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Out-Right Namibia Condemns Attack on Mr. Gay Namibia

in NAMIBIA, 09/12/2011

A statement from Out-Right Namibia (ORN) on the on homophobic attack of Mr. Gay Namibia, Wendelinus Hamutenya.

Out-Right Namibia, an NGO that focuses on the advancement and protection of the human rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual,Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) Namibians, hereby strongly condemns the homophobic, and what could be a politically motivated, attack on the first ever Mr. Gay Namibia, Wendelinus Hamutenya.

Hamutenya was assaulted in Windhoek earlier this week and has laid a charge of assault against his attackers. Although the country's LGBTI community, and Hamutenya in particular, received a lot of positive feedback from Namibians and well-wishers from across the globe, he has unfortunately also suffered discriminatory verbal attacks and was harassed at his home, which tragically culminated in the physical attack. He now is under police protection, and we would hereby like to thank the custodians of peace and security for upholding their mandate in this regard.

On 10 December we will be commemorating International Human Rights Day, when we all are reminded of our inalienable human rights, and should recommit ourselves to ensuring that these are upheld, protected and promoted. LGBTI Namibians still do not enjoy equality in an independent democratic Namibia, which was achieved through a liberation struggle that was fought by Namibians of all sexual orientations.

Wendelinus Hamutenya represents a new breed of Namibian freedom fighters who are fearless in the face of adversity and stead fast in our goal to realise a Namibia in which all citizens live in equality, dignity and peace. No amount of physical and verbal attacks or stigmatization and discrimination will discourage us from this path.

Africa has in recent times witnessed an increase inhomophobic sentiments from the governments of Uganda, Nigeria, Cameroon, Uganda and Zimbabwe. Nigeria is in the process of pushing through a bill that would greatly impact on the human rights of LGBTI citizens, where the most horrific crime was recently committed against a lesbian woman by her own family. Claims of homosexuality being "un-African" and "against tradition" continue to be used by political leaders to justify their utter disregard and ignorance of human rights. Sexual minorities have always been and will always form part of African society - a lesson in our true history will serve our leaders well.

We hereby call on all LGBTI Namibians in positions ofpower to leave the closet and stand with us in our struggle for equality andpeace. Now, more than ever, is the timeto stand proud and loud for our rights.

For moreinformation, please do not hesitate to contact:

ORN Chairperson: Agapitus Hausiku
Mobile: 081 379 7363

ORN Project Officer: Gina Tibinyane
Office: 061 - 245556
Mobile: 081 278 5969

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