COUNTRIES LISTED ON THIS PAGE:JAMAICA
June 2004 - December 2004
Human Rights Watch has released its report on JAMAICA'S homophobia, violence and HIV/AIDS. The document is the result of a study following the mutilation and knife murder of Brian Williamson, Jamaica's leading gay rights activist, in June 2004. The report found that violent acts against a "battyman" (homosexual) are commonplace because HIV/AIDS and homosexuality are thought to be synonymous. As well consensual sex between adult men is criminalised in JAMAICA. The report considers that while ever the government chooses to allow popular prejudices to proliferate, attempts to establish rights-based HIV/AIDS policies will continue to be undermined.
FROM IGLHRC: LACCASO Action Alert: Leading Jamaican HIV/AIDS activist murdered
December 14, 2005
Texto en Español sigue Le texte en français suit.
Dear friends and colleagues:
The night of the 30th of November, 2005, Steve Harvey, a leading Jamaican HIV/AIDS activist who had been working for 14 years to defend the health and human rights of people living with and at high-risk of HIV/AIDS, was murdered. He was found dead early in the morning with gunshot wounds in his back and head in a rural area, miles from his home.
Steve worked with Jamaica AIDS Support since 1997, and represented the interests of marginalized people and people living with HIV/AIDS in Jamaica and throughout the region. As coordinator of targeted interventions for Jamaica AIDS Support, he had been responsible for ensuring that the most marginalized of Jamaicans-gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals; sex workers; prisoners-were provided access to HIV/AIDS information and services. By mid 2005, he was chosen as LACCASO\'s (Latin America and Caribbean Council of AIDS Service Organizations), in-country project coordinator for Jamaica. His capacity, dedication and courage signaled the way for the most successful implementation of our Advocacy Project.
Steve Harvey was a person of extraordinary bravery and integrity, who worked tirelessly to ensure that some of Jamaica\'s most marginalized people had the tools and information to protect themselves from HIV/AIDS, said Rebecca Schleifer, researcher with the HIV/AIDS and Human Rights Program at Human Rights Watch and author of a recent report on anti-gay violence and HIV/AIDS in Jamaica.
The Executive Board members of the Pan Africa International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, condemns the conviction and sentencing of Tiwonge and Steven in Malawi.
Pan Africa ILGA join all our global human rights organizations and especially the Malawian organization the Center for the Development of People (CEDEP) in condemning the conviction and harsh sentencing of 14 years imprisonment with hard labour by a Magistrate Court in Blantyre, Malawi of Tiwonge ("Tionge") Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza for "unnatural offences" and "indecent practices between males" under Sections 153 and 156 of the Malawi Penal Code.?
We are calling for an immediate response from all parts of the world as we are not going to stand for these injustices, not in Africa and not anywhere else.
We call on government authorities and leaders at the commonwealth and United Nation for their response. We call on African states to condemn these violent breaches of gay people’s right.
This precedence will endanger the very fabric of society that we seek to protect, to live peaceful side by side and will jeopardize the process of saving lives.?
ILGA is the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association. Funded in 1978, it is a world-wide network of local, national and international groups from every continent and representing 110 countries. ILGA is dedicated to achieving equal rights and ending all forms of discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people.ILGA, 17 rue de la Charité | 1210 Bruxelles | Tel +32 2 502 24 71 | Fax +32-2-223 48 20 |
Officials in Malawi released Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga from jail late Saturday, The New York Times reports. Monjeza, 26, and Chimbalanga, 33, had been in jail since December, when they engaged in a same-sex commitment ceremony in Blantyre.
Their release comes after Saturday's earlier announcement by Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika, that he was pardoning the couple.
“These boys committed a crime against our culture, our religion, and our laws,” Mutharika said after meeting with UN chief Ban Ki-moon, who was in Malawi to lobby for the men’s release. “However, as the head of state I hereby pardon them and therefore ask for their immediate release with no conditions."
The Times reports that the police escorted Chimbalanga, who says she is a transgender woman, back to her home village for a reunion with family. She plans to return to Blantyre on Sunday.
“I’ve been under so much emotional stress that I need to find somewhere to rest,” Chimbalanga said to the Times, speaking by cell phone through an interpreter. “I still want to marry Steven. But I don’t know what he’s thinking any more. We’ve been through so much.”
Chimbalanga added: “I think it is going to be hard to stay in Malawi. I am afraid of what people might do to us. We probably need to seek asylum in some other country. Is there a place for us? I don’t know.”
She and Monjeza were sentenced to 14 years in prison last week on charges of gross indecency and unnatural acts. Their arrest, imprisonment, and sentencing was greeted by protests worldwide.
According to a member of the U.N. delegation who spoke to the Times but asked to remain anonymous, “The secretary general told the president rather strongly that the current controversy was having a negative effect on Malawi’s reputation and obscuring the progress it had made in other spheres.
Upon hearing of the pardon, the White House released the following statement: "The White House is pleased to learn of President Bingu wa Mutharika's pardon of Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza. These individuals were not criminals and their struggle is not unique. We must all recommit ourselves to ending the persecution and criminalization of sexual orientation and gender identity. We hope that President Mutharika's pardon marks the beginning of a new dialogue which reflects the country's history of tolerance and a new day for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights in Malawi and around the globe."
"From 1935 onwards the slightest sign of homosexual tendencies were punished. Waves of arrests and trials followed. A secret report of the Federal Security Office for Combating Abortion and Homosexuality disclosed that 42,919 homosexual men were sentenced between 1936-39. About 12,000 indictments were recorded between 1941-44. The military courts were very busy enforcing the anti-homosexual regulations. More than 7000 German military men were caught and convicted for homosexual misdeeds. Overall, the number of males convicted of homosexuality is estimated to be 60,000."
Prof. Konrad Kwiet German Studies (1991)
Jeff Whittington murdered in Wellington New Zealand on 8 May 1999--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A New Zealand jury convicted a college student of murdering a gay stamp collector after deliberating overnight.
The defendant, Dick Faisauvale, 19, claimed that Robert Hunt sexually attacked him after inviting him home for a meal.
Faisauvale told the Auckland court he feared he was going to be raped, so he cut and stabbed Hunt 42 times.
Faisauvale's attorney, Panama Le'au'anae, told the jury that Faisauvale was not a cruel, cold, conniving, calculated killer, but a young man who feared for his safety.
But the prosecutor, Philip Hamlin, told the court that Faisauvale was not as innocent as he claimed. Faisauvale even admitted he had previously been paid for sex by another man.
Hamlin added that Faisauvale told a friend he took a knife to steal Hunt's TV, DVD and car.
The court agreed with the prosecution, convicting Faisauvale of murder.
Justice Marion Frater set Faisauvale's sentencing for September.
During the last ten months of 1990, sixty transvestites were brutally massacred in Peru. Unfortunately, violence against gays has provoked little response from Peru's Human Rights groups, who, following Amnesty International's lead, considers that aggression directed against gays are not examples of violations of human rights.
Movimento Homosexual De Lima, I.L.G.A. Bulletin 3/91 (1991)
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Murder charges were filed Wednesday in the slaying of a gay teenager whose decapitated, partially burned body was found last week, while U.S. authorities said they were still considering whether to make it a hate crime case.
Gay activists expressed disappointment that the suspect wasn't immediately charged with a hate crime, saying authorities in Puerto Rico have never invoked a law covering crimes based on sexual orientation.
The dismembered body of 19-year-old college student Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado was discovered Friday along a road in the interior town of Cayey. Lopez was widely known as a volunteer for organizations advocating HIV prevention and gay rights, and activists are planning remembrance vigils for him in cities including San Juan, New York and Chicago.
The suspect, 26-year-old Juan Martinez Matos, was arrested earlier this week and allegedly confessed to killing Lopez and mutilating his body. He was charged with first-degree murder and weapons violations and jailed on $4 million bond.
It could not be immediately determined if Martinez was represented by an attorney.
Martinez met Lopez while looking for women Thursday night in an area known for prostitution, according to prosecutor Jose Bermudez Santos. Bermudez said the suspect confessed to stabbing Lopez, who was dressed as a woman, after discovering he was a man.
"He has a deep-seated rage," Bermudez said in remarks reported by the newspaper El Nuevo Dia.
"All the information we have is very clear that this is indeed a hate crime," said Pedro Julio Serrano, a Puerto Rico native who is a spokesman for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.
A 2002 hate crime law in this U.S. territory has not been applied to any cases involving sexual orientation or gender identity despite calls to use it more aggressively, Serrano said. A suspect convicted of a hate crime offense as part of another crime automatically faces the maximum penalty for the underlying crime. For murder, that would be life in prison.
Serrano said he has identified at least 10 slayings on the island over the last seven years that should have been investigated as hate crimes, including some in which the victims were sex workers.
Two U.S. Congress members from New York, who are of Puerto Rican origin, have suggested prosecuting the case under new federal hate crimes legislation that extended coverage to sexual orientation. President Barack Obama signed it last month.
The FBI is monitoring the investigation, and Lymarie Llovet Ayala, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office in San Juan, said Wednesday that federal prosecutors are considering whether to take on the case.
Puerto Rico has some history of violence against gays. In the 1980s, the island was terrorized by serial killer Angel Colon Maldonado, known as "The Angel of the Bachelors," who was linked to the murders of 27 homosexual people and is serving life in prison.
But the island also is known as a welcoming place for gays, particularly in comparison with more socially conservative Caribbean islands where homosexuals often live in hiding.
"The people of Puerto Rico are very inclusive and accepting of differences," said Serrano. "I think these kinds of crimes show the ugly side of homophobia, but it's a minority of people that are willing to be so violent in expressing their prejudice."
Serrano said a protest against homophobia was planned for Thursday outside Puerto Rico's Capitol.
(From The New Civil Rights Movement)
At least three gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender Americans have been murdered in the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico this week, bringing the tragic total to 18 in the past year and a half. While there are both local and federal hate crimes laws that would assist authorities in investigating and potentially stemming the rapid rise of these anti-gay hate crimes, the Republican Governor of Puerto Rico, Luis G. Fortuño, has often refused to implement or access these statutes.
Luis G. Fortuño, whose term began in January, 2009, refused to classify as a hate crime the infamous decapitation murder of 19-year old Jorge Steven López Mercado, perhaps the most-publicized of the 18 murders. Only under threat from the federal government, was Mercado’s murder investigated as a possible hate crime. Last year, Fortuño attempted to ban same-sex marriage in Puerto Rico permanently via a constitutional amendment.
In addition to the murder of Jorge Steven López Mercado on November 14, 2009, the following have also been classified as LGBT murders:• Michaell Galindo
Tuesday, Edge On The Net National News Editor Michael K. Lavers was the first to recognize that in addition to the deaths this week of Karlota Gómez Sánchez and Alejandro Torres Torres, “Salgado is the 18th LGBT Puerto Rican who has been murdered on the island over the last year and a half.” Lavers added, “This is simply unacceptable. And people really need to begin to pay attention to this appalling situation in Puerto Rico that continues to grow worse by the day.”
Today, The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force issued a statement “calling upon authorities to act immediately to address the ongoing anti-lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) violence in Puerto Rico.”
Task Force Communications Manager Pedro Julio Serrano, Founder, Puerto Rico Para Tod@s, added,
“The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force stands in solidarity with the LGBT community in Puerto Rico and sends its deepest condolences to the families and friends of Karlota Gómez Sánchez, Ramón Salgado and Alejandro Torres Torres. As someone who grew up in Puerto Rico and has been very active in its LGBT community, this is a heart-wrenching moment. Our thoughts and sympathies go out to all of the victims’ loved ones at this difficult time.
Justice must prevail. This is about members of the Puerto Rican LGBT community feeling safe in their communities and being able to take care of the ones they love. We call upon the authorities and political leaders to effectively address this epidemic of anti-LGBT violence. This must stop now.”
On his personal blog, Serrano said the LGBT communities “are on alert to the danger that lurks and the government’s response is zero. They are killing us with impunity and the government turns a blind eye. The official response so far has been silent or complicit, shameful and immoral as is the case with Fortuño or a blatant homophobia that incites to violence as is the case of Rivera Schatz. It is time for the governor of all Puerto Ricans to recognize that there is a problem of violence against gay people, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in our country, we’re as Puerto Ricans as heterosexuals,” according to a Google translation.
GLAAD today told The New Civil Rights Movement via email they are calling on “local and national media to keep shining an all-important spotlight on the terrible violence being faced by the gay and transgender people in Puerto Rico. We will continue monitoring media and reaching out to journalists to ensure they have the resources they need to do this in ways that are fair, accurate and inclusive.”
HRC on Wednesday “called upon federal and local government officials and law enforcement authorities to strengthen their efforts to implement a long-term strategy to address violence against LGBT individuals in Puerto Rico.”
“The alarming rate of violence against LGBT Puerto Rican’s cannot be tolerated,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese in a statement. “Puerto Rican government officials and law enforcement, as well as the U.S. Department of Justice, must ensure that LGBT people have the protection they need to survive. When a community has to live in constant fear of violence and even death for who they are, everyone suffers.”
At least six transgender people have been murdered in Puerto Rico in the last 12 months — but none have been recorded as hate crimes.According to Sophia Isabel Marro Cruz, the spokeswoman for Transexuales y Transgeneros en Marcha (Transexuals and Transgenders On The Move): “None of these cases have been considered by the State as hate crimes despite offenders even admitting that their motivation was the ‘homosexual panic’. This shows an extreme level of homophobia and transphobia.”
‘Homosexual panic’ is an acute, brief reactive psychosis suffered by the target of unwanted homosexual advances. It has been used legally by those defending a person charged with murder.
In 1995, one of the highest-profile cases to make use of the gay panic defense was the Michigan trial of Jonathan Schmitz, who killed his friend Scott Amedure after learning, during a taping of The Jenny Jones Show, that Amedure was sexually attracted to him. Schmitz confessed to committing the crime but claimed that Amedure’s homosexual overtures angered and humiliated him.
It was also attempted by the murderers of Matthew Sheppard in Wyoming in 1998.
A transgender variation of the gay panic defense was also used in 2004–2005 in California by the three defendants in the Gwen Araujo homicide case, who claimed that they were enraged by the discovery that Araujo, a transgender teenager with whom they had engaged in sex, had male genitalia. The first trial resulted in a jury deadlock; in the second, defendants Mike Magidson and Jose Merél were convicted of second-degree murder, while the jury again deadlocked in the case of Jason Cazares. Cazares later entered a plea of no contest to charges of voluntary manslaughter.
Cruz says that websites documenting murders of transgender people only list one during 2011, but her organization knows of six, possibly seven.
“The most notorious was Karlota, a 19 year old who was murdered on gay pride day in Santurce. But that isn’t the only murder here. We know of one young woman who was murdered in Ponce in September. Two more were shot and then run over in the south near that same time. Another was shot in a fight while trying to help another woman. The last one was beaten until she died. We even think there’s another one from Manatí, in the northern part of the island, but we cannot confirm it yet.”
The attacks come amid growing fundamentalist rhetoric on the island. Gay and transgender people say it has become socially acceptable to despise them.
“You have religious and political leaders saying: ‘Gays don’t matter; they are the devil and twisted,’” said Pedro Julio Serrano, the communications manager for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.
“That’s inciting violence. We have not seen anything like this here since the 1980s.” Activists say that the government has failed to implement anti-discrimination policy and remains largely mute on the disturbing trend.
Latino Commission on AIDS organizer Yanira Arias, said: “Transgender women are fighting for their lives in Puerto Rico. It’s unconscionable that the national and state justice systems are not doing more to protect them and document these beatings and murders as hate-crimes, we are talking about human beings, which today continue to be the most marginalized and violated when it comes the full respect of human and civil rights.”
Dr. Elba Diaz, a professor at the University of Puerto Rico, said: “Many people here are trying to reduce LGBTT health disparities, but the lack of consistent acknowledgement or data from federal agencies makes our local social justice and health goals that much more difficult to achieve.”
Puerto Rico has had a hate crime law since 2002 covering crimes based on sexual orientation or gender identity, but activists say that authorities are not using it.
"In the 1st detachment (otyad) of the Lipetsk Prison there is a total of 150 prisoners. Out of these 60 are 'clean' and the rest have become homosexuals (ie sodomized) in prison. . . . All the time we are subject to injections and painful medical tests. It is horrible. If you don't take the test it is regarded as insubordination and you are punished with 3 to 15 days of isolation where the test is taken by force."
I.L.G.A. Bulletin 1/91 (1991)
The following article was in the Sydney Star Observer on 20 May 2009:
For the fourth time in as many years, Moscow Pride has been violently suppressed by Russian security forces who stood by while participants were bashed by skinheads and Orthodox Christian thugs.
The official reason for the ban on this year’s march was that police could not guarantee the safety of participants — yet Moscow’s mayor Yuri Luzhkov has continually labelled the gay rights movement “satanic” and has failed to issue permits for a single gay protest in his city in the thirteen years of his administration. In comparison he approved two anti-gay counter-protests in the last week.
Moscow’s police chief showed himself to be equally unimpartial, telling the Interfax news service, “It’s unacceptable. Gay pride parades shouldn’t be allowed.” His concluding remark held a chilling warning for Pride participants that came true on Saturday: “Such bravehearts will be torn to shreds.” Within minutes of protesters assembling in Pushkin Park, next to Moscow’s State University, riot police from the dreaded OMON paramilitary unit began the mass arrests.
Anyone they could identify as gay was dragged down the pavement and thrown into waiting buses and cars. When a second wave of activists identified themselves and began speaking to journalists, not even rolling TV cameras stopped police, with many dragged away mid-interview. The 31 arrested included foreign nationals from Finland, Belarus and the USA, and Australian-born British activist Peter Tatchell, who was bashed by thugs at another march in 2007.
The Finns had been talking to Estonian journalists when a homophobic mob descended on them, throwing kicks and punches, before police intervened to arrest them — but not their attackers. Activists were attacked elsewhere in the park while police watched. Back at the police station, those arrested were denied access to their lawyer for two hours, then a judge banned supporters from entering the courthouse to watch as their charges were read out.
Russia’s antipathy to the rights of its sexual minorities is ironic considering how much of its cultural fame was build on the backs of gay men — Tchaikovsky, Nijinsky and Nureyev were all gay, as were Battleship Potemkin director Sergei Eisenstein and the writer Nikolai Gogol.
Organisers hoped that holding the march just hours before the Eurovision finals would focus world attention on their plight, and this mostly succeeded.
Yet how many more years do Russian GLBTs have to be bashed on television before serious diplomatic pressure is applied?
PlanetOut News crime file 16 July 2000: - 3 Yemeni men executed in Saudi Arabia on 14 July 2000 for "committing the extreme obscenity of homosexuality and imitating women" as well as sexually molesting boys. 3 other men were beheaded on 11 July for similar crimes plus charges of same-gender marriage.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SUMMARY: Two gay men who were apparently in a relationship have been executed in Saudi Arabia, according to news agency reports, after the government accused them of killing another man.Two gay men have been executed in Saudi Arabia, according to news agency reports, after the government accused them of killing another man.
Ahmed al-Enezi and Shahir al-Roubli, who were apparently in a relationship, were reportedly beheaded over the weekend.
The government claims that they had killed Malik Khan after he saw them together and threatened to "expose" their relationship, Reuters reports.
Homosexuality is still a criminal offense in the country, which is considered one of the most oppressive in the world.
Press reports suggest the men believed Khan would blackmail them over their relationship. They are reported to have run him over, beaten him with stones and set fire to his body, in a bid to make his corpse unrecognizable.
The executions angered gay rights groups, who have warned that the Saudi government often implements its harsh laws on lesbian and gay people for no reason other than a single complaint.
Previous examples of its no-tolerance attitude to gay people include the censorship of gay Web sites. The government blocked gaymiddleeast.com in June 2003 and 2004, even though the site offered news and health advice to gay men in the region. It also censored international sites, including Gay.com.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SUMMARY: According to press reports, police in Saudi Arabia have arrested a group of presumably gay men, claiming they were celebrating a gay wedding in the city of Jeddah.
Police in Saudi Arabia have arrested a group of presumably gay men, claiming they were celebrating a gay wedding in the city of Jeddah.
According to press reports, 110 men were arrested at a party, with many fleeing as special-forces officers entered.
Although 80 detainees were released, according to the Guardian, 30 men are still being held and are likely to face charges.
The arrests follow a growing international awareness of the Saudi stance on homosexuality, which is still illegal in the country and punishable by jail terms or even death.
Although the government regularly makes arrests, an increasing number of accounts suggest that people bearing grudges are currently exploiting the taboo nature of sexual diversity.
Men can be arrested under suspicion of being gay, and neighbors often tip off police forces, reports suggest, leaving the system open to personal vendettas.
Earlier this week, two men were executed for murdering another man, who had reportedly threatened to reveal they were partners.
These latest arrests are reminiscent of similarly high-profile arrests in nearby Egypt, where homosexuality is also taboo.
Egypt's government has also been accused of regularly rounding up gay men, most notably in the 2001 arrest of more than 50 people at a boat party.
Since then, the country has been under continuous attack by human rights groups, gay activists and celebrities.
Saudi Arabia is also known to regularly block gay Web sites such as gaymiddleeast.com and international gay sites, including Gay.com.
In the early hours of Saturday morning the body of 28-year-old gay hotel manager Stuart Walker was found tied to a lamppost in the small town of Cumnock, Scotland.
Reports are that he had been ‘horrifically’ beaten and burned; police said it was not yet clear if he was dead when his body was set on fire.
He was last seen at 2:30 am after being out with friends, and his body was found at 5 am. Local police say that they have not ruled out a homophobic motive for his murder.
A spokeswoman said:
“In terms of claims of his sexuality and lifestyle we are not ruling out any aspect of his life to try and identify why someone would want to kill him.”
A tribute Facebook page was set up on Sunday morning and many people who knew him have been leaving messages paying tribute to his good humor. A tribute video was also quickly produced by a friend.
Although a number of reports on social media early on Sunday pointed to the possible homophobic motive, newspapers were slow in covering this aspect and on BBC Scotland on Sunday night the murder was the fourth story — with no mention of the possible motive, as was also the case in other media coverage.
On Twitter, the well-known gay journalist Patrick Strudwick led efforts to draw media attention to the story. He suggested that the reportedly vicious nature of the violence immediately reminded him of past homophobic murders.
A lack of national attention to the 2008 homophobic murder of gay teenager Michael Causer in Liverpool was strongly criticized, particularly the BBC’s lack of interest. Causer’s murder did draw enormous local attention including a march attended by local leaders and the establishment of a foundation in his name, but almost all national media failed to cover it.
Hate crimes reported to police against gay people in Scotland have been reported to have risen almost fivefold in the past five years. A gay rights group, Stonewall Scotland, said that two thirds of Scottish LGBT people in a survey had been verbally abused in the past year, while a third had been physically attacked.
Courageous lesbian and Sierra Leone gay activist, Fanny Ann Viola Eddy, has been brutally murdered. She was working late in the Lesbian and Gay Association Office when she was attacked, raped and knifed. She was recently elected to the interim steering committee at the All Africa Symposium on Human Rights in Johannesburg.
The latest crimes to be uncovered are those concerning the medical attacks, through so-called psychiatry, and chemical means, of attacking gays and lesbians in the Army to make them "straight".
The stories are horrific, and are getting worse with ongoing revelations of mutilations, suicides, psychological scars which are permanent, operations for gender re-assignment which were never completed - the drama goes on and on.
The doctor responsible for these events is a Jewish psychiatrist who fled to Canada when the apartheid years came to an end in 1994, with the story that his daughter had been attacked in their home at knife point, and he wasn't going to continue to live in such a country.
The reality is that, as an extreme racist, he was not prepared to live under a black government because of his fears of what would happen to him if the truth of his activities ever surfaced. His racism is one issue, his fanatical homophobia is something else again!
The National Coalition of Gay and Lesbian Equality (NCGLE) is now fighting to get Dr Aubrey Levin to be brought back to South Africa and to be put on trial for human rights abuses relating to all the crimes he has committed. Dr Levin is working at the University of Calgary and is threatening to sue the South African newspaper the Mail and Guardian.
This is one of the incidents of homophobia which those of us in the outside world ought to watch with keen interest.
NEWS - Report in South Africa's GMax online newspaper
Alleged murderer claims to have pulled the trigger
May 25, 2004
JOHANNESBURG — Alleged murderer Ruben Grundeling claimed in his trial in the Johannesburg High Court on Monday that he killed a wealthy bachelor during a struggle over a gay date.
Grundeling told the court that the version he previously gave to a Scorpions investigator was "a pack of lies."
"I would have said anything to get out of trouble," Grundeling said during cross-examination by State advocate Rachelle van der Walt.
Ruben Grundeling, his brother Francois Grundeling and Michael Montgomery pleaded not guilty to charges of murdering Bruce Rex Currin and robbing him.
The prosecution case is that Montgomery killed Currin because Currin was angry over losses on his overseas investment account.
Currin was last seen alive on March 1, 2002 and his burnt body was found in mielie fields in the Kempton Park area 10 days later.
The Grundelings were arrested after the police received information that a car was to be sold in an insurance scam.
Ruben Grundeling claimed that on the night of the murder he had with him an illegal firearm which he bought in Soweto for protection after receiving threats.
He said an argument broke out after Currin allegedly said "he knew of my past and would not say anything if I could arrange a date for him with Montgomery at some or other gay club in Johannesburg."
Grundeling said he told Currin that Montgomery – who is married – "was like that."
One thing led to another after he swore at Currin and Currin allegedly swiped at him with a board. Grundeling claimed he then drew his gun.
It was alleged that during a struggle for the gun, the fatal shot went off.
Currin was a teacher at the St John's College in Houghton, northern Johannesburg.
The trial continues. – Sapa
NEWS from South Africa's GMax Online newspaper
Court hears details of Papo's death
August 12, 2004
PRETORIA — The Pretoria High Court on Wednesday heard chilling details of how Technikon Professor William Papo was strangled in January last year while engaged in a sex orgy before being stabbed in the neck.
One of the murderers, state witness Joseph Bongani Mahlangu, 29, testified on Wednesday the plan was to go to Papo's home under the pretence of “playing a game of hockey”, whereafter they would have robbed Papo.
Mahlangu said he and Papo were gay lovers for about four years and he often went to the professor's home to “play a game of hockey.” By this he meant that they engaged in gay sex acts or orgies.
Mahlangu, who is serving a 55-year sentence after he pleaded guilty to the murders of Papo and a couple visiting him, said the plan was to strangle or throttle Papo while one of them was busy having sex with him.
His co-accused, 24-year-old Sidney Albert Mashigo and Patrick Lekalakala, pleaded not guilty to the triple murders and robbery with aggravating circumstances.
Mashigo said he stood outside Papo's home and only saw his co-accused returning from inside with blood on them. Lekalakala denied ever going to Papo's Doornpoort home or that he ever met the professor.
Mahlangu, however, testified that his two co-accused agreed with his plan to rob Papo. The professor agreed to pick them up on January 12 last year at Wonderboom station, whereafter they went to his home under the pretence of having an orgy.
There they found he had two house guests, Mmathapelo Jacqueline Mamaila, 20, and her boyfriend, 25-year-old Lebo Moloto.
After a few drinks and a meal, Mamaila and Moloto went to bed.
“After a few minutes we also went upstairs. The professor made me a bed on the floor, while he slept on the bed with Mashigo and Lekalakala. Papo switched on the television set and then they started to arouse each other.”
Mahlangu said Papo handed Lekalakala a condom and he use it for having sex with the professor.
“While they were in the act, Mashigo strangled Papo,” he said.
He explained that Lekalakala stopped his sex act and assisted Lekalakala in attacking the professor. They took the cord from the TV set and strangled him with it.
Mahlangu said he fetched some ties in the cupboard and helped them tie Papo up.
They then covered him with a duvet. He meanwhile fetched Moloto from downstairs and asked him to “assist them because Papo had lost consciousness.”
His two accused waited for Moloto at the door and when he entered the bedroom, they grabbed him and placed their hands over his mouth. He was then tied up.
The same happened to the woman, Mahlangu said.
He explained that clothes were stuffed into their mouths and they were not able to scream for help.
“After they were tied up we said we wanted their ATM cards.”
Mahlangu said after the two gave their cards and pin numbers, his co-accused drove to the bank to verify it. He stayed behind to keep watch. The two younger victims were still alive at that time, while Papo was motionless.
After thirty minutes they returned with R1,000 cash, which they later shared. The three of them loaded Papo's two vehicles with goods from the house before returning to his bedroom.
“By that time I realised he was dead. But Mashigo stabbed the professor once with a knife to make sure whether he was dead or not. Blood came out...”
Mahlangu said he took Moloto downstairs to kill him, while Lekalakala took the girl to another room.
“I went to the kitchen and got a knife. Moloto was lying on the floor, covered with a duvet. I then cut his throat. He made muffled screaming noises and his feet kept on kicking.”
“While I was cutting his throat Mashigo came in with something that looked like a hammer. It had a sharpened end and he hit Moloto one on the head. Moloto kept on kicking throughout.”
Mahlangu said he went to check how far Lekalakala was with the woman. “She was half naked. He had already stabbed her on the thighs and he was busy stabbing her in the heart. He said she did not want to die. She also kicked and kicked.”
He testified that Lekalakala suggested that they place plastic bags over the heads of their victims to make sure that they were dead. After they did this, they left with the loot in Papo's two vehicles, Mahlangu said.
Cross-examination by the defence will continue on today. – Sapa9 July 2007
In July 2007 two young black lesbians, Sizakelle Sigasa and Salome Masooa, were found in a field near Soweto, tortured, raped and murdered because of their sexuality.
INTERNATIONAL GAY AND LESBIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
Lesbian Killing In South Africa: We Demand Justice!
(July 9, 2007) The South African lesbian and gay communities through the Joint Working Group* and partner organisations STRONGLY CONDEMN the killing of Sizakele Sigasa (34) and Salome Masooa (23) from a township in Johannesburg. They were found (Sunday 8th July) murdered, execution style, in a nearby field in Meadowlands; a shocking image that is not so new in South Africa in the light of the recent increase in violence and rape against women either identified as, suspected of or supporting lesbian and gay rights.
Gays and lesbians are men and women, human beings who deserve equal rights and treatment - not to be ridiculed or called names, beaten, tortured, raped or killed. These gross human rights violations are not just inhuman and barbaric - they must not be tolerated! Sizakele and Salome's killers, like everyone else, HAD NO RIGHT TO THREATEN OR KILL THEM!!
Violence against lesbians and gays is unSouth African. Here, oppression and discrimination have no place, still there are parents who reject or kick children out to the streets; siblings, friends and communities who hurt, beat, rape, torture and even kill lesbians and gays. If they survive all this, they face further victimisation at in the hands of the police and even the courts - THIS IS NOT JUSTICE AT ALL. People who inflict harm upon and even kill lesbians and gays (or anyone else) do not belong in South Africa. Leaders and communities that do not oppose violence against gays, lesbians, women, children, rape survivors and HIV+ people do not belong here.
1) We call on the Meadowlands Police Services to investigate this matter - efficiently and rigorously;
2) We call on other state bodies and communities to support the families by working with the Police and the Prosecuting Authorities towards ensuring that the killers are brought to book.
We express our deepest condolences to the bereaved families and friends. We offer our support to the colleagues and comrades as they mourn the death of these two precious women.
MEMORIAL SERVICE: Thursday 12 July 2007, 12h00-15h00 (Epelegeng Centre)
FUNERAL: Saturday, 14 July 2007, 12h00 (Meadowlands Community Centre)====================
Contact: Busi Kheswa, Gay and Lesbian Memory In Action, 011-717/4239/1963 Prudence Mabele, Positive Women's Network, 078 383 9529
For assistance in dealing with trauma and loss or for a debrief please contact the: UNISA Centre for Applied Psychology: 012 429 8089/8544 or Out-Well Being: 012-344-6500
Issued by Nonhlanhla Mkhize (031 301 2145) for the Joint Working Group (JWG).
*The JWG is a network of LGBTI organisations and partners in South Africa. Our Vision is to strengthen the organised LGBTI sector to maximise our response to LGBTI needs through partnerships, collective use of resources, and drawing on the strengths of participating organizations in contributing towards social justice and the reconstruction and development of South African society
From an online South African source:
It has been a year since 21-year-old Nontsikelelo Tyatyeka, a lesbian living in Nyanga near Cape Town, disappeared from her family home. Notsikelelo's decomposed body was found in a bin at the home of one of her childhood friends who is now in police custody. Neighbors believe that the murder is, "Nothing but homophobia."
A murder suspect allegedly kept asking his victim’s mom whether her missing daughter had been found.
Meanwhile, missing Nontsikelelo Tyatyeka’s body was decomposing in a wheelie bin in the 29-year-old’s neighbour’s Nyanga home. The suspect lives behind his victim’s home in Mau-Mau where they grew up together.
People have already destroyed the suspect’s home since his arrest.
“This is nothing but homophobia,” one resident tells the Daily Voice.
“This is not the first time a lesbian woman is hurt in Nyanga. The suspects must be punished.”
The 21-year-old disappeared from her family home in September last year.
The family’s anxious wait came to an end on Friday when a tip-off led cops to a grisly discovery.
Police spokesman Captain FC van Wyk says: “The decomposed body of a 21-year-old woman was found in a rubbish bin at Qumbu Street, Mau-Mau, Nyanga on Friday. A murder case docket was opened.
“A 29-year-old male suspect was arrested and will appear in the Athlone Magistrates’ Court on a charge of murder.”
The victim’s mom Nombasa Tyatyeka, 50, says her daughter was found after a friend of the suspect let slip that he knew where her body was.
“In August, my nephew was listening to a song written for Ntsiki’s return and when this man heard it he told my nephew the suspect tried to sleep with her and when she refused because she’s a tomboy, he stabbed her,” says Nombasa.
She says the man claimed she was wrapped in a blanket and stuffed under a bed before being put in a bin.
Last week Friday, the police followed the lead and found Nontsikelelo’s decomposed body in a wheelie bin metres from her home.
Nombasa says her tomboy daughter loved hanging out with the suspect and never dreamed he would do such an evil thing.
“Just last week he asked me if my daughter has been found yet,” says Nombasa.
“And all the while he knew exactly what happened.”
The South African Department of Justice task force began work in August to combat violent hate crimes against LGBTI South Africans and the task force includes six people representing the judiciary, police and department of social development and six representatives from the LGBTI community.
The task force faces the ongoing challenge of reforming the way the police and the the justice system handle cases of murder and "corrective rape" of LGBTI persons.
From the Star online (South Africa):
The Commission on Gender Equality has slammed the police and the Department of Justice for not doing their best to solve homophobic crimes.
The Star reported recently on the striking similarity in the murders of four gay men. And in the wake of the commission’s condemnation of the violence against the gay community, The Star has also been alerted to a fifth murder that bears similarities to the other cases.
The commission has said it was concerned about lengthy delays in cases relating to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues.
It said full investigations needed to be conducted, especially into the murders mentioned in The Star’s report.
The commission’s spokesman, Javu Baloyi, said there was outrage in the commission after The Star reported on the four murders.
“Cases of this nature are not taken seriously by the police or the justice department,” he said.
“It is our firm belief that the Department of Constitutional Development and Justice has to come to the party in ensuring that the plight of LGBT (and intersexed) people (receive the necessary attention and investigation),” he added.
All four victims mentioned in The Star’s report on Monday were killed in the past 10 months. They were tied up and strangled inside private homes within the greater Joburg area. Police reported no signs of forced entry and believe these killings may be the work of a serial killer or a homophobic gang.
The lack of break-ins may mean the victims knew their would-be killers and could have invited them in.
The victim who has come to light after the previous report in The Star is Manolis Veloudos. He was found in his home in Greenside in April last year.
He was bound and murdered, seemingly by someone he had invited into his home. Again, there was no sign of forced entry onto the property, and very little was stolen.
He was also discovered to have an online dating site profile, which he had used to meet men, much like in the cases of several of the other victims.
However, Veloudos was bludgeoned to death with his laptop rather than strangled.
While a suspect was charged with murder, DNA evidence taken from the scene did not match the suspect.
This means the murderer may still be on the loose.
The victim’s niece, Evita Veloudos, said CCTV footage of her uncle with an unknown man on the night of the murder was given to the police, but it was subsequently lost by the investigating officers.
The most recent victim, Barney van Heerden, 39, was found bound and strangled in his Orange Grove home on September 19.
The murder was discovered by security guards after they had noticed his car gate open and his front door unlocked.
Since the incident was reported, distraught relatives, friends and other members of the gay community have come forward, describing other recent violent crimes that seemed similar.
In the first attack in December last year, Jim Cathels was found dead at his home in Berea.
Four months ago, Oscar O’Hara, 33, was bound and strangled by an unknown assailant or assailants.
Siphiwe Selby Nhlapo, 36, was killed in a similar manner at his flat in Kliptown, Soweto, on September 11, a week before Van Heerden’s death.
Anyone with information on similar crimes in recent months is requested to e-mail the details to shain.germaner @inl.co.za - The Star
Has justice been served? Probably not, but it may be some small solace to some of the hundreds whose lives were ruined in Apartheid South Africa and later in Canada.
The following items were from Gay Star News in the United Kingdom:
Dr Aubrey Levin, known as Dr Shock in his native South Africa, was convicted of sexually assaulting three patients in Canada05 February 2013 | By Joe Morgan
A Canadian ‘gay cure’ therapist convicted of molesting male patients has been sentenced to five years in jail.
Dr Aubrey Levin, 74, was going to be given eight years, but the judge reduced it due to his health problems and age.
Levin was convicted on three counts of sexual assault by a jury last week.
Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Donna Shelley told the disgraced doctor that it was a ‘horrible violation of the trust of these three patients’.
‘They came to you for help for their problems,’ she said. ‘Instead you added to their problems.’
While the Crown asked for six to eight years, the defence argued Levin was a frail senior and suggested a sentence of 60-90 days to be served on weekends.
Shelley said: ‘Dr Levin, knowing of the many vulnerabilities of these victims, employed a strategy which would give him the opportunity to sexually assault his patients.’
‘Dr Levin’s profession and his training would make him more informed than the average sexual assaulter to the serious psychological and emotional harm that can result from a sexual assault,’ she added.
‘These three men were already emotionally and psychologically fragile.’
Levin initially faced charges involving nine different men, but was acquitted on two others and the jury could not reach a verdict on the last four.
Prosecutor Dallas Sopko said the Crown was satisfied with the outcome.
‘We feel it’s a fair and just sentence given all the circumstances in the case. It’s been a long and arduous process,’ he said.
Chief Defence Counsel Chris Archer said he hopes he will be able to get his client released on bail once an appeal had been filed.
‘With a 74-year-old man you're looking at the end of your life and whether or not this is going to be a significant part of it or whether or not you're going to die in jail," Archer said.
The allegations against Levin came to light in 2010 after one of his patients came forward with secret videos he had recorded during court-ordered sessions with the psychiatrist.
The videos, played in court last fall, show Levin undoing the man's belt and jeans and appearing to fondle him.
A South African immigrant to Canada, Levin was known in his country of origin as ‘Dr Shock’. It is alleged he subjected hundreds of gay soldiers and conscientious objectors to electric shock ‘therapy’ during the apartheid era.
Speaking to GSN, a South African journalist also claimed Levin and his team performed chemical castration and forced gender reassignment surgery on gay men as a ‘cure’ for being homosexual.
Levin has denied abusing any patients under his care and has argued the submission was based on a distortion of facts.
The following item is a report from 2012 and was before the above judgement:
A Canadian psychiatrist is to stand on trial for sexually abusing gay patients, he also used discredited aversion therapy on hundreds of South African lesbians and gays army conscripts to 'cure' them of their sexuality10 October 2012 | By Dan Littauer
Canadian psychiatrist, Aubrey Levin is to stand on trial next Wednesday, in Calgary, Canada for sexually assaulting 10 male patients.[UPDATE - GSN EXCLUSIVE below.]
The prosecution represents gay patients, who were mostly prisoners that were assigned by the Canadian justice system for treatment.
Aubrey Levin, infamously known as 'Dr Shock', has subjected hundreds of gay and lesbian soldiers and conscientious objectors in apartheid era South Africa to electric shocks ‘therapy’ in an attempt to 'cure' them of their sexuality and 'deviant ideas.
The Guardian, a British daily, reported that on Tuesday (9 October), a jury ruled that 73 year-old Levin was fit to stand trial after the defence claimed he was suffering from the early stages of dementia.
In March 2010 the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta suspended Levin's license over accusations of abuse after a male patient secretly filmed the psychiatrist allegedly making sexual advances.
Levin was consequently arrested; however, earlier complaints by others were ignored by the Canadian authorities.
After his arrest, about 30 other male patients came forward accusing Levin of sexual abuse. Levin's arrest raised questions in Canada as to how he was allowed to become a citizen and permitted to practice at the University of Calgary's Medical School even after he was named by South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) for 'gross human rights abuses' during the apartheid era.
Levin, infamously known in South Africa as ‘Dr Shock’, has subjected hundreds gay soldiers and conscientious objectors in apartheid era to electric shocks ‘therapy’.
Levin was first licensed as a psychiatrist in South Africa in 1969. He was a Colonel in the South African Defence Force (SADF), as well as the chief psychiatrist at the Voortrekkerhoogte military hospital during the 1970s.
During his work in the SADF he was the attending psychiatrist at Greefswald, an isolated detention barracks where harsh treatments, including powerful drugs electric shocks, were used to 'cure' conscripts of supposed 'homosexual vices' and conscientious objections.
[UPDATE] A journalist from South Africa has claimed to GSN that in addition to the above, 'Levin and his team also performed chemical castration as well as forced or rather coerced (as they were not literally forced) gender reassignment surgery on gay men as a "cure" for being gay.
'One such patient is currently living in New York reticent to speak to the press as he (although physically now a she) has been living a life of horror as he never wanted to be a woman as he was never transgender but just an effeminate gay man.'
Levin also used the same ‘treatments’ to suppress dissent in the black townships detaining hundreds of people and classifying them as ‘disturbed’.
Levin then rose to notoriety for his work on the totally discredited aversion therapy medical program which attempted to ‘cure’ gays and lesbians of homosexuality and in reality leaving many crippled and damaged for life.
Levin encouraged SADF officers and chaplains to refer ‘deviants’ for electroconvulsive aversion therapy, in which gay soldiers being shown pictures of naked men and encouraged to fantasise as they were subject to increasingly powerful electric shocks until they begged for the pain to stop.
Some of the abuses were documented by the Aversion Project in South Africa.
Levin also targeted drug users, principally soldiers who smoked marijuana, and conscientious objectors who would not serve in the apartheid military on moral grounds. Some were subjected to narco-analysis or a 'truth drug', involving the injection of a barbiturate before the questioning began.
While the details of Levin's human rights abuses were widely reported in South Africa, he managed to suppress publication of details about his past in Canada by threatening legal action against news organisations.
(SSO 030497 Swaziland homophobia)
GAY, LESBIAN, TRANSGENDER, HIV HATE CRIMES - BIBLIOGRAPHY AND RECOMMENDED READING LIST
LESBIAN & GAY SOLIDARITY PAGE
Mannie De Saxe also has a personal web site, which may be found by clicking on the link: RED JOS HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISM
Mannie's blogs may be accessed by clicking on to the following links:
MannieBlog (from 1 August 2003 to 31 December 2005)
Activist Kicks Backs - Blognow archive re-housed - 2005-2009
RED JOS BLOGSPOT (from January 2009 onwards)
This page updated 8 FEBRUARY 2013 and again on 9 NOVEMBER 2016