July 7, 2010
CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATIONS & PRESS STATEMENT – IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Beheaded Ugandan NOT an LGBT Activist
This statement is in reference to the disturbing news reports that the Ugandan man who was found beheaded identified as Pasikali Kashusbe was a gay-rights activist working as a volunteer with Integrity Uganda.
SMUG nullifies these reports and we are not aware of any LGBTI activist who has been beheaded. However, details of the mutilated body are yet to be revealed by the Ugandan Police.
Speaking to the Chair of Integrity Uganda, Bishop Christopher Ssenyonjo, “I have never worked with anyone who goes by the name Pasikali in my organization. I also did not make any comments as quoted in earlier statements made by Rev. Erich Kasirye, Rev. Erich Kasirye no longer has any legitimate connection to Integrity Uganda and the e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org is no longer available as a link to the leadership of Integrity Uganda”.
SMUG stands in solidarity with Bishop Ssenyonjo, who has worked and supported SMUG and the entire Ugandan LGBTI community for a long period of time.
Integrity Uganda which is a member organization of Sexual Minorities Uganda is a faith-based LGBT organization which gives counseling and guidance to LGBT people.
SMUG disassociates the Ugandan LGBT community from these reports, until we have substantial information.
- Frank Mugisha Executive Director – Sexual Minorities Uganda – SMUG
Telephone: +256 312 294 859
2. Bishop Ssenyoonjo
Chairperson – Integrity Uganda
Tel: +256 772 448 958
[elsewhere on turtle island, jus’ last moon, another notice went out…..]
On June 7, 2010 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joined President Obama in declaring June 2010 LGBT Pride Month. To celebrate LGBT Pride Month at the State Department, Secretary Clinton, USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah, and PRM Assistant Secretary Eric Schwartz were invited by Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies (GLIFFA) and the Office of Civil Rights to give remarks on LGBT Human Rights and U.S. Foreign Policy.
The following is a link to the event http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2010/06/143517.htm, and Assistant Secretary Schwartz’s remarks are below.
Protecting LGBT Asylum Seekers and Refugees
Assistant Secretary of State Eric P. Schwartz
Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
As Prepared Remarks
LGBT Pride Month Celebration with
Loy Auditorium, U.S. Department of State
Thank you Bob, for that kind introduction. It is an honor to be here today with all of you to celebrate LGBT Pride Month, and to reflect on the challenges and opportunities ahead. I’d like to thank Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies (GLIFAA) and the Office of Civil Rights for organizing this important event, and for inviting me to participate.
I know you all join me in recognizing Secretary Clinton for her inspiring words, and for her unparalleled leadership and principled advocacy on behalf of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual and Transgender) individuals throughout the world, starting here at the Department of State. And we could not have a better ally at USAID than Administrator Raj Shah.
Let me just echo what you’ve already heard this morning: protecting the rights of LGBT persons around the world is a priority for the Obama administration. We will continue to stand against persecution and other violations of human rights against individuals because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, anywhere in the world.
For the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), this means identifying and addressing protection challenges for LGBT refugees and asylum seekers. We know that in some countries, people are threatened, tortured and even killed for their sexual orientation or gender identity, or for not conforming to social and cultural norms about how men and women should behave, dress, or speak. LGBT individuals who have fled their own countries may continue to face serious threats in countries of asylum, where they may be isolated and reluctant to seek help.
This is a problem that demands a response. Our Bureau will continue to engage with both non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and international organization partners to strengthen our collaboration on behalf of vulnerable LGBT refugees and asylum seekers.
We have raised this issue with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) at both senior and working levels and will continue to do so. UNHCR’s 2008 Guidance Note on Refugee Claims Relating to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity is an important foundation for enhancing protection for those facing persecution or threats based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. UNHCR must ensure that the Guidance Note is thoroughly understood and implemented by UNHCR personnel worldwide.
This Administration has a strong interest in UNHCR leadership taking effective actions to improve protection for LGBT refugees and asylum seekers. And with our encouragement and support, UNHCR is planning a number of new internal initiatives linked to refugee status determination and resettlement procedures that will focus on identifying protection concerns related to sexual orientation or gender identity. UNHCR will continue training of their staff on these issues, and work with NGOs to clarify the roles and responsibilities for everyone involved through all stages of a refugee situation.
UNHCR is also drafting a revised version of its resettlement handbook that will address these issues. We will remain engaged with UNHCR on these and related efforts, including an upcoming UNHCR-hosted workshop on LGBT refugees.
We have also worked to improve the speed with which we process all highly vulnerable refugee resettlement cases, and the Department will continue to coordinate with our U.S. government, international organization, and NGO partners to ensure these cases are processed as quickly as possible, and that vulnerable individuals, including LGBT persons, are afforded necessary protections.
Earlier this month, PRM hosted a meeting with NGO representatives to exchange information and ideas for enhancing protection for vulnerable LGBT refugees. We will establish a working group to further develop recommendations from that meeting, including on issues related to expedited resettlement to the U.S. and protection challenges overseas. The working group will include NGO representatives, PRM staff, and other U.S. government offices involved in refugee protection and assistance. We look forward to continuing our positive collaboration with members of the NGO community, many of whom I see here today.
We will also continue our efforts to mainstream broader gender issues into our programming in humanitarian settings and in our institutional relationships with international organization and NGO partners. This means assessing the impact of programs we fund on women and girls, and men and boys, and promoting inclusion. It also means enhancing our work to prevent and respond to gender-based violence, including violence directed at individuals because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
This violence is often rooted in destructive notions of how men and women should behave and interact, and we cannot make progress towards achieving gender equality without addressing these fundamental problems.
As Secretary Clinton noted this morning, this is a battle not yet won, but one well worth fighting. Today, we acknowledge those who risk their lives to speak out, and those who advocate tirelessly at home and abroad, for basic principles of equality, justice, and tolerance.
I look forward to working on these challenges with my colleagues in the Administration, and with many of you here, in the coming months.
And I hope that by next June, we have even more to celebrate.
[blogger’s note: on the q[/t] werd tip, we’d like to know, how much money can we then expect, given this increasing solidarity with LGBTTIQQ & allies, to also be allocated towards LGBTTIQQ folks who’re living in ‘southern’ and ‘third’ world countries?
we know many bredrin en sistren who’d rather stay home/where they live, but still need much help in combating homo/les/bi/transphobia in their communities, in the laws and statutes of neo-colonial governments, and ofcourse we know many who have not only left, like us (/people participating in & producing the first season of this film&video project – shot in tdot, ‘originally’ from afrika – travelling all over native lands….
the truth about hadithi is….our quest on the q[/t] werd….a long (en)/ epic story expected to run quite a few seasons into tdot’s ‘world pride’, if the fiya this time at pride was hawt like that, imagine 2 years from now, and 2 years from then, we’ll have been all over the continent, all through turtle islands, to the end of the earth, to the end of the wotas, and even then, when this ‘film&video’ series ends, we’ll still wanna know, where the (big healing, love en soulfood…where the) money at?
hadithi? hadithi? Nipe mji, nikupe salaam.
hapo zamani ya kale, kulikuwa na…..kesho,
lakini hayo ni ya kesho (kutwa)…]