Posts Tagged ‘LGBT rights’

Human Rights Defenders Demonstrate at Coca-Cola Headquarters in Atlanta

October 31, 2013

In an effort to solicit a response from the longtime Olympic partner Coca Cola, New York-based NGO ‘All Out’ dispatched three mobile billboards to Coca-Cola headquarters in Atlanta. The billboards bore messages: “Don’t Stay Bottled Up,” and “Speak Out Against Russia’s Anti-Gay Laws.” Trucks carrying the messages circled the company’s campus as All Out supporters displayed posters across the street from the main gates.

(trucks roll by Coca-Cola headquarters – ATR)

150,000 people have sent messages to Coca-Cola asking them to speak up and speak out against Russia’s anti-gay laws,” says Wesley Adams, COO of All Out. “Coca-Cola’s been a strong supporter of gay and lesbian people in the United States. We’re asking them to extend that commitment to Russia as a Top Olympic Sponsor.

(A protester holds a sign across from the company’s main gate – ATR)

We’ve asked for three things,” he says. “One is to speak out against Russia’s anti-gay laws. Two is to financially support Russian human rights defenders who are working on the ground there and three is to ask the IOC to change their rules so that future Olympics will only go to countries that respect human rights.

Written and reported by Nick Devlin in Atlanta  On-the-Scene — Human Rights Group Demonstrates at Coca-Cola HQ

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Systematic Digital Harassment of the Latin America and Caribbean Women’s Health Network denounced

October 21, 2013

The Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition [WHRD IC] expresses its deep concern at the recent hacking of the website of the Latin America and Caribbean Women’s Health Network’s (LACWHN).  The attack is emblematic of the serious threat that on-line harassment presents to sexual and reproductive rights activists and constitutes a malicious violation of LACWHN’s right to freedom of expression and association. women human rights defenders
On 21 September the LACWHN’s website was hacked and disabled: http://www.reddesalud.org/.  The attack occurred immediately following the launch of several campaign activities on 19 and 20 September  including the #28SAbortoLegal social media campaign as well as the posting of a photo album and some posters.

The WHRD IC believes the digital attack is a deliberate attempt to silence legitimate feminist voices, suppress dissent and stifle women’s political participation in the public sphere on these issues by stigmatization and sabotage.   The spaces where WHRDs working on sexual rights provide information and communicate from on the right to information on health and bodily integrity are being systematically attacked. In 2013 APC conducted a global survey (http://www.genderit.org/articles/survey-sexual-activism-morality-and-internet) on risks facing WHRDs working on sexual rights, including reproductive health and rights, LGBT rights, access to safe abortion, sexual violence and rape, and sex education. 99% of activists stated that the internet was a crucial tool for advancing their human rights work. And yet, 51% reported receiving violent or threatening messages online. About one third of the sample mentioned intimidation (34%); blocking and filtering (33%); or censorship (29%). This resulted in 27% of them discontinuing the work they were doing online.” Given the importance and relatively new area of human rights, the WHRD IC notes the importance of advancing regional and international jurisprudence, and contributing to a better understanding by the international community of the risks that exist on-line, particularly in relationship to the protection of the right to defend rights.

First ministerial UN meeting on protection of gay rights held

September 27, 2013

On 26 September 2013 many countries attended the first ministerial meeting held at the United Nations on the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals.

(UN Photo/Amanda Voisard)

Foreign ministers attending the meeting, held on the margins of the General Assembly’s annual high-level debate, adopted a declaration pledging not just to protect LGBT rights but also to counter homophobic and transphobic attitudes. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay commended

Read the rest of this entry »

Controversy surrounding the death of LGBT activist Eric Ohena Lembembe; Cameroon blames the victims and continues persecution

September 25, 2013

On 23 September Amy Bergquist of the Advocates for Human Rights writes in her blog: The International Justice Program doesn’t get to travel to Geneva very often, but thanks to the United Nations’ live webcasts, we can usually see and hear all the U.N.’s human rights action as it happens. On Friday morning, I was eager to watch the U.N. Human Rights Council’s consideration of the Universal Periodic Review of Cameroon. I was especially moved when one of our colleagues from the Cameroonian Foundation for AIDS (CAMFAIDS) took the floor to speak on behalf of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Intersex Association and recounted his July 15 discovery of his tortured and murdered colleague, Eric Ohena Lembembe, Read the rest of this entry »

6 Most Oppressive Laws passed since Putin became President again

September 6, 2013

In a piece in the Huffington Post of 9 September Frank Jannuzi, dep director of Amnesty International USA gives a good overview of the the 6 most damaging laws passed in Russia since President Putin was inaugurated last year, effectively criminalizing criticism: Read the rest of this entry »

Killing of gay rights activist Lembembe highlights plight of Cameroon’s remaining LGBT activists

September 2, 2013

JULIA HANN wrote for allAfrica.com on 28 August that the torture and murder of Cameroonian gay rights activist Eric Lembembe on July 11 has shattered the hopes of those who were quick to herald a “global momentum” in the international gay rights movement. Just two weeks before his death, Lembembe, Read the rest of this entry »

“I have a dream…..” – King inspires Human Rights Defenders around the globe

September 2, 2013

On 28 August 2013, 50 years after Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his historic “I Have a Dream” speech, Corinne Duffy of Human Rights First (HRF) gives an interesting palette of stories how his words and action continue to inspire HRDs everywhere: HRF logo

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United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moons Statements

August 29, 2013

English: Ban Ki-moon 日本語: 潘基文

The UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon gave the Annual Leiden Freedom Lecture, in the Netherlands, on 28 August 2013 and made a number of strong points relevant to human rights defenders: Read the rest of this entry »

Raid on the offices of LGBTI rights organisation in Zimbabwe

June 11, 2013

On 6 June 2013 five unknown assailants wielding hammers forced entry into the Harare offices of human rights organisation Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ). GALZ is an association founded in 1990 that advocates social tolerance for sexual minorities and the repeal of homophobic legislation in Zimbabwe.  On the morning of the raid, the assailants gained entry by disguising one of their group as a mentally challenged person and driving in whilst this member threatened the security personnel at the gate with a hammer. Upon entry, the assailants forced all staff present into the Guard Room and locked them there whilst they ransacked the offices, gathering laptops, mobile phones and bags which contain sensitive information about the work of the organisation and individual members. It is believed that the incident was not a normal robbery, but an attack carried out under orders, as the assailants frequently made contact over the phone with an unknown person called ‘Machacha‘ from an unknown ‘security wing’. In a statement, GALZ said “GALZ is not taking this incident as a random act of attempted robbery but that of deliberate attack by the youth militia, acting on the orders of someone superior.” [President Robert Mugabe has in the past made some extremely homophobic comments] 

Perhaps surprisingly but mercifully, the police arrived swiftly and arrested the assailants, who have now been taken for further questioning at Harare Central Police Station. No members of staff were injured during the raid, and most of the equipment which the assailants had gathered has been returned to GALZ.Frontline NEWlogo-2 full version - cropped

Front Line Defenders welcomes the swift action of the Zimbabwean police, but remains concerned about the motives behind the raid, which are possibly related to the peaceful and legitimate work that GALZ carries out in defence of human rights, particularly LGBTI rights, in Zimbabwe.

HRD George Reginald Freeman attacked and threatened in Sierra Leone

May 24, 2013

On 22 May 2013 human rights defender George Reginald Freeman was driving to a guest house when he was intercepted by two unknown assailants on motorbikes. One of the men threw a stone through his car window and Freeman was  badly beaten as he attempted to escape. The assailants also robbed valuables from his car after he escaped. George Reginald Freeman is the director of Pride Equality, an organisation which works on LGBTI rights in Sierra LeoneFrontline NEWlogos-1 condensed version - cropped Read the rest of this entry »