Urgent Call for DONATION to Save life of Randa the Algerian Trans founder and leader of the AbuNawas (LGBT Activist Group in Algeria) who escaped in April to Lebanon with the help of Meem. Now she is in jail in Lebanon, she risk to be expelled to Algeria. If that happens it could mean a death sentence. Meem needs donations for the fees of the Lawyer. Please help save her life
Report from Yahia Zaidi
In April 2009, we have helped an Algerian transsexual woman who has survived many death threats get a visa to come to Beirut. It had become dangerous for her to live in Algeria, and she landed in Beirut hoping to apply for Asylum to another country from here so she can continue her trans operations and live her life without fear.
At the time, we had welcomed her into our community, expecting her to stay with us for a few months, maybe more, while we provided the financial and emotional support she needed.The past few weeks have been especially difficult as she was arrested at the General Security (GS) while applying for a work permit, because of a case of mistaken identity. When that happened, we immediately contacted a lawyer with whom we are still working very closely to get our friend out of prison.
The military tribunal cleared her name within 24 hours, nevertheless, the GS are still detaining her for further investigations with regards to her residency/work permit.Currently detained at the GS, it has become clear to us that there is a need that we, as a community, come together in order to support one of our own who is in a crisis situation.
Some of us have written her letters, some have visited her bringing along bags of fruits & vegetables, a bit of cash and words of comfort, some have snuggled her hormones in little bottles, along with chocolate and books, to her jail cell, some have gotten together to organize fundraisers, etc.As amazing and meaningful as these acts of support and friendship have been and as much as they are needed at the moment, we are still quite far from being able to cover the expenses that are at hand.
The lawyer has informed us that the expenses of this case (including minimal lawyer fees and work permit costs) will range somewhere between 2000 USD – 3000 USD and will be urgently needed the day our friend is given a residency permit which will (hopefully) be very soon.
We are relying entirely on donations and the smallest contributions go a long way. We are a community of hundreds, if not thousands of people, and if each one of us managed to donate at least 10 USD and suggested that their friends do the same, we can put together a support fund in a matter of days. If for any reasons you cannot donate at the moment, there's still a lot of actions that you can do to be more involved with this case.
For your contributions and donations, please send an email to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org It's at times like these that we must stick close together as community and show that we care for each and every one of us, especially when that "one of us" is going through difficulties.
Thank you for your support!
Please help Her
Algerian gays celebrate anniversary in seclusion
Source: Behind the mask
October 23, 2008
By Abeli Zahabu
ALGERIA – 23 October 2008: The tenth of this month marked the second anniversary of Abu Nawas which aims to fortify solidarity and provide support to the gay community in Algeria.
On that special day this month, the Abu Nawas members intended to use the day to celebrate across ensuring belonging to the Arabic and Muslim world despite the sexual orientation which is largely despised in that environment.
“On 10 October the Muslim world celebrated the birth of Selim I, the first Khalife of the Ottoman Empire and who happened to be gay himself and to love boys. We want to take part into this celebration to show in our unique way that we are still and we’ll remain Arab and Muslim and while being gay”, Karim Randa, co-founder of Abu Nawas, explained.
This only Algerian lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) organisation had planned a petition to be signed by all LGBTI individuals and to be sent to the Algerian government to demand the recognition of gay rights, but couldn’t be forwarded because Algeria is fraught of homophobia and very restrictive laws are enacted towards homosexuality.
However, Abu Nawas decided to repeat the symbolic and silent candle light vigil it had on its first anniversary in 2007.
Said Randa: “Our objective at this second anniversary is to raise awareness among Algerian LGBT that we are a community and that we are not fighting each one his/her own battle. It is also an opportunity to tell the world that we exist and we are here to stay.’
This message of mutual support and solidarity in such hostile environment towards Algerian LGBTI people is all Abu Nawas members needed in this time of tribulation and fear.
“For an Algerian LGBT individual that I am, the candle light vigil is very significant. It symbolises continuity and hope in our fight for the recognition of our rights. Even though it won’t bring an immediate change, the lighting of candles shows that we exist and we still hope for a better world”, Nabil Ali-Toudert, another Abu Nawas member, who found refuge in South Africa, confided.
LGBTI members have several reasons to fear for their life in Algeria just like in most African countries. Not only the constitutions and penal codes prohibit and punish homosexuality, but LGBTI individuals and organisations have to fear the mob mentality.
“Had the public knew about our celebration or who was behind it, we would have been molested”, Randa cautioned.
He concluded that the Algerian society is so homophobic to such an extent that they cannot make public activities.