Posts Tagged ‘sexual minorities’

Macedonia: Threats and violent attack against LGBTI rights defenders in Macedonia (FYROM)

April 24, 2013

On 20 April 2013, human rights defenders from the Association of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People ‘LGBT United’ and the Coalition for Sexual and Health Rights of Marginalized Communities were attacked by seven unknown persons in the city of Bitola, while putting up posters advocating for the human rights of LGBTI people and marching peacefully carrying a rainbow flag.

 

Rainbow flag (LGBT movement) LGBT (lesbian, ga...

 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

The attack took place in front of the Diamond Hostel, in Bitola, down which the human rights defenders had just walked. They were first set upon by four unknown persons, who were later joined by three more. The human rights defenders were insulted, spat on and hit in the face and head. Their posters were taken, and when one of the human rights defenders took his phone to call for help, the phone was also taken and he was told he would be killed. The attack was reported to the police.

 

Since the attack took place, insulting messages and threats, including death threats, have been posted on LGBT United’s Facebook page, specifically directed at the LGBT United’s members who were attacked in Bitola. The threatening messages included the following: “if you are stupid enough to come to Bitola again … be sure that you will end up in a hospital with your bones broken, and some might end up in a graveyard”, “Kill and slaughter a fag” and “you deserve to die”. On 22 April 2013, photos portraying members of the LGBT United were posted on the Facebook page of the Macedonian Sports Fans group, along with further threatening messages.

 

Frontline NEWlogo-2 full version - croppedis deeply concerned for the safety of human rights defenders affiliated with these organisations.

 

Paul Kasonkomona, Zambian human rights defender and LGBTI activist, detained

April 12, 2013

On 10 April 2013 human rights defender and LGBTI activist, Mr Paul Kasonkomona was due to appear in court to challenge his arbitrary detention, three days after being arrested in connection with a live TV interview in which he called for the decriminalization of same-sex relations in Zambia. Despite legal arrangements prohibiting preventive detention without formal charges beyond 48 hours, and contrary to the promise given by Zambian authorities, the human rights defender is yet to appear in court. Paul Kasonkomona is a prominent human rights defender working for Engender Rights Centre for Justice, a local human rights group focusing on the rights of sexual minorities in Zambia, and running campaigns in support of the rights of gay people, sex workers, and people living with HIV/Aids. Frontline NEWlogo-2 full version - cropped

The human rights defender was the evening guest for the program, “The Assignment” run by Muvi TV, an independent TV station operating from Lusaka. During the TV program, Paul Kasonkomona focused on the need for improved access to health care by sex workers, prisoners and sexual minorities. The allegations over which Kasonkomona is being held remain unclear as he has not been formally charged. However, a police official has been quoted as suggesting that the charges against the human rights defender are related to “inciting the public to take part in indecent activities.”

Front Line Defenders believes that Paul Kasonkomona has been detained as a result of his legitimate and non-violent activities in defence of human rights.