Pambazuka News 506: Special Issue: African Commission Blocks LBGTI Human Rights

The authoritative electronic weekly newsletter and platform for social justice in Africa

Pambazuka News (English edition): ISSN 1753-6839

CONTENTS: Features · Comment and analysis

The Coalition of African Lesbians (CAL) says it is 'extremely angered' that their application for observer status before the African Commission on Human and Peoples' was rejected. '…this decision, if not challenged and reconsidered, will legitimise ongoing state and non-state violence against LGBTI people in Africa.' Pambazuka News publishes this special issue in solidarity with African Lesbians.



Features

THE DAY THE AFRICAN COMMISSION DISAVOWED HUMANITY
Fikile Vilakazi and Sibongile Ndashe

The Coalition of African Lesbians (CAL) says it is 'extremely angered' that their application for observer status before the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights was rejected. '…this decision, if not challenged and reconsidered, will legitimise ongoing state and non-state violence against LGBTI people in Africa.'

http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/68947


AFRICAN COMMISSION SHOULD RECONSIDER DECISION ON COALITION OF AFRICAN LESBIANS
Statement to the 48th session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, November 2010, Banjul, The Gambia.
Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria

The Coalition of African Lesbians (CAL) has been refused observer status by the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights. In the face of increased homophobia, the message sent out is that members of sexual minorities are 'free game', says the Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria.

http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/68946


THE FALLACY OF HUMAN RIGHTS AT THE AFRICAN COMMISSION
Wendy Isaack

By denying observer statues to the Coalition of African Lesbians (CAL), the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights is endorsing 'the flagrant impunity' enjoyed in most African states for violations of the rights of lesbian and gay people, argues Wendy Isaack.

http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/68949


ARE WE NOT HUMAN?
Sokari Ekine and Mia Nikasimo

By denying the rights of LGBTI people, ACPHR is 'facilitating the continual criminalisation of LGBTI individuals and is 'absolutely complicit in the verbal, physical and sexual abuse of LGBTI people which goes unchallenged in country after country,' write Sokari Ekine and Mia Nikasimo.

http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/68955


IF NOT, WHY NOT?
Doublespeak on LGBTI rights at the African Commission

The Coalition of African Lesbians meets all the eligibility criteria for observer status. So why has the ACHPR refused to award it to them, asks Joel Nana.

http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/68956


FACE DOWN
Jane Bennett

The decision by the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights to reject an application for observer status from the Coalition of African Lesbians has serious political implications, writes Jane Bennett.

http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/68948


SEXUAL ORIENTATION UNDER THE AFRICAN CHARTER ON HUMAN AND PEOPLES' RIGHTS
This paper discusses the relevance of the issue of sexual orientation to the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, while recognising the controversial nature of the subject, and suggests ways in which the commission can proceed.

http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/68953


WHERE CAN WE FIND REFUGE AND JUSTICE?

'If the body that is supposed to protect our human rights denies us that space … everyone is going to take advantage of that denial to harass us,' says activist Kasha Jacqueline, following the ACHPR's refusal to grant observer status to the Coalition of African Lesbians.

http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/68957


LESBIANS CAN NO LONGER BE SILENT
Rose Wanjiku

The ACHPR's refusal to award observer status to the Coalition of African Lesbians is further evidence of its desire to silence the voice of African women, writes Rose Wanjiku. It's time to speak out.

http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/68958


LET THIS GROUP FIND COMFORT AND SAFETY HERE
Statement at the 48th Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights
Asha Ramgobin

'Can we truly silence a group or deny them a voice at the one place they should feel the safest?' writes Asha Ramgobin, in a plea for the ACHPR to reconsider its decision not to award the Coalition of African Lesbians observer status.

http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/68960



Comment and Analysis

DENYING RIGHTS AND UNDERMINING JURISPRUDENCE INTERIGHTS

ACHPR's decision to refuse observer status to the Coalition of African Lesbians is inconsistent with the established jurisprudence and work of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, says INTERIGHTS.

http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/comment/68954


DENOUNCE THE REJECTION OF CAL'S APPLICATION FOR OBSERVER STATUS
Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition

Given that there is 'no legitimate basis to deny the application of CAL and to do so contravenes the provision of the African Charter and existing international human rights instruments', Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition is calling on the ACHPR to reconsider its decision.

http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/comment/68959


COMMISSION SHOULD GRANT CAL OBSERVER STATUS
Alternatives Cameroon

Alternatives Cameroon, in collaboration with the Coalition of African Lesbians (CAL), would like to congratulate the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights for passing a resolution establishing a committee on People Living with HIV/AIDS and Those most at Risk to address the violations of the rights of vulnerable groups, with a specific emphasis on women, children, sex workers, migrants, men who have sex with men and prisoners.

http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/comment/68888


PROTESTING DENIAL OF CAL'S OBSERVER STATUS
Rose Wanjiku

This is a protest letter at the decision by the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights to deny observer status to the Coalition of African Lesbians (CAL).

http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/comment/68887


REGARDING THE DENIAL OF CAL'S OBSERVER STATUS
Lydia Alpízar Durán

Lydia Alpízar Durán, on behalf of the Association for Women's Rights in Development, writes to the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights regarding the denial of the application from the Coalition of African Lesbians (CAL) for observer status at the commission, news 'received with great disappointment'.

http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/comment/68890


DEEP CONCERN ABOUT DECISION OVER CAL
Radhika Balakrishnan

The Center for Women's Global Leadership is writing to express our deep concern about the recent decision, made on behalf of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR), to not grant observer status to the Coalition of African Lesbians (CAL).

http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/comment/68891


CAL MEETS REQUIREMENTS FOR OBSERVER STATUS INTERIGHTS
INTERIGHTS urges the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights to reconsider its refusal of observer status for the Coalition for African Lesbians (CAL).

http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/comment/68892


DENIAL OF CAL: DISAPPOINTMENT, DISSATISFACTION AND CONCERN
Global Rights

We at Global Rights express our deepest disappointment, dissatisfaction and concern for the decision of the commission to deny observer status to the Coalition of African Lesbians (CAL).

http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/comment/68893


AFRICAN COMMISSION REJECTING LGBTI RIGHTS?
International Service for Human Rights

The International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) calls on the African Commission for Human and Peoples' Rights to confirm that it does not reject the rights of LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) people.

http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/comment/68894


ACHPR SHOULD LEAD ON ALL HUMAN RIGHTS
L. Muthoni Wanyeki

Following its rejection of CAL's (Coalition of African Lesbians) application for observer status, L. Muthoni Wanyeki of the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) petitions the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR) to 'provide leadership in the protection and promotion of the human rights of sexual minorities in Africa'.

http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/comment/68895


'REPEAL LAWS CRIMINALISING HOMOSEXUALITY ON THE AFRICA CONTINENT'
Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP) statement to the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, November 2010

The Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP) outlines the stigmatisation of people based on sexual orientation in the context of the African Commission rejecting an application for observer status from the Coalition of African Lesbians.

http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/comment/68950


GRANTING CAL OBSERVER STATUS A PRIORITY FOR 'HUMAN RIGHTS COMMUNITY'
Letter of support from the Masimanyane Women's Support Centre

'We find it reprehensible that CAL's application was rejected, considering that they meet all the criteria set out for groups to obtain observer status and that they represent a minority group whose vulnerability to human rights abuse is well documented.'

http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/comment/68952


RAISING HUMAN RIGHTS CONCERNS TO AFRICAN COMMISSION
Amnesty International

Amnesty International welcomes this opportunity to address the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights on the state of the situation of human rights in Africa.

http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/comment/68889


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