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President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe - His country was noted for its poor LGBTI rights record
Gay rights in Africa have 'worsened'

in WORLD, 30/05/2012

Amnesty International global human rights report shows Europe lacks sufficient laws to combat LGBT persecution

Amnesty International claims anti-gay discrimination has increased in Africa, while Europe lacks sufficient legislation to protect LGBT rights.

In its 50th global human rights report, Amnesty described the situation in Africa as having 'worsened'.

It says politicians have failed to protect people's rights and often incited hate against the LGBT community.

It highlights countries such as Cameroon, where scores of people have been arrested for being in a same-sex relationship, and Malawi, where the government criminalized lesbian relationships and former President Binguwa Mutharika described gay men as 'worse than dogs' at a political rally.

Malawi's new president, Joyce Banda, has since said she will repeal her country’s law which bans homosexual acts.

Zimbabwe and Mauritania were also noted for their persecution of LGBT citizens, while Uganda was singled out for its so-called 'kill the gays' bill, which includes the death penalty for ‘aggravated homosexuality’ and harsh prison terms for gay and lesbian sex.

Although discussion of the proposed law, which was widely condemned by world leaders and human rights activists, was not discussed in parliament as planned, Amnesty notes that the bill was not formally withdrawn either.

Governments in Europe were also criticized for failing to provide 'comprehensive legislation' and champion LGBT rights.

In its overview of the continent, the report expressed concern over continuing homophobic persecution by extreme far-right groups and said hate crimes 'continued to be inadequately tackled because of gaps in legislation, poor reporting systems, inadequate investigations, or flaws in
criminal justice systems and lack of trust towards the police.'

Eastern European countries, including Croatia, Serbia, Hungary, Lithuania and Russia, were the main countries mentioned but also Italy and Turkey were highlighted.

The European Parliament this week adopted a resolution which 'strongly condemns any discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity'.

The report comes ahead of the publication later today (24 May) of the US State Department annual human rights report.

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