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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:31 pm 
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Tanzania arrests 12 suspected of promoting homosexuality
19 October 2017

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania (AP) -- Tanzanian police say they are holding 12 men, including two South Africans, for questioning over allegations of promoting homosexuality in this East African country.

Dar es Salaam Police Chief Lazaro Mambosasa said Thursday that authorities are gathering evidence and will arraign all the suspects in court to face criminal charges. He said the suspects include two South Africans, a Ugandan and nine Tanzanians. The men were arrested at a hotel in the port city of Dar es Salaam.

Homosexuality is criminalized in Tanzania under a colonial-era law banning sex acts "against order of nature." Tanzanian authorities have recently ramped up a crackdown on the activities of LGBT people, even ordering clinics to stop offering services to homosexuals.

Source: AP

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 28, 2017 4:02 pm 
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Tanzania deports three South Africans for 'promoting homosexuality'
28 October 2017

NAIROBI (AFP) - Tanzania has deported three South African lawyers arrested last week for "promoting homosexuality", their organisation said in a statement.

The Initiative for Strategic Litigation (ISLA) in Africa said that the three had been "deported earlier this evening", in the statement dated Friday. The lawyers were amongst a group of 13 people, including a Ugandan and Tanzanians, who were arrested last Tuesday at the Peacock hotel in Dar es Salaam. Local police chief Lazaro Mambosasa said they had been "promoting homosexuality". "Tanzanian law forbids this act between people of the same sex, it is a violation of our country's laws," said Mambosasa.

Just days later an NGO, the Community Health Education Services and Advocacy (CHESA) centre, was suspended on the same charge and accused of organising a workshop at the Peacock hotel. CHESA and ISLA insisted they were merely coordinating a "legal consultation" to challenge a government decision to limit the provision of some health services.

In February, Tanzania provoked criticism notably from the United States after announcing the closure of several health centres specialising in AIDS prevention, alleging they were fronts for promoting homosexuality. Tanzania has vowed to deport foreigners campaigning for gay rights in a country where gay male sex is punishable by anything from 30 years to life imprisonment. In July 2016, the government banned the import of some lubricant gels alleging they were used exclusively by homosexuals. Health Minister Ummy Mwalimu said the sale and occasional free distribution of the gels encouraged gay sex.

According to Amnesty International, homosexuality is illegal in 38 of 54 African states and is punishable by death in Mauritania, Somalia and Sudan. Uganda repealed a 2014 move to impose the death penalty on gay people.

Source: AFP

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 3:18 am 
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Big Brothers Big Sisters loses funds due to LGBTQ training
October 31, 2017

BECKLEY, W.Va. (AP) -- A Big Brothers Big Sisters chapter in West Virginia will suspend mentoring services for underprivileged children after donors pulled funding earlier this month in response to an LGBTQ-awareness training program.

Sara McDowell is executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Central West Virginia. The Charleston Gazette-Mail quotes her as saying the organization won't recruit or match volunteer Big Sisters and Big Brothers in Raleigh County or fill two vacancies until it has adequate funding. Organizers said the program lost $80,000 in local grants after donors learned the agency accepted a $20,000 national grant to provide resources and training to promote inclusiveness of LGBTQ volunteers and youth. McDowell says the agency has since raised more than $30,000. The program currently serves 34 children from ages 6 to 11.

Information from: The Charleston Gazette-Mail, http://wvgazettemail.com.
Source: AP

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:28 pm 
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Imam in Denmark gets suspended sentence for anti-gay remarks
9 November 2017

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) -- An imam has been given a two-week suspended jail sentence for making public remarks against homosexuals, whom he compared to pedophiles.

The city court in Viborg, 260 kilometers (160 miles) northwest of Copenhagen, said Thursday that Mohamad Jammal had violated Denmark's penal code in newspaper interviews in June 2016 following the attack at Orlando's Pulse gay nightclub, where 49 people were shot dead. Many Muslims consider homosexuality to be sinful. Jammal, who spoke to the Skive Folkeblad newspaper, was convicted of making comments deemed threatening, insulting or degrading to a group because of their race, color, national or ethnic origin, belief or sexual orientation. It was not immediately clear whether Jammal would appeal.

Source: AP

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 12:41 pm 
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Istanbul district bans gay film festival
25 November 2017

ANKARA (AFP) - An Istanbul district authority has banned a one-day festival that had been set to showcase short films on gay issues on Saturday, claiming the event posed a threat to public order.

The ban came after a similar decision on all LGBT cultural events in Ankara province. The Istanbul event, co-organised by Turkish gay rights group Pink Life LGBT Solidarity Association and the British Council, had been set to screen 10 short films at Pera Museum in the popular district of Beyoglu on the European side of the city.

But the Beyoglu district governor's office said on Friday the event would not be allowed to take place, in a bid to "protect public order and safety, others' rights and freedoms, and to prevent crime". In a statement, the governor's office said the planned "events may be against constitutional order or public morality". It also said the event organisers had not sought the necessary permission to stage the event.

The Pera Museum meanwhile said the event had been postponed, though it did not give a new date. Earlier this month, a similar ban was imposed on another planned screening by the Pink Life group in Ankara. And last week, authorities banned all LGBT cultural events in Ankara until further notice, to "maintain public order".

The Istanbul ban will add to growing concern among gay rights activists in Turkey that their right to freedom of expression is being curtailed under the Islamic-rooted government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. While homosexuality has been legal since the creation of the modern Turkish republic in 1923, LGBT individuals often say they are subject to harassment, rape and abuse. The once hugely popular annual gay pride rally in Istanbul has been blocked by authorities for three years in a row now.

The authorities insist they are acting to ensure the security of citizens but activists claim the government is seeking to impose a conservative morality. Earlier this month, Erdogan criticised a quota for gays on a neighbourhood committee, saying it was at odds with the nation's values.

Source: AFP

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 3:09 pm 
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Gay rights groups take legal action over Ankara events ban
29 November 2017

ANKARA (AFP) - Turkish gay rights groups said Wednesday they would take legal action against a controversial ban on all LGBTI cultural events in Ankara that was announced this month.

The Ankara governor's office on November 19 issued the ban to "maintain public order", arguing LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex) events are likely to "provoke reactions within certain segments" of society. Ankara-based gay rights group Kaos GL and Pink Life LGBT Solidarity Association said they were filing a complaint calling for the "illegal" ban to be lifted. Pink Life lawyer Emrah Sahin said the ban, which affects films, theatre shows, screenings, exhibitions and other such events, was "political". "It is necessary as soon as possible to put an end to this clear infringement of rights and to cancel this decision," he said, expressing hope that the move was the result of "individual error" rather than government policy.

Kerem Dikmen, legal counsel for Kaos GL, said it was "indisputably an attack on the freedom of LGBTI individuals to organise and express themselves", saying it effectively banned gay rights groups and removed their right to association as recognised by the constitution.

On Friday, authorities in Istanbul's Beyoglu district banned a day-long film festival showcasing short films on gay issues. And in mid November, the Ankara governorate banned a festival of German-language gay films on the grounds it could incite hatred and risked provoking a terror attack.

The bans have raised concerns about freedom of expression for LGBTI individuals under the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Earlier this month, Erdogan took aim at a quota for gay representatives on a neighbourhood committee, criticising it as being at odds with the nation's values in a rare comment on such issues. Homosexuality is legal in Turkey, but LGBTI individuals often complain of abuse and harassment.

The annual gay pride rally in Istanbul -- once the most important LGBTI gathering in a Muslim country in the region -- has been blocked by the authorities for three years, citing security grounds. But such reasons are dismissed by activists who claim the government is seeking to impose its conservative morality on a diverse country and is undermining its secular tradition.

Source: AFP

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 5:33 pm 
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'Gay' toilet sign in southern Italy draws controversy
14 August 2017

Lecce, Italy (ANSA) - An LGBT rights group is denouncing a bed and breakfast in​ Cavallino, in the southern Italian countryside near Lecce, for displaying a bathroom sign with icons for men, women, and "gay"​, as reported in the Lecce edition of the regional daily Nuovo Quotidiano di Puglia.

The sign showed blue and pink icons for men and women, respectively, with a third icon scratching its head, colored half blue and half pink, labeled "gay". "It's shocking that in 2017 there are still cases like this, where there's great confusion between gender identity and sexual orientation, and it's flaunted in such misleading and homophobic signs in public places, which are demeaning and d​o much harm," said Gianluca Rollo of the LGBT rights organisation LEA. The bed and breakfast said the sign will be removed.​

Source: ANSA

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 5:45 pm 
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Italian filmmaker Riso victim of homophobic attack
3 October 2017

Rome (ANSA) - Italian director Sebastiano Riso was the victim of a homophobic attack by two men in the lobby of his building in Rome's Ostiense district yesterday afternoon, sources said Tuesday.

Riso, 34, whose latest film 'Una Famiglia' was presented at the recent Venice Film festival, was punched, kicked and insulted, the sources said. Taken to the ER at Fatebenefratelli Hospital, he was found to have minor injuries to his side, cheekbone and eye. Police are viewing CCTV footage of the incident.

"I was targeted as a filmmaker, as a gay, and as a person" said Riso. "Three blows, to the face, stomach and sternum. Yesterday I was struck three times, and I feel myself attacked three times, as a gay, as a film director and as a person. He said that while they were hitting him the two men directed homophobic insults at him.

Riso made his debut to some acclaim with 2014's 'Piu Buio di Mezzanotte' (Darker than Midnight). 'Una Famiglia' (A Family) stars Micaela Ramazotti as a womb donor.

Source: ANSA

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 5:49 pm 
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2 attackers arrested for beating gay couple
17 October 2017

Bari, Italy (ANSA) - Two men were arrested Tuesday for beating up and robbing a gay couple on the beach in Bari on the evening of June 8.

The couple, both 30, a Bari man and his Spanish boyfriend, were attacked by a gang of seven young people. Police have so far managed to indentify three of them, the two arrested Tuesday aged 19 and 20 plus a minor who has been placed under investigation. The attack took place in front of many beachgoers.

Source: ANSA

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 5:09 pm 
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Tanzania arrests 1 of 2 women seen kissing in online video
3 December 2017

DODOMA, Tanzania (AP) -- Tanzanian police are holding one of two women accused of kissing in a video widely circulated on social media.

Ahmed Msangi, police chief in Tanzania's Mwanza region, said authorities arrested the woman in the northwestern region of Geita and are looking for the other woman and some others seen in the video. He said "it is just a matter of time" before law enforcement officers arrest the others, adding "the plan is to eliminate the entire chain of people involved or supporting homosexuality for the betterment of the generations."

Homosexual relations are criminalized in Tanzania and the law prescribes jail terms of up to life. This East African nation has launched a countrywide crackdown against people accused of promoting homosexuality. Authorities have threatened to deregister NGOs accused of supporting gays.

Source: AP

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 5:43 pm 
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Tanzania arrests 3 more over online video of women kissing
8 December 2017

DODOMA, Tanzania (AP) -- Tanzanian police say they have arrested three more people over a video shared online in which a woman kisses and embraces another woman.

Ahmed Msangi, police chief in the Mwanza region, says 25-year-old Janeth Shonza was arrested in the central region of Singida. He says police also are holding a man accused of creating the video and another woman seen in it. One of the women seen kissing, Milembe Suleiman, was arrested in the northwestern region of Geita earlier this week.

Homosexual relations are criminalized in Tanzania and the law prescribes sentences of up to life in prison. This East African nation has launched a crackdown against people accused of promoting homosexuality. Authorities have threatened to deregister non-governmental organizations accused of supporting gays.

Source: AP

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 9:14 pm 
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