LGBTI Congolese hide from police raids. (Photo courtesy of ALCIS, published with the permission of the people in the photo)

A hut where seven LGBTI Congolese hide from police raids. (Photo courtesy of ALCIS, published with the permission of the people in the photo)

Intolerance against LGBTI people continues to fuel homophobic hate crimes in South Kivu province,  Bukavu-based ALCIS says.

One particularly serious human rights violations was the attack last year on the young activist Live Consolé Bahati  — the umpteenth attack he has suffered. The wounds inflicted on him required that he be admitted to  Saint Vincent Hospital in the Kadutu district of Bukavu.

Bahati is a transgender MSM (man having sex with men) who is the host of  the LGBT-friendly show “Internet for Life.”

The attack occurred shortly after 20 p.m. on the night of Sept. 25, 2016, in the Kadutu district of Bukavu, as Bahati was heading home. He was assaulted by three men who first threatened him, then beat him up, while police on a night patrol stood by and watched.

ALCIS reported:

Since October 2015, ALCIS has hosted radio broadcasts entitled “Homo-Micro: the Rights of Sexual Minorities” as part of its campaign to end hate speech against LGBT people in South Kivu.  In Bukavu, widespread support for homophobic hate speech has led to a rash of arbitrary arrests, threats and intimidation of LGBT  hosts of those radio broadcasts.

These homophobic attacks have made it difficult for young LGBT people to live their lives openly, despite many appeals from ALCIS to local authorities, urging them to put an end to the threats and repression.

Live Consolé Bahati was badly injured on Sept. 25, 2016 (Photo courtesy by ALCIS, published with permission of Mr. Bahati)

Live Consolé Bahati was badly injured on Sept. 25, 2016 (Photo courtesy by ALCIS, published with permission of Mr. Bahati)

ALCIS is seeking financial support from friends and allies to provide protection for LGBT victims of homophobic hate crimes, which have caused serious physical and emotional damage, especially to Live Consolé Bahati.

At present, Bahati is under financial and emotional pressure. He needs to pay his medical bills. He lives in isolation with four friends 20 kilometers outside Bukavu. He wants to return to Bukavu, but is worried about running that risk.

For his security, ALCIS is seeking to relocate him temporarily.

ALCIS continues to monitor and document anti-LGBT police raids and other police intimidation of the LGBT community.

A panel discussion organized by ALCIS on strategies to protect LGBTI people in the Congo. (Photo courtesy of ALCIS, published with the authorization of the people in the photo)

A panel discussion organized by ALCIS on strategies to protect LGBT people in the Congo. (Photo courtesy of ALCIS, published with the authorization of the people in the photo)

The association has reported this information to the human rights section of the UN Mission for Stabilization in the DRC (Monusco) in Bukavu, but so far has received no response.

To provide help for Live Consolé Bahati, contact ALCIS:

Tel: (243) 828247071 – 852430146
Email: alcishumanrights@gmail.com

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