Tag Archives: detainment

Cuban lesbians fight for a life together in the US

Yanelkys_Moreno_Agramonte_and_Dayana_Rodriguez_Gonzalez

Yanelkys Moreno Agramonte, 36, and Dayana Rodríguez González, 31, had never been apart in the nearly five years since they began dating. Their lives were one until Nov. 3, 2019, when they both applied for asylum in the U.S. at a port of entry in El Paso, Texas, and they were separated a short time later.

Moreno and Rodríguez were placed into different cells as their entry into the country was processed.

“They locked me up in a small, lonely place,” Moreno told the Washington Blade on June 9 during a telephone call from the South Louisiana ICE Processing Center in Basile, La., where she remains in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody. “I was there for two days and my partner was transferred the day after we arrived.”

“We lost all ties,” Rodríguez told the Blade during a telephone interview from Phoenix on June 10 where she now lives. “I didn’t know where she was and she didn’t know where I was. On the fourth day, they moved me at night to the detention center and there I was, still unsure whether they would send her there.” …

Perhaps this story would not have been so bitter if the two women had been married because ICE, in theory, allows a married asylum seeker to sponsor their spouse once it grants them “derivative” status. This process allows them to stay together as long as they present a marriage or civil union certificate.

But Moreno and Rodríguez are citizens of Cuba, an island where same-sex marriage is not yet legal. The government’s policies and social attitudes also emphasize discrimination against the LGBTQ community.

“Same-sex couples who are not married, but who are qualified to access U.S. refugee admissions under one of the three designated global processing priorities … can cross-reference their cases so they can be interviewed at the same time and, if approved by USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services), be resettled in the same geographic area in the United States,” says ICE.

This is how Moreno and Rodríguez did it.

Their immigration cases are the same, but Moreno in December was once again separated from Rodríguez. She was sent more than 900 miles east of El Paso to the South Louisiana ICE Correctional Center, where she currently remains in ICE custody. Rodríguez was detained in El Paso until Feb. 4 when she was released on parole and a $7,500 bond.

The two women saw each other for the last time through a door’s glass window, sending their love to each other with signs after a conversation that would define both of their lives forever. Moreno was gone the next morning and the frustration of not being able to say goodbye to her partner is painful to this day.
Couple suffered homophobia, police harassment in Cuba
Moreno and Rodríguez’s families never accepted that two women could fall in love and live together. The prejudices that still persist in Cuba and especially in Zulueta, a small town in the center of the country where they lived, were constant hurdles to their social lives and their life together as a couple.

“My parents divorced because of my sexual orientation,” said Moreno. “My father is the typical Cuban man, who said that his children could not be homosexual. My sister was the only one who always supported me.”

Rodríguez was kicked out of her home when her family found out she was in a romantic relationship with another girl.

Continue reading at: https://www.washingtonblade.com/2020/06/17/lesbian-couple-from-cuba-fights-for-life-together-in-us/ (Source)

Egypt: Arrested and tortured for waving rainbow flag, lesbian Sarah Hegazi dead at 30

Sarah HegaziCAIRO — When the openly gay frontman of a hugely popular Lebanese pop group strutted onto the stage of a Cairo summer festival in 2017, rainbow flags lifted in the air, and something sparked inside Sarah Hegazi.

As a lesbian in a country where homosexuality is taboo, and gay people are routinely persecuted by the authorities, here was a glimmer of freedom. Beaming with joy, she raised both hands in the air and hoisted her own rainbow flag aloft. A friend captured the moment on camera.

It was the start of her undoing. …

Although homosexuality is not technically illegal in Egypt, gay people are subjected to deep-rooted societal prejudices and are frequently prosecuted by the police under laws that criminalize “debauchery.” Undercover police investigators use aliases to roam popular dating apps to entrap and arrest gay men. Others are arrested from cafes or the streets on the basis of their appearance.

Concerts are also a focus of law enforcement.

Even before she attended the event headlined by the Lebanese band Mashrou’ Leila in 2017, Ms. Hegazi’s life had undergone dramatic shifts. She had shed the head-covering veil that she had once worn, and had begun to embrace her identity as a gay woman.

At the concert she felt liberated, she told the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle, because “I was declaring myself in a society that hates all that is different from the norm.”

Ahmed Alaa, a law student who also waved a flag, later called the experience “the most beautiful five minutes of my life.”

But once the photo of her waving a flag went viral on social media, Ms. Hegazi was inundated by hate-filled comments, including death threats, said Mostafa Fouad, her lawyer and friend.

Popular television hosts amplified the mood: “How can the homosexual’s flag be raised over Egypt’s pure land?” said one. Another, Ahmed Moussa, denounced “this debauchery, this shame, this crime.”

Days later, armed security officials arrived at Ms. Hegazi’s home and took her to a detention center run by the National Security Agency, a feared arm of Mr. el-Sisi’s security apparatus. Officers questioned her religious beliefs and asked if she was a virgin.

She was blindfolded and taken to a foul-smelling interrogation room where she could hear people groaning with pain. A piece of cloth was stuffed into her mouth. She was tortured with electric shocks, she later said in interviews.

Continue reading at: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/15/world/middleeast/egypt-gay-suicide-sarah-hegazi.html (Source)

Original articles:

 

Guatemalan lesbian fled death threats and corrective rape

Marveny Suchite

Marveny Suchite hurriedly left Guatemala last November. She later told an American official that she had received death threats for being a lesbian, according to the formal notes taken by the authorities, to which Reuters had access.

Her mother warned her that there were people who were going to look for her, she told Reuters, explaining that they were “macho.” Suchite fled that day.

She had been beaten and raped before, first by close members of her family and then by strangers in an alley where he was ordered to “stop” being gay, according to the official’s notes that review asylum procedures.

She says she got pregnant after the attack in that alley and then, when she tried to report the rape to the police, they laughed at her.
(Translated)

Suchite dejó apresuradamente Guatemala en noviembre pasado. Más tarde le dijo a un funcionario estadounidense que había recibido amenazas a su vida por ser lesbiana, según las notas formales que tomó la autoridad y a las que Reuters tuvo acceso.

Su madre le advirtió que había personas que irían a buscarla, dijo a Reuters, explicando que eran “machistas”. Suchite huyó ese día.

Antes ya había sido golpeada y violada, primero por miembros cercanos de su familia y después por extraños en un callejón donde le ordenaron que “dejara” de ser gay, de acuerdo a las notas del funcionario que revisa los procedimientos de asilo.

Cuenta que quedó embarazada tras los ataques en ese callejón y que luego, cuando intentó reportar la violación ante la policía, se rieron de ella.
(Original)

Continue reading at: https://lta.reuters.com/articulo/eeuu-migrantes-caravana-lgbt-idLTAKBN1WP2QZ (Source)

West Sumatra, Indonesia: 10 women arrested for ‘being lesbians’

West Sumatra Lesbian persecution

Police said the women were arrested on Sunday (November 4) on suspicion of “lesbian deviant behaviour.” In a statement, head of police Pol Yadrison explained that intelligence authorities had been monitoring the women’s activities on social media.

Yadrison said that one of the women’s Facebook account showed her “kissing and cuddling” with another woman, as if they were “men and women.” “From this discovery the officer finally conducted a search and managed to find the identity and whereabouts of the photo uploader,” said Yadrison.

Continue reading at: https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2018/11/06/indonesia-women-arrested-lesbians/ (Source)

Kazakhstan: Lesbian Activist arrested over menstruation picture

zhanar-sekerbaeva.jpg

Kazakhstan: Zhanar Sekerbaeva, prominent LGBT activist from Kazakhstan and co-founder of feminist initiative Feminita, based in Almaty, was detained on Wednesday, August 14, 2018. According to Feminita, Zhanar, together with Elena Ivanova, Alina Nevidimko and Polina Pollinium, organized photo session at Arbat street in Almaty on August 9th, 2018, dedicated to de-stigmatization of menstruation that attracted a lot of attention both online and during the session itself. Despite that the photo session was peaceful, it was interrupted by men, who pulled out posters in aggressive manner and threatened to take away mobile phone from one of the participant. The participants decided to leave the venue since they did not want to become witnesses of the violence.

Continue reading at: https://centralasien.org/2018/08/17/lgbt-activist-is-charged-for-organising-peaceful-photo-session-in-kazakhstan/ (Source)

Egypt: Lesbian held in Egyptian anti-gay crackdown freed on bail

Sarah Hegazy

Two people detained in Egypt in October after allegedly waving a rainbow flag, a symbol of same-sex rights, at a concert have been freed on bail, a lawyer representing them and a human rights NGO said on Tuesday. Sarah Hegazy, 28, and Ahmed Alaa, 21, were released and fined 2,000 Egyptian pounds ($113) each, lawyer Amr Mohamed said. The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information also reported their release on its Twitter account. It was unclear when their trial would resume.

Hegazy and Alaa were among dozens of people detained in the conservative Muslim country last year on charges that included “promoting sexual deviancy”. The crackdown was a response to a rare show of public support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights in Egypt.

Continue reading at: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-egypt-rights/two-held-in-egyptian-anti-gay-crackdown-are-freed-on-bail-idUSKBN1ER1GP (Source)

Original article: Egypt: Authorities Arrest at Least 57 Suspected Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual People at Concert–Lawyer Reports Lesbian Sexually Assaulted in Cell

Update: Egypt: Arrested and tortured for waving rainbow flag, lesbian Sarah Hegazi dead at 30

Lesbian couple reveal more about their Turkey detainment

Missing London couple

‘I thought we were not going to get out of [prison],’ said Rico. ‘They told me I could leave but she had to stay, and I said I wasn’t going without her.’

She described the treatment they received in jail as ‘unexpected, inhumane and horrible.’

She said that she hopes to marry Ismail, who is staying with her under a temporary visa issued by the Spanish government.

Continue reading at: Lesbian couple reveal more about their Turkey detainment (Source)