Sunday, 14 March 2010

State Dept documents anti-gay violence and discrimination around the world in new human rights report

Seal of the United States Department of State.Image via Wikipedia
Source: AmericaBlogGay

By John Aravosis

I'd like to think the White House was responsible for this, but I suspect it was Hillary's doing. You can find the entire report here. Here's a press release about it:
The Council for Global Equality applauds this year's State Department human rights report to Congress for underscoring the clear and growing crisis in human rights abuse directed against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people worldwide, and urges the use of diplomacy to counter this trend.

In introducing the report, Michael Posner, Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, singled out the case of Uganda, where introduction of a draconian anti-gay bill has resulted in serious abuse directed against Uganda's LGBT community. The report further documents LGBT-related incidents in almost every country in the world, including a range of cases involving arbitrary arrest and detention, police abuse, rape, and murder. For instance, the report notes serious assaults against LGBT individuals in Jamaica, "including arbitrary detention, mob attacks, stabbings, harassment of homosexual patients by hospital and prison staff, and targeted shootings of such persons." In Iraq, the report notes that "numerous press reports indicate that some victims were assaulted and murdered by having their anuses glued shut or their genitals cut off and stuffed down their throats until they suffocated." The report highlights numerous instances in which police and other authorities have failed to investigate or prosecute such incidents.

Council Chair Mark Bromley, while recognizing that the State Department report examines a broad range of human rights concerns impacting various minority communities, nonetheless emphasized that "the level of reporting on LGBT abuses this year is remarkably detailed and truly commendable, and unfortunately this new level of detail shows just how dangerous it is for LGBT individuals to go about their daily lives as ordinary citizens in so many parts of the world." For the first time ever, most of the reports have a dedicated section examining "societal abuses, discrimination, and acts of violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity." Bromley insisted that "the report makes clear that LGBT rights are firmly rooted in basic human rights protections and that those protections are under severe attack in the world today."

Secretary Clinton delivers remarks to the press on the Release of the 2009 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, at the Department of State.

Assistant Secretary Posner speaks to the press on the Release of the 2009 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, at the Department of State.

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