Egypt cuts ‘gay wedding’ sentences

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28-12-2014
A court in Egypt has reduced to one year the three-year jail sentences given to eight men for appearing in a video alleged to show a gay marriage.

All eight denied charges of inciting debauchery and offending public morality during the trial in November.

The video, which was posted to YouTube in September, shows two men exchanging rings on a boat on the Nile.

Though homosexuality is legal in Egypt, it remains a taboo. Police raids on gay venues have risen in recent months.

Relatives of the defendants screamed and wept on hearing the new sentences given by a Cairo appeal court, AFP news agency reports.

In April, a court in Egypt sentenced four men to up to eight years in prison for committing homosexual acts.

A mass round-up in 2001 saw dozens of men sentenced on similar charges.

Authoritarian creep?

The latest court case comes amid reports that Egypt is enacting authoritarian laws at a rate unmatched by any other country for 60 years.

The UK’s Guardian newspaper reports that since the overthrow of President Mohammed Morsi in July 2013, his successors Adly Mansour and Abdul Fattah al-Sisi have used the absence of an elected parliament to issue decrees “that severely restrict freedom of expression, association and assembly”.

In one case, an Egyptian literary journalist and poet Fatima Naoot is to go on trial for describing the Islamic ritual of slaughtering of sheep as a sacrifice to God on Eid al-Adha as the greatest massacre committed by human beings.

Additionally, Egypt has seen a marked rise in attacks by militants in Sinai – an increasingly lawless and strategically important peninsula.

The army announced on Saturday that one terror suspect had been killed and 297 captured in North Sinai in a three-day security sweep.

IN LOVING MEMORY OF OUR LOVELY SISTER AND FRIEND ISABELLA ATWINE (IZA TWYN)

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It was on 5th-December-2014 that we finally had to admit that our sister, friend, and a human rights activist had to leave us. She passed away at Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam were doctors had to give up and now she rests with God.

“Certain people are so accomplished and live in such a very intensive way that their life task is completed at still a very young age, I believe this is the case for Iza” Says Mirjam Ekelboom, a friend.

We are deeply saddened by the loss of our committed, trustworthy, devoted member. It is going to be a very tasking challenge for us to replace such a person in our community.

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Isabella was among the first people in our community to believe in our cause and embraced the role that was assigned to her by the community members as a treasurer. She has been so paramount in many activities with regard to fighting for human rights such as presenting petitions to the Dutch Twede Kamer( The Dutch Parliament), she was part of the group that protested against the Anti homosexuality law that was passed early this year at the Homomonument in Amsterdam. A lot can be remembered about her from many of those that knew her.

In her words she said thus;

“Social transformations and community development can only occur in a society that is just, free from all forms of oppression, and is culturally dynamic. This is what Uganda Gay on Move advocates for. The struggle is hard and the journey is so rough, but we dream of a world where everyone will be equal and has a voice. Not only here in Europe but also back at home in Africa, like Uganda, where many LGBTI’s are being oppressed”

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There will be a vigil and a prayer service in Rotterdam at 16.00 hour tomorrow 6/12/2014.
The venue will be RAUWENHOFFSTRAAT 41 ,3022 RL Rotterdam.
From Rotterdam Central Station take tram 23/22 or 24 direction to Marconi plein. Then get off at the stop Mathenesserplein. And on Sunday 7/12/2014, there will be another prayer service in Amsterdam and fundraising for her evacuation back to Uganda as per request of her family.
For more information about the location please contact 0686240177 or 0686160638.

Efforts are currently made to raise money to be able to repatriate Isabellas’ body to Uganda to rest in the ancestral grounds.
UGOM community thanks Isabella for her life and all that we learned and experienced with her. She has been a great, lovely, trusted, determined and courageous person and for those same reason she will always be an icon in our community. Many will try to emulate from her. May heaven rejoice to receive you, we will never forget you Isabella and our love for you will always stay.

In the loving memory of Isabella Atwine (Iza Twyn)

UGOM

THE EU COURT RULES ON LGBTIQ ASYLUM SEEKERS IN EUROPE

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Governments may test whether an applicant who claims to be homosexual and persecution in their own country, actually homosexual.

But , As the European Court of Justice states Tuesday, which should not be too intimate and personal.
For example, there should not be asked for video recordings of sexual acts proving the orientation. Someone’s credibility can only be judged on a general basis, according to the EU court in the judgment.
EU court examined a case of three refugees who applied for asylum in the Netherlands. They fear that they are persecuted in their own country for their homosexuality. Netherlands rejected their asylum application off because there were doubts about the credibility of the men.
Who went to the Council of State and the authority asked the EU court for advice about how far can a country in the investigation of sexual orientation.
Forbidden
EU court gives the judgment, in particular to what governments can not do. So should not be asked for details of how the applicant gives practical meaning to his sexual orientation. That invades the privacy, says EU court.
Asking for evidence of homosexuality or the commissioning of homosexual acts is degrading, said the court.
Stereotypes
A Member State may not conclude that someone is not gay if he does not meet well-known stereotypes, says the EU court.
Nor should the credibility doubted if an applicant does not tell immediately that he is homosexual. It relates to sensitive information about intimate, personal aspects of one’s life.

(Reuters)

UGOM