Posts Tagged ‘LGBT’

Third laureate of the 2018 Václav Havel International Prize for Creative Dissent now announced

May 27, 2018

On 27 May 2018 the Human Rights Foundation announced the third of three recipients of the 2018 Václav Havel International Prize for Creative Dissent, Vietnamese pop star and democracy advocate Mai Khoi. HRF delayed this announcement for fear that the Vietnamese government would ban Mai from traveling as a result of her pro-democracy activism. Mai will be recognized in a ceremony during the 2018 Oslo Freedom Forum on Wednesday alongside the two other 2018 Laureates, underground group Belarus Free Theatre and South Sudanese musician and former child soldier Emmanuel Jal. [see: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2018/04/12/havel-prize-for-creative-dissent-2018-two-of-three-winners-announced-today/]

Khoi is an independent artist who is shaping public discourse in Vietnam. She reached stardom in 2010, when she won the highest award for songwriting in Vietnam. As a celebrity, Mai advocated for women’s rights, LGBT rights, and to end violence against women. More recently, she became the focal point of public discourse after nominating herself to run in the 2016 parliamentary elections. Her pro-democracy campaign sparked a nationwide debate about political participation and ultimately led to a meeting with then-U.S. President Barack Obama. Since running for parliament, Mai has had her concerts raided, has been evicted from her house twice, and is effectively banned from singing in Vietnam. In March 2018, she was detained at Hanoi airport on suspicion of “terrorism” after returning from a European tour.

Despite this harassment, Mai continues to find creative ways to spark conversation on art, human rights, and democracy. In February 2018, she released a new album, “Mai Khoi Chem Gio – Dissent.” In a review of the album, The Economist commented, “If music alone could break chains, this would be the music to do it.” Mai’s work aims to counter the authoritarian ways of thinking that justify social control. She is currently the subject of a feature-length documentary that is scheduled to air on Netflix in 2019.

Mai Khoi is outstanding in her commitment to human rights,” said Havel Prize Committee Chairman Thor Halvorssen. “Through her music and her campaigns, she has put civil liberties and democracy on the forefront of public conversation in Vietnam.

The Havel Prize ceremony will be broadcast live at oslofreedomforum.com at 3:00 p.m. Oslo time (GMT+2) on Wednesday, May 30.

https://mailchi.mp/hrf/2018-havel-prize-celebrates-vietnamese-musician-mai-khoi?e=f80cec329e

Indonesian LGBT defender to be honored with de Souza award on 16 May 2016

May 12, 2016

Yuli Rustinawati is the founder and chair of Arus Pelangi, one of Indonesia’s leading LGBT organizations. Photo: www.stonewall25.org.uk

For earlier posts on LGBT human rights see: https://thoolen.wordpress.com/tag/lgbt-human-rights/

For more information: http://www.alturi.org/indonesia_campaign and http://www.outrightinternational.org/events/celebration-courage-2016.

Source: The Bay Area Reporter Online | Indonesian lesbian activist honored with award

Documenting human rights violations through interviews: shared training materials

May 14, 2014

"Everyone is Different": campaign for the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, 2014

On 14 May the blogger A Paper Bird posted an interesting set of slides that can be used in training human rights defenders. The author also sets a good example by letting them be shared freely:

“One thing I do with some frequency is trainings. These powerpoints reflect a session I worked on recently with the Egyptian LGBT group Bedayaa. The first (download the English version here) deals with issues in human rights documentation in general terms. The second (download English here) deals more specifically with strategies for interviews.  I’m posting them here in the hope that they may be useful to activists who weren’t able to attend the workshop, and to people elsewhere as well. Some of the material is specific to Egypt, some is not….. [the slides also exist in Arabic – see original post)

These aren’t copyrighted; I’m not sure how you would copyright a basic skills set. (Actually, late capitalism can copyright anything. What I mean is, I don’t want to know.) However, if you find them interesting enough to adapt or reuse, I ask that you let me know, and cite me as the author.”

via Documenting human rights violations through interviews: training materials English and Arabic | a paper bird.

20 years ago: the Toonen watershed case from Tasmania

April 13, 2014

On 12 April Dan Harrison, in the Australian newspaper ‘Daily Life”, recalls how the famous Toonen case – decided 20 years ago – had a tremendous impact: “The fax arrived from Geneva on a Saturday almost exactly 20 years ago. The message on United Nations letterhead that landed on the fax machine at the Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Groups office in Hobart’s Battery Point would change the lives of millions. It carried the UN Human Rights Committees finding that Tasmanian laws, which made consenting sex between adult men in private a criminal offence punishable by up to 21 years jail, were in violation of Australia’s international obligations.” Read the rest of this entry »

Rolando Jiménez Perez, Chilean human rights defender, has the floor

March 6, 2014

Rolando Jiménez Perez, Chilean human rights defender, is given the floor in the newsletter of the International Service for Human Rights [ISHR] of February 2014. Here are some of the most quotable statements but the whole interview with Camille Marquis is worth reading:

‘I wanted to fight for human rights in order to help lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals and to put an end to any brutality for reasons of sexual orientation and gender identity. During the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, Rolando Jiménez Pérez was a member of the Communist Party driven, along with his fellow party workers, by the goal of restoring democracy. His sexuality was used by the party as a means to belittle him. This brought home to Rolando just how strong a role a person’s sexual orientation could play and he made up his mind that once the dictatorship was over he would turn his attention entirely to human rights and in particular towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.

Read the rest of this entry »

Rihanna adds star power to campaign for gay rights in Russia

February 18, 2014

Last week I blogged about the mixed record of star power (https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2014/02/10/star-power-and-human-rights-a-difficult-but-doable-mix/) and it is nice to add a positive example: Rihanna.
Rihanna has 34 million followers on Twitter.
On 16 February 2014 Faith Karimi and Neda Farshbaf wrote for CNN how pop star Rihanna is adding major star power to the campaign for gay rights in Russia. The singer behind hits such as “Disturbia” and “SOS” tweeted a photo of herself wearing a hat emblazoned with P6, short for Principle 6. This campaign speaks out against Russia’s anti-gay propaganda law as the nation hosts the Winter Olympics. And Rihanna has 34 million followers on Twitter! The photo links to her Instagram account, which has about 12 million followers. In subsequent tweets, she posted links to other articles highlighting the issue.

Rihanna adds star power to P6 campaign for gay rights in Russia – CNN.com.

Kulaeva: The struggle for human rights in Russia won’t end with Sochi

February 15, 2014

(Stefania Kulaeva)

This is a long but excellent to piece to read over the weekend by Stefania Kulaeva of the remarkable NGO Memorial in Russia:

AT THE TIME of the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi it is important to remember the human rights abuse of minorities and their defenders in Russia. This is a question for gay people but also for Roma, immigrant workers and members of other ethnic communities. Read the rest of this entry »

Chair of Ennals Foundation calls on Museveni to veto anti-homo bill

February 13, 2014

The Chair of the Martin Ennals Foundation, Mrs Micheline Calmy Rey, has today called for President Museveni to veto the anti-homosexual bill passed by the Ugandan Parliament on 20 December 2013. The Martin Ennals Foundation has also called on the Ugandan government to take effective steps to protect LGBT persons from violence and discrimination. Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera was awarded the Martin Ennals Award in 2011 for her activities in support of Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender rights in Uganda.

via Welcome to Martin Ennals Awards – MEA.

Where is it (il)legal to be gay?

February 6, 2014

The BBC has produced a map which shows the broad legal status of gay people living in UN member states, according to data provided by the UN’s human right’s office, who built on information from the International Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans and Intersex Association.

The legal status of people in same-sex relationships depends very much on where they live. At one end of the spectrum there are those countries that punish homosexuality with the death penalty – Iran, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Yemen – as well as in parts of Nigeria and Somalia. At the other end, there are those countries where gay couples have the same marriage rights as heterosexual couples. However, the categorisation of countries according to their approach to gay rights is not without problems. Some states have conflicting laws on same-sex relationships, simultaneously having laws that punish and protect, while other countries have different laws in different regions. This is reflected in the key. Countries have been categorised by their most progressive or regressive laws, apart from where laws are contradictory. Countries where gay rights vary between states have been coloured by their most progressive or regressive law. [The map does not reflect day-to-day experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans and intersex people. In many places where anti-discrimination laws exist, gay people continue to be persecuted by state authorities and wider society.]

There is also an interesting timeline, pulled together by the UN, which uses 1789 – the date of the French Revolution – as its starting point. It was chosen by the UN as a baseline, as it was a time when homosexuality was criminalised in many countries.

BBC News – Where is it illegal to be gay?.

The use of SMS against torture in Egypt highlighted

December 10, 2013

In the context of 10 December, Human Rights DayCurt Goering of the Centre for Victims of Torture posts in the Huffington Post a piece on the value of information technology to prevent torture. .. Read the rest of this entry »