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LGBTI Rights

    June 07, 2017

    The horrifying killing of a transgender woman in the Dominican Republic – the second such killing this year and 38th since 2006 – highlights the extreme violence faced by many transgender women in the country and the need for strengthened legal protection for discriminated groups, said Amnesty International.

    “The grotesque killing of Jessica Rubi Mori is a tragic reminder that the Dominican authorities need to take bolder steps to eradicate discrimination, including that based on gender identity and sexual orientation,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director for Amnesty International.

    The body of Jessica Rubi Mori (whose legal name was Elvis Guerrero) a transgender sex worker and activist with community organization Este Amor (This Love), was found on 3 June 2017 in the eastern Dominican municipality of Higüey. Her body was found dismembered in a wasteland. According to news reports one suspect has been placed under arrest.

    May 24, 2017

    Responding to news that two men have been caned 83 times each for having sex with each other in Indonesia’s Aceh province, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, Josef Benedict, said:

    “This sickening spectacle, carried out in front of more than a thousand jeering spectators, is an act of utmost cruelty. These two men had their privacy forcefully invaded when they were ambushed inside their own home, and their ‘punishment’ today was designed to humiliate as well as physically injure them.

    “The authorities in Aceh and Indonesia must immediately repeal the law which imposes these punishments, which constitute cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and may amount to torture.

    “Flogging sentences and the criminalization of same sex relations are both flagrant violations of international human rights law. The international community must put pressure on Indonesia to create a safer environment for the LGBTI community before the situation deteriorates further. Nobody should be punished for consensual sex.”

    Background

    May 24, 2017

    A landmark ruling by Taiwan’s highest court means it is close to becoming the first in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage, Amnesty International said.

    On Wednesday, judges in Taiwan’s Constitutional Court ruled that the country’s current marriage law is unconstitutional as it discriminates against same-sex couples. The judges have given lawmakers two years to amend or enact relevant laws.

    “The judges have today said yes to marriage equality. This is a huge step forward for LGBTI rights in Taiwan and will resonate across Asia,” said Lisa Tassi, East Asia Campaigns Director at Amnesty International.

    “Lawmakers must act swiftly to ensure Taiwan becomes the first in Asia to make genuine marriage equality a reality.”

    A draft bill on same-sex marriage is currently being considered by Taiwan’s legislature. Amnesty International urges lawmakers to legalize same-sex marriage in Taiwan, on the same basis and with the same rights as marriage between couples of different sex.

    “As today’s ruling makes clear, whoever you love, everyone is entitled to the same human rights and equal protection under the law,” said Lisa Tassi.

    May 16, 2017

    On the eve of the final Senate committee hearings on Bill C-16 on Gender Identity, Amnesty’s women’s rights campaigner Jackie Hansen caught up with violence against women advocate and LGBTI social worker Dillon Black of the Ottawa Coalition to end Violence Against Women (OCTEVAW), to talk about the significance of Bill C-16 in promoting gender equality. Dillon sits on the Minister of the Status of Women to the Government of Canada’s Advisory Council to Help Shape the Federal Strategy on Gender-Based Violence.

    May 14, 2017

    By Jackie Hansen, Major Campaigns and Women’s Rights Campaigner, Amnesty International Canada

    In early April, the courageous journalists at Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta reported that over a hundred men suspected of being gay had been abducted, tortured, and some killed in a coordinated government campaign in the southern Russian republic of Chechnya. Men who are released from detention are not safe; they may face honour killings by family members. In response, Chechen officials denied the existence of gay men in Chechnya, and denied they had ordered ‘preventative mopping up’ of people considered to be undesirable.

    People worldwide were outraged. How could this be happening? What could be done to protect the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) communities in Chechnya from discrimination and violence? What were we doing and could we do more?

    May 10, 2017

    Children born with sex characteristics that do not fit with female or male norms risk being subjected to a range of unnecessary, invasive and traumatizing medical procedures in violation of their human rights, said Amnesty International in a report launched today.

    Using case studies in Denmark and Germany, ‘First, Do No Harm’ shows how outdated gender stereotypes are resulting in non-emergency, invasive and irreversible surgical interventions on children who are intersex – the term commonly used for individuals with variations of sex characteristics such as chromosomes, genitals and reproductive organs.

    “These so-called ‘normalising’ procedures are being carried out without full knowledge of the potentially harmful long-term effects they are having on children,” said Laura Carter, researcher on sexual orientation and gender identity at Amnesty International.

    May 01, 2017

    By Ta*, an LGBT activist in Bangladesh

     

    “I might not come any longer. I’m afraid. You had to flee from one place to another out of fear of being slaughtered by the extremists. If something like that happens again, I don’t have the strength or ability to do things like you.” I have received many messages like this from fellow LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual) activists in Bangladesh over the past year. On 25 April 2016, Xulhaz Mannan and Mahbub Rabbi Tonoy were killed mercilessly by extremists for promoting LGBT rights in Bangladesh – nothing has been the same since.

    January 23, 2017

    By Jackie Hansen, Major Campaigns and Women's Rights Campaigner, Amnesty Internatioanl Canada

    Amnesty yellow mingled with the Women’s March on Washington’s signature pink toques at solidarity marches from St. John's to Victoria on Saturday, January 21. Amnesty supporters were amongst the 3+ million march participants worldwide. We marched against fear, hate, and in support of love, equality and justice. We marched for women’s rights and for LGBTI rights.





    On inauguration day, many women and LGBTI people felt invisible in the president’s speech, erased from the White House’s list of policy priorities, and concerned about the potential impacts of new policies on civil liberties, the shrinking space for civil society, women’s rights, and LGBTI rights.

    December 01, 2016

    By Yaridbel Licón and Victor Molina, Amnesty International Venezuela

    “I often woke up believing my strength was running out, believing I couldn’t keep going, and then I received photographs of Amnesty International human rights activists from all over the world requesting my freedom, respect for justice and for life. Infinite thanks, friends, without you I wouldn’t be here!” - Rosmit Mantilla, ex prisoner of conscience, unjustly detained in May 2014 and released in November 2016.

    On May 2, 2014, a delegation of more than 20 members of the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (SEBIN) burst into his apartment in Caricuao, a modest neighbourhood in west Caracas, where Rosmit Mantilla lived with his grandparents. A student, member of the opposition Party “Voluntad Popular” and a human rights activist, he never thought he would spend two and a half years of his life behind bars awaiting a trial against him that would never happen.

    November 24, 2016

    There is an urgent need for governments around the world to provide better protection for women and girls, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) refugees, who face appalling levels of sexual and gender based violence at every stage of their journeys, Amnesty International said today as an international campaign, 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence, was launched.

    “Imagine living in a refugee camp where you are too scared to go the toilet, or being subjected to sexual harassment on a daily basis in your host community because of your gender or identity. This is the terrifying reality for hundreds of thousands of women and girls and LGBTI refugees around the world, and the shameful inaction of wealthy governments is prolonging it,” said Catherine Murphy, Law and Policy Advisor at Amnesty International.

    November 24, 2016

    There is an urgent need for governments around the world to provide better protection for women and girls, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) refugees, who face appalling levels of sexual and gender based violence at every stage of their journeys, Amnesty International said today as an international campaign, 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence, was launched.

    “Imagine living in a refugee camp where you are too scared to go the toilet, or being subjected to sexual harassment on a daily basis in your host community because of your gender or identity. This is the terrifying reality for hundreds of thousands of women and girls and LGBTI refugees around the world, and the shameful inaction of wealthy governments is prolonging it,” said Catherine Murphy, Acting Director of the Gender, Sexuality and Identity Programme at Amnesty International.

    November 18, 2016

    November 18, 2016 – The Trans Equality Canada coalition applauds the government and all parties in the House of Commons for quickly passing Bill C-16, an important step towards enshrining the equal rights of transgender individuals in Canadian law and providing protection from hate crimes. We especially commend MP Randall Garrison and Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould for their leadership in this initiative.

    As we approach the International Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20, this legislation is an important step towards upholding the human rights of individuals who are vulnerable to significantly heightened levels of discrimination and violence.

    Bill C-16 will add gender identity and gender expression to the list of prohibited grounds of discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act. It will also add gender identity and gender expression to hate crimes sentencing provisions in the Canadian Criminal Code, providing transgender individuals with stronger protection from being deliberately targeted for acts of violence.

    October 27, 2016

    Do you know what the term intersex means? If the answer is no, you’re not the only one. Many people couldn’t tell you; nor could they say what issues intersex people face.

    As well as stigma and discrimination, many children who are born intersex face unnecessary medical surgeries in their early years, which irrevocably shape their lives before they are even able to express their opinion.

    This Intersex Awareness Day we’ve been catching up with leading intersex activist Kitty Anderson, who has dedicated her time to fighting for the rights of intersex people for the past two and a half years.

    What does it mean to be intersex? 

    Intersex is an umbrella term used to cover a broad group of people who have sex characteristics that fall outside typical, binary “norms” of male or female. These can include primary sex characteristics such as internal and external genitalia, reproductive systems, hormone levels and sex chromosomes, or secondary sex characteristics which become apparent at puberty.

    October 13, 2016

    Responding to the announcement by Nigerian government that secured the release of 21 Chibok girls abducted by Boko Haram Netsanet Belay, Amnesty International’s Regional Advocacy Director, said:

    “The release of 21 of the kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls by the armed group Boko Haram is a big relief. However, it is vital now that they receive adequate physical and psychosocial counselling and support so that they can fully reintegrate in their communities. The government should also respect their privacy and ensure that the released girls are reunited with their families and not kept in lengthy detention and security screening which can only add to their suffering and plight.

    “Boko Haram members have executed and tortured thousands of civilians and raped and forced into marriage girls and women. They have been indoctrinated and even forced to fight for Boko Haram.

    “The Nigerian authorities must now do more to ensure the safe return of the thousands of women and girls, as well as men and boys abducted by Boko Haram.”

    August 08, 2016

    Reacting to threats by Uganda’s Minister of Ethics and Integrity Simon Lokodo that he will suppress the activities of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) rights activists and “rehabilitate” LGBTI people, Amnesty International said:

    “The minister’s remarks coming only a few days after police assaulted peaceful attendees at a private LGBTI Pride event in Kampala are hugely irresponsible and are tantamount to advocacy of hatred and incitement to discrimination,” said Sarah Jackson, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

    “The Ugandan government should be working to bring to account those responsible for the criminal attack that left one person hospitalised with serious injuries, and dozens more injured, instead of condoning these attacks and inciting further hostility against LGBTI people.”

    Background

    In his remarks today in Kampala, Lokodo publicly backed the police raid on 4 August on a nightclub last Thursday in which LGBTI people were beaten and undressed.

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