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Saturday, 31 July 2010

LGBT rights defenders rejected by the African Union

Source: African Activist

The Ghana News Agency reports that Nana Oye Lithur, a Human Rights Lawyer, will not be appointed to represent Ghana on the African Union's Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR). The article speculates that she lost the appointment because of her support for the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people in Ghana.

Ghana unfortunately lost out on the appointment to the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR) of the African Union charged with the task of promoting human rights and justice across the Continent.

Government after intense lobbying at the just ended 15th African Heads of States Summit in Kampala, Uganda, was hopeful that her candidate, Nana Oye Lithur, a Human Rights Lawyer, would be appointed to represent Ghana on the Commission, but that did not materialise.

Jean Ping, Chairperson of the AU Commission, in a resolution at the end of Summit on Tuesday evening, announced that the Heads of State approved appointments of a number of persons to the ACHPR.

He did not give out the names of the appointees, but said the panel that worked on the selection process, found it very difficult because all the candidates presented by the various countries were highly qualified.

AU Commission officials told Ghanaian Journalists that Ghana failed to make it. The list of appointees is expected to be published by the AU Commission soon.

The officials said Ghana’s representative was highly tipped to be picked, but her recent position on homosexuality might have caused the panel not to give her the nod.

According to the Officials, homosexuality is abhorred by, and alien to African cultures and the Leaders of the African countries would not want to have people who seem to favour gay practice to lead institutions such as the ACHPR. 

“African Leaders such as those of Uganda; Zimbabwe; Tanzania; Malawi; South Africa are hardliners against same sex,” they said, adding that “such countries who have significant influence in the AU, “are critical of people who don’t share their views.”
African Activist recently posted about Nana Oye Lithur's work to start a conversation about LGBTI people in Ghana. She had come out and said that LGBTI people have rights to be respected under the law.

In related news, New Vision reports that Uganda rejected the Coalition of African Lesbian (CAL)'s application for observer status at the African Union. The African Union's Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR) oversees observer status applications.
"The African Charter and the Constitutive Act setting up the AU tell us to protect African values among our key objectives. These (gay rights) are alien to our culture and values. We shall continue to resist and fight them because common sense dictates against them. They are outlawed in Uganda and most African countries," the foreign service officer, ambassador Rosette Nyirinkindi, asserted.
She was making Uganda's contribution in the permanent representatives committee meeting on Wednesday.

Established in 2004, the CAL is a network of 19-member organisations working to eradicate stigma and discrimination against lesbians, bisexual and transgendered women in Africa, according to the executive director, Fikile Vilakazi.

1 comment:

  1. > AU Commission officials told Ghanaian Journalists ...
    >
    > “African Leaders such as those of Uganda; Zimbabwe; Tanzania;
    > Malawi; South Africa are hardliners against same sex,” they
    > said, adding that “such countries who have significant influence
    > in the AU, “are critical of people who don’t share their views.”

    South Africa? With a constitution that requires equality the South African government is using its foreign policy to enforce discrimination in the rest of Africa? They don't do that at the UN do they? What's going on?

    What is the Commonwealth Secretariat position on this, those all being Commonwealth countries?

    ReplyDelete

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