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Struggle for LGBT People’s Rights Will Not Be Silenced

I have never met Samuel, the gay Kenyan protagonist of the acclaimed documentary “I Am Samuel.” But I feel as if I know him. Not only does filmmaker Peter Murimi’s quiet, steady, honest portrayal of Samuel’s daily life create a sense of intimacy and…
“I Am Samuel” documentary, 2020
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When I met a former independent Lebanese parliament member, she asked me, “How can we mobilize the LGBT vote in Lebanon?” She wanted to understand why the Lebanese “LGBT community” had not voted as a block in the 2018 parliamentary elections to oppose…
LGBT activists in Beirut, Lebanon shout slogans and hold up a rainbow flag as they march to demand equal rights in a country gripped by economic and financial crisis, June 27, 2020.
News

Biden Envoy Should Combat Actual Antisemitism, Not Israeli Criticism

On May 18, a group waving the Palestinian flag assaulted diners seated outside a Los Angeles restaurant after reportedly asking if they were Jewish. In New York City two days later, assailants pummeled a young man wearing a skullcap on the street, a…
Police stand guard in front of the Young Israel of Riverdale synagogue where glass windows were smashed in New York on April 25, 2021.
News

Activists Plan to Appeal

(Nairobi) – Kenya’s High Court on May 24, 2019 upheld laws criminalizing homosexual acts between consenting adults, a step backward in the progress Kenya has made toward equality in recent years, Human Rights Watch said today. …
US man sells flags in front of stonewall
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The Kenyan High Court Has Delayed Deciding on Decriminalizing Homosexuality

Kenya’s High Court on Friday postponed a much-awaited decision on a colonial-era law that has long deprived one group of Kenyans of uhuru, or freedom, promising to revisit the issue in May. Criminalization of gay sex remains on the…
"Adam," arrested in Kenya in February 2015 on homosexuality charges and subjected to a forced anal exam, sorts through police documents on his case. © 2015 Zoe Flood
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Ezekiel Mutua, the head of Kenya’s Film Classification Board, didn’t want Kenyans to see Wanuri Kahiu’s internationally acclaimed film Rafiki. After watching the film, I can see why. Mutua’s venomous attitude toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and…
An activist waves a rainbow flag in Manhattan, New York, US, February 26, 2017.
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Videos, Report Highlight Issues of Identity, Activism

(Beirut, April 16, 2018) – Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) activists from Arabic-speaking countries in the Middle East and North Africa are defying state-sponsored repression and social stigma, Human Rights Watch and the…
No Longer Alone
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Victory for LGBT Rights Activists

(Nairobi) – A Court of Appeal in Mombasa, Kenya, ruled on March 22, 2018, that conducting forced anal examinations on people who are accused of same-sex relations is unconstitutional, Human Rights Watch said today. It was a resounding…
"Adam," arrested in Kenya in February 2015 on homosexuality charges and subjected to a forced anal exam, sorts through police documents on his case. © 2015 Zoe Flood
News
After everything that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people experienced in 2017 — from roundups and torture in Chechnya to antigay witch hunts in Egypt and Indonesia, closure of queer-friendly health facilities in…
The Indian Supreme Court building in New Delhi, India.
News

Respond to Youth Demands, Gain Respect in the World

(Beirut) – Middle East and North Africa (MENA) governments can respond to the popular demands of the region’s youth for reform by implementing five changes in 2018 to arbitrary, outdated legal systems that infringe upon citizens’ rights and liberties,…
Demonstration outside Parliament on December 6, 2016, with women in white dresses and wrapped in bandages, calling for the repeal of article 522 of the penal code.
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Doctors Worldwide Should Halt Abusive ‘Homosexuality Tests’

  (Nairobi, October 17, 2017) – Doctors, medical professionals, and national medical associations should heed the World Medical Association’s October 2017 resolution to end forced anal examinations on people…
A medical report filled out by a doctor in Kampala, Uganda, after conducting a forced anal examination on a man suspected of consensual same-sex conduct.
News

Tunisia and Kenya Move to Consign Discredited Medical Procedure to History Books

It’s shocking that in 2017 people are still subjected to forced anal testing to try to “prove” their sexual orientation. But Tunisia and Kenya are the latest countries to take steps toward ending these archaic and abusive exams,…
Poster by Shams, a Tunisian activist group, condemning the use of forced anal exams.
News

Research Shows Children Fare Equally Well

This week, the Israeli government opposed a petition submitted by the Association of Israeli Gay Fathers requesting that common-law and same-sex couples be allowed to adopt. The government said that it opposed changing the law because…
Participants take part in the annual Gay Pride parade in Jerusalem July 21, 2016.
News

Item 3: Interactive Dialogue with Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions

We welcome the first report of the Independent Expert on SOGI-related violence and discrimination. We recognize that some States opposed creation of the mandate, but are encouraged that it was reaffirmed by the General Assembly with support from all UN…
Delegates arrive for the 34th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, February 27, 2017.
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For all his promises — and a Nobel Peace Prize — the Obama presidency delivered more hope than change

As Donald Trump prepares to take office, many fear a new hostility to human rights on the part of the United States. From his divisive rhetoric about minorities to his embrace of autocrats abroad, there is plenty to worry about.  Trump…
U.S. President Barack Obama waves at the conclusion of his final State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in Washington January 12, 2016.
News

Government Should Abandon Abusive ‘Homosexuality Test’

(Nairobi) – A Kenyan Court has ruled that forced anal examinations and forced HIV and Hepatitis B tests of men suspected of homosexual conduct are constitutional, the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (NGLHRC) and Human Rights Watch said…
"Adam," arrested in Kenya in February 2015 on homosexuality charges and subjected to a forced anal exam, sorts through police documents on his case. © 2015 Zoe Flood
News

Invalidated Homosexuality “Test” Violates International Law

(Nairobi) – A Kenyan court will hear a constitutional petition challenging the use of forced anal examinations of men accused of homosexuality on May 4, 2016, Human Rights Watch said today. Under international law, forced anal examinations are a form of…
"Adam," arrested in Kenya in February 2015 on homosexuality charges and subjected to a forced anal exam, sorts through police documents on his case. © 2015 Zoe Flood
News
Laughter, solidarity, and conviviality were in the air at a quietly remarkable event in a Nairobi hotel on February 12. Yet the subject matter discussed at the event was anything but light: depression and suicide, public stripping and rape. The Gay and…
News
Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta made his strongest statement to date in support of basic rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, in an October 18 interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria. For the first time, he publicly condemned…
News

Government Should Protect, Not Persecute, Sexual Minorities

(Nairobi) – Mobs in Kenya’s coastal region have repeatedly attacked people based on their sexual orientation and gender identity, PEMA Kenya and Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. In at least six incidents between 2008 and 2015, mobs in…
kenya report cover