Tag Archives: Forced Marriage

Homophobia and sexual exploitation: a lesbian asylum seeker’s journey from Uganda to Germany

Maria Walugembe from Kampala, the capital of Uganda, sought protection in Germany not from war, but from persecution, prison and murder. The now 44-year-old is a lesbian. In 2019, she fled her home country because in Uganda there is sometimes life imprisonment for homosexuality. Homosexuals are killed again and again. And the year Maria Walugembe leaves her country, even the government wants to make homosexuality officially a death penalty.

Maria has known since she was at school that she was a lesbian – and unfortunately her parents knew it too. “They forced me to get married to show that I was no longer a lesbian,” she says. “What could I have done? I was young and dependent on my parents. So they found me a husband and forcibly married me. That was hell for me!”

Neighbors throw stones at them
At some point, Maria Walugembe meets a woman, falls secretly in love – and one evening, when her husband is out of the house, she feels safe. But her husband came back earlier than expected and caught Maria in bed with her friend. “My girlfriend was able to escape, but I couldn’t. I fought with my husband. And people from the neighborhood came up and pelted me with stones.” And then someone called the mayor, she says.

Maria is thrown into prison and has to stay there for two days without food. Then a police officer makes her an immoral offer, she says: “He came into my cell and said he wanted to help me. But then I told him that I had no money and nothing in return. He then said, you are one Woman. He was a man, if I really couldn’t think of anything. He wanted sex! “

Escape to Italy into prostitution
Maria Walugembe gets involved. She sees it as the only chance to avoid a life sentence. At large again, she seeks refuge with her friend. But the friend is scared to death, organizes a flight to Europe for Italy and says she must leave the country immediately. Maria lands in Italy in May 2019 in the hope of a better life.

But penniless and on her own, she goes through hell once more: “My life, my health – everything got worse. I ate badly and was abused by men. My life was so terrible. I can’t talk about Italy … It was so terrible. “

Church asylum saves them from deportation
Your luck in misfortune: a haulage driver destined for Germany. Maria Walugembe meets him somewhere on the streets of Italy. Although the driver really only wants sex, he offers Maria his help. It was not easy to accept this, she says: “He used me, but also saved me. Because if I hadn’t met him, I don’t know whether I would be alive now. And as a Christian, I still pray for me today him.”

(Translated)

Nicht vor Krieg, sondern vor Verfolgung, Gefängnis und Ermordung hat Maria Walugembe aus Kampala, der Hauptstadt Ugandas Schutz in Deutschland gesucht. Die heute 44-Jährige ist lesbisch. 2019 floh sie aus ihrem Heimatland, weil in Uganda mitunter lebenslange Freiheitsstrafe auf Homosexualität steht. Immer wieder werden Homosexuelle getötet. Und in dem Jahr, als Maria Walugembe ihr Land verlässt, will selbst die Regierung Homosexualität offiziell unter Todesstrafe stellen.

Maria weiß indessen schon seit ihrer Schulzeit, dass sie lesbisch ist – und zu ihrem Unglück wissen es auch ihre Eltern. “Sie haben mich gezwungen, zu heiraten, um zu zeigen, dass ich nicht länger lesbisch bin”, erzählt sie. “Was hätte ich tun sollen? Ich war jung und auf meine Eltern angewiesen. Sie haben mir also einen Mann gesucht und mich zwangsverheiratet. Das war die Hölle für mich!”

Nachbarn bewerfen sie mit Steinen
Irgendwann lernt Maria Walugembe eine Frau kennen, verliebt sich heimlich – und wähnt sich eines Abends, als ihr Mann zunächst außer Haus ist, sicher. Doch ihr Mann kam früher als erwartet zurück und erwischt Maria mit ihrer Freundin im Bett. “Meine Freundin konnte entkommen, aber ich nicht. Ich habe ja mit meinem Mann gestritten. Und Leute aus der Nachbarschaft kamen dazu und haben mich mit Steinen beworfen.” Und dann habe jemand den Ortsvorsteher gerufen, sagt sie.

Maria wird ins Gefängnis geworfen und muss dort zwei Tage ohne Essen ausharren. Dann macht ihr ein Polizeibeamter ein unmoralisches Angebot, erzählt sie: “Er kam in meine Zelle und sagte, er wolle mir helfen. Ich hab ihm dann aber gesagt, dass ich kein Geld und nichts habe als Gegenleistung. Er sagte dann, Du bist eine Frau. Er sei ein Mann, ob mir denn da wirklich nichts einfiele. Er wollte Sex!”

Flucht nach Italien in die Prostitution
Maria Walugembe lässt sich darauf ein. Sie sieht es als einzige Chance, einer lebenslangen Freiheitsstrafe zu entgehen. Wieder auf freiem Fuß, sucht sie Zuflucht bei ihrer Freundin. Doch die Freundin hat Todesangst, organisiert ihr einen Flug nach Europa mit Ziel Italien und sagt sie müsse das Land sofort verlassen. In Italien landet Maria im Mai 2019 in der Hoffnung auf ein besseres Leben.

Doch mittellos und auf sich alleine gestellt, geht sie einmal mehr durch die Hölle: “Mein Leben, meine Gesundheit – alles wurde schlimmer. Ich habe schlecht gegessen und wurde von Männern missbraucht. Mein Leben war so furchtbar. Ich kann nicht über Italien sprechen … Es war so furchtbar.”

Kirchenasyl rettet sie vor Abschiebung
Ihr Glück im Unglück: ein Speditionsfahrer mit Ziel in Deutschland. Auf ihn trifft Maria Walugembe irgendwo auf Italiens Straßen. Obwohl der Fahrer eigentlich nur Sex will, bietet er Maria seine Hilfe an. Es sei nicht leicht gewesen, diese anzunehmen, sagt sie: “Er hat mich benutzt, aber auch gerettet. Denn wenn ich ihn nicht getroffen hätte, weiß ich nicht, ob ich jetzt noch am Leben wäre. Und als Christin bete ich noch heute für ihn.”

(Original)

Continue reading at: (Source)https://www.br.de/nachrichten/bayern/drei-fluechtlingsschicksale-drei-leben-in-bayern,SL8YMxK

State sponsored lesbophobia in Equatorial Guinea

Homosexuality is a risky practice in Equatorial Guinea. In this African state, which was a Spanish colony for more than 80 years and in which the oldest dictator in the world, Teodoro Obiang, has ruled for more than four decades, there is a systematic persecution against the LGTBI community.

It not only occurs at the social level, but also involves state institutions. As is usual in this type of situation, the worst part is borne by women.

A recent report by Somos Parte del Mundo , the only LGTBQ group in the African country, reveals that these groups suffer “mistreatment, torture and prison with the complicity of the authorities. The document, which has received the name of State Homophobia in Equatorial Guinea, reports some of the most serious abuses, among which are “sexual violence, forced pregnancies, child sexual exploitation of minors and the high mortality of women and transgender people for causes that the state can solve”.

These persecutions are protected by the state thanks to decrees such as 94/2019 that defines homosexuality as “a disease, a criminal practice, a threat to social peace and public morals, a danger to society”, or law 16 / 1970, which goes back to the Franco-colonial heritage and classifies homosexuals as dangerous or antisocial social groups.

By virtue of these measures, which are very different from those that are increasingly being applied in more countries around the world and which have to do with sexual freedom and the existence of rights for these groups, the state legitimizes harassment, punishment and torture on two levels.

The first one serves as a warning and according to the report by We Are Part of the World, it occurs at the family level . The family or neighbors of the homosexual person are in charge of making it public with actions that can range from social rejection to beatings and rapes. Photographs of these humiliating moments are usually taken in order for the person to learn the supposed lesson.

If these methods do not work, a second phase is applied in which the security forces intervene. An arrest occurs and the jail term can last from a few hours to several months. Of course, physical violence is very present and the normal thing is that there are more beatings and scenes of sexual violence.

Worse for women
When it involves women, it is exacerbated : they are forced to become pregnant in order to cure themselves of homosexuality, as the writer Trifonia Melibea Obono reveals in her book ‘I did not want to be a mother’ . The researcher delves into the life stories of lesbian, trans and bisexual women in Equatorial Guinea and says that this punishment occurs several times until they are supposedly healed.
(Translated)

La homosexualidad es una práctica de riesgo en Guinea Ecuatorial. En este estado africano, que fue colonia española durante más de 80 años y en el que gobierna desde hace más de cuatro décadas el dictador más longevo del mundo, Teodoro Obiang, existe una persecución sistemática contra el colectivo LGTBI.

No solo se produce a nivel social, sino que implica además a las instituciones estatales. Como suele ser habitual en este tipo de situaciones, la peor parte se la llevan las mujeres.

Un informe reciente de Somos Parte del Mundo, único grupo LGTBQ del país africano, revela que estos colectivos sufren “maltratos, torturas y prisión con la complicidad de las autoridades”. El documento, que ha recibido el nombre de Homofobia de Estado en Guinea Ecuatorial, reporta algunos de los abusos más graves, entre los que se encuentran “la violencia sexual, los embarazos forzados, la explotación sexual infantil a menores y la alta mortalidad de las personas transexuales por causas que el estado puede solventar”.

Estas persecuciones están amparadas por el estado gracias a decretos como el 94/2019 que define la homosexualidad como “una enfermedad, una práctica delictiva, una amenaza para la paz social y la moral pública, un peligro para la sociedad”, o la ley 16/1970, que se remonta a la herencia franquista colonial y que clasifica a los homosexuales como grupos sociales peligrosos o antisociales.

En virtud de estas medidas, muy diferentes a las que cada vez se aplican en más países del mundo y que tienen que ver con la libertad sexual y con la existencia de derechos para estos colectivos, el estado legitima el acoso, los castigos y la tortura en dos niveles.

El primero de ellos sirve a modo de advertencia y según el informe de Somos Parte del Mundo se produce a nivel familiar. La familia o los vecinos de la persona homosexual se encargan de hacerlo público con acciones que pueden ir desde el repudio social hasta palizas y violaciones. Normalmente se toman fotografías de estos momentos humillantes con el objetivo de que la persona aprenda la supuesta lección.

Si estos métodos no dan resultado se aplica una segunda fase en la que intervienen las fuerzas de seguridad. Se produce una detención y la pena de cárcel puede durar desde unas pocas horas hasta varios meses. Por supuesto, la violencia física está muy presente y lo normal es que se produzcan más palizas y escenas de violencia sexual.

Peor para las mujeres
Si se trata de mujeres se produce un agravante: son obligadas a quedarse embarazadas con el objetivo de que se curen de la homosexualidad, tal y como revela la escritora Trifonia Melibea Obono en su libro ‘Yo no quería ser madre’. La investigadora ahonda en las historias de vida de mujeres lesbianas, trans y bisexuales de Guinea Ecuatorial y cuenta que este castigo se produce varias veces hasta que supuestamente sanan.
(Original)

Continue reading at: https://es-us.deportes.yahoo.com/noticias/guinea-ecuatorial-persecucion-colectivos-homosexuales-teodoro-obiang-lesbofobia-mujeres-obligadas-embarazo-144313283.html (Source)

Germany: lack of protection for black lesbian refugees

L2L Germany

NGO figures indicate that in Bavaria around 95% of asylum applications made by black lesbian women are initially rejected by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF).

This contrasts with the general rejection rate of gay men of 50% and that of heterosexual women of around 30%. Although the numbers on LGBTI asylum applications are only an estimate because the BAMF does not separately register asylum cases from LGBTI people, these seem to show that lesbian asylum seekers in Germany are facing special challenges in their search for refugee protection.

Women and children are particularly vulnerable

This is especially true for black lesbian women of African descent who often experience forms of LGBTIQ-hostility such as social ostracism, racism and (sexual) violence.

In line with a recent EU directive, Germany recognises violations of human rights based on sexual orientation and gender identity as grounds for asylum. In addition, with the ratification of the 2011 Istanbul Convention, Germany recognises that gender-based violence can be a persecution and that refugee protection should therefore be guaranteed. Indeed, women and children, along with victims of sex trafficking, are considered the most vulnerable and vulnerable in the European asylum system.

As the 2019 statistics from the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees show, over 50% of heterosexual women in Germany have successfully achieved refugee status as victims of gender-specific persecution (forced marriage, FGM, honour killings, rape, domestic violence or forced prostitution). However, lesbian refugees are struggling to show the violence and human rights violations they have experienced to receive protection of asylum.
(Translated)

NGO-Zahlen deuten darauf hin, dass in Bayern etwa 95 Prozent der Asylanträge, die von Schwarzen lesbischen Frauen gestellt werden, beim Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge (BAMF) erst einmal eine Ablehnung erfahren.

Dies steht im Gegensatz zu der allgemeinen Ablehnungsrate von schwulen Männern von 50 Prozent und der von heterosexuellen Frauen von etwa 30 Prozent. Obwohl die Zahlen zu LSBTI-Asylanträgen nur eine Schätzung sind, weil das BAMF Asylfälle von LSBTI nicht gesondert erfasst, scheinen diese jedoch zu zeigen, dass lesbische Asylsuchende auf der Suche nach Flüchtlingsschutz in Deutschland besonderen Herausforderungen gegenüberstehen.

Frauen und Kinder gelten als besonders schutzbedürftig
Dies gilt insbesondere für Schwarze lesbische Frauen afrikanischer Herkunft, welche oft Formen von LSBTIQ-Feindlichkeit wie soziale Ächtung, Rassismus und (sexuelle) Gewalt erfahren.

In Übereinstimmung mit einer kürzlich erlassenen EU-Richtlinie erkennt Deutschland Menschenrechtsverletzungen aufgrund der sexuellen Ausrichtung und der Geschlechtsidentität als Asylgrund an. Darüber hinaus erkennt Deutschland mit der Ratifizierung der Istanbuler Konvention von 2011, dass geschlechtsspezifische Gewalt eine Verfolgung darstellen kann und daher Flüchtlingsschutz gewährleistet werden soll. Tatsächlich werden Frauen und Kinder zusammen mit den Opfern von Sexhandel als die schutzbedürftigsten und am stärksten gefährdeten Personen im europäischen Asylsystem betrachtet.

Wie die 2019 Statistik des Bundesamtes für Migration und Flüchtlinge zeigt, haben in Deutschland über 50 Prozent der heterosexuellen Frauen erfolgreich den Flüchtlingsstatus als Opfer geschlechtsspezifischer Verfolgung (Zwangsheirat, FGM, Ehrenmord, Vergewaltigung, häusliche Gewalt oder Zwangsprostitution) erlangt. Lesbische Geflüchtete kämpfen jedoch darum, erlebte Gewalt und Menschenrechtsverletzungen für den Flüchtlingsschutz geltend zu machen.
(Original)

Continue reading at: https://www.tagesspiegel.de/gesellschaft/queerspiegel/asylgrund-homosexualitaet-fehlender-schutz-fuer-schwarze-lesbische-gefluechtete/25938886.html (Source)

Algeria: Lesbians killed to cleanse the family name

algeria
“A woman, in Algeria, is a shame for the family, because she is always expected to do something bad. The culture, the mentality, is like that in my country. The woman is the shame of the family. And if you are a lesbian, you are even worse,” explains Amina.

-When you talk about killing, is it literally?

-Literally. They say that they cleanse the family name. The law does not allow it, but they accept going to jail in order to cleanse the family name.

Homosexuality does not exist in Algeria. You hide or suffer the consequences. “The gays are beaten by the streets, all hit,” says Amina, “and they record it to upload it to social networks, proud of hitting a homosexual person.” “There are no women. Or they are not visible. Because if they knew their sexuality, they would be killed.”
(Translated)
“Una mujer, en Argelia, es una vergüenza para la familia, porque siempre se espera que haga algo malo. La cultura, la mentalidad, es así en mi país. La mujer es la vergüenza de la familia. Y si eres lesbiana, eres aún peor”, explica Amina.

—Cuando hablas de matar, ¿es literalmente?

—Literalmente. Dicen que así limpian el apellido de la familia. La ley no lo permite, pero ellos aceptan entrar en la cárcel con tal de limpiar el apellido.

La homosexualidad no existe en Argelia. Se oculta o se sufren las consecuencias. “A los gais les dan palizas por las calles, todos le pegan —apunta Amina—; y lo graban para subirlo a las redes sociales pavoneándose orgullosos de pegarle a una persona homosexual”. “Mujeres no hay. O no se ven. Porque de saberse su condición, las matarían”, zanja.
(Original)

Continue reading at: https://es-us.noticias.yahoo.com/historia-amina-refugiada-argelia-lesbiana-060000747.html (Source)

Chechen lesbians: murdered, abused and assaulted just like the gay men

This is a translation of an article by Ilya Panin at the Aids Centre Russia. The article is located here and IP for the original article is fully retained by the original writer. A condensed version of the original article is also produced on the original site.

Translation was undertaken by Phil S and we thank her for her generous support.

In Moscow on the 10th February, on the day of human rights, human rights advocates presented “a report on the results of the amount of violence received by lesbian, bisexual and transgender women in the Northern Caucasus in the Russian Federation.” Aids.center is publishing the proceedings, as well as the discussion with a Chechen lesbian about the proceedings with LGBT people in the Russian Caucasus.

The presentation of the report was carried out in complete secrecy: the centre of Moscow, a basement room. Such scenes are more suited to signing secret protocols and journalists have been asked not to name the place where the presentation took place, nor the authors of the study, in their notes, nor their names – the organizers seriously fear for their own lives.  And they have reason to fear – one of the female respondents, whose evidence was used for the document, recently died. In the village, where she lived, they said that she “poisoned herself”. One still hasn’t been in touch.

There still exists a serious stigmatisation of LGBT people in Russian society, especially in the North Caucasus republic, where the situation deepens with traditional and religious aspects.

Queer women of the caucasus 1

Illustration 1 from “the report on violence against queer women of the Caucasus”

Illustration translation:
The violence suffered from law enforcement officers
Physical: 14%, sexual: 10%, psychological: 38%

 

In 2017 the leading Russian media published material detailing the kidnappings, violence and torturing of gay men in Chechnya, they mentioned practically nothing about LGBT women: “the first wave of treatment was against men. The treatment of women remained invisible,” one authors states.

In total, twenty-one residents from Chechnya, Dagestan, Ingushetia and North Ossetia took part in the study. One of them was a transgender woman. Five more, who were contacted by researchers, refused to participate.

Not leaving the accommodation, we speak to Kamilla, not her real name, but she asks to call herself this. A Chechen woman, she was born not far from Grozny. In a village which she has asked us not to publish. She has already lived in Moscow for 2 years.

Queer women of the caucasus 2

Illustration 2 from “the report on violence against queer women of the Caucasus”

Illustration translation:
33% attempted suicide –
copyright “Queer Women in Northern Caucasus” project 2018 funded by Genrich Bellya (Moscow)

 

Short hair, sports jacket, leggings. She speaks very quietly, her lips tightly pursed. She’s a lesbian and the only member of the study daring to talk to the reporters in person.

“In Grozny, my friends and I had our own small community of ‘non-traditional orientation’. We met in a flat, we hung out together. It’s not like we were drinking, we would simply simple and talk. Talk quietly. Now 70-80% of the guys and girls have left the republic. Only those with children and families have stayed,” she says. “The police came for some of those who stayed, but they were released in exchange for bribes. No one admitted to what they “are”, because if we admitted it, they would simply kill us. So, it’s a miracle that we were saved. People collected money, brought it to the flat, as a ransom. Then they ran.”

 

Queer women of the caucasus 3

Illustration 3 from “the report on violence against queer women of the Caucasus”

Illustration translation:
The outing and coming out of lesbian, bisexual and transgender women in their families in the Northern Caucasus
“My brother came home from work and started to look for me. He found me with a girl. We were walking in the street. He started to brutally beat me, he beat me on the head, on my face…in the street. My cousin (male) took me home. My brother said that he would kill me, take me to the outskirts of the city and simply kill me there. I was a shame to the family and a constant problem” (CH. R)
38% told us of honour killings of their relatives and (female) friends

 

The Guardians of Islam

Kamilla is now around 35 years old. 29% of those surveyed during the study stated that they had suffered from sexual violence. Researchers in these situations shared the sexual violence in their families and with their spouse. Kamilla escaped this. But she did not escape the loneliness and isolation that many homosexual women face upon leaving their familial home.

“I can’t cut ties with my mother, because we are very close,” Kamilla says so quietly, that you can barely make out the words. “During my time here, I have even gone home to see her twice. I miss her. I haven’t come out. But my mum always sees my way of life: that I socialise with girls. She has never insisted that I stop all this, only got upset, that I don’t live like everyone else. My (female) cousins got married long ago, they had several children, even those younger than me. It upsets her. The male half, of course, knows nothing.”

“No one admitted to what they ‘are’, because if we admitted it, they would simply kill us”

Due to the specific way of life and risks associated with it, ‘coming out’ is rarely done in North Caucasus.  More often, there is an ‘outing’ when an acquaintance, former partner, relative or neighbour tells others about the “non-traditional” sexual preferences or gender identity of someone.

Only one women from those who agreed to talk to researchers came out to her family, but her fate is now unknown: she went missing after a while and all contact has been lost.

“When people are outed, they become outcasts. The family tries to influence them, either physically or morally. Life after this in the Republic is not an option. In every case, you need to leave,” Kamilla verifies. We speak right in the corner of the room, in a safe space, where no one can find us, there are only a few people in the room. But even in this setting, distrust and tension can be felt.

“When I came to study and work in Grozny, my brother blamed me for not living with my mum in my hometown, but I was always bored with my classmates. At this point, I started to become friends with girls through the internet and to travel to a friend in the neighbouring republic.”

Queer women of the caucasus 4

Illustration 4 from “the report on violence against queer women of the Caucasus”

Illustration translation:
24% victims of religious torture
38% witnesses of honour killings of their relatives, friends, acquaintances

 

The more I tried living on my own, the more pressure and threats I received. In Chechnya, it is believed that the male half of the father’s line is responsible for the girl. The same nephews or cousins on the father’s side.

“Now I’m trying to leave the country, I’m waiting for a response. But as far as I know, they can also reach me abroad,” Kamilla continues, carefully choosing her words, “it happened to my friend, they even wrote about him in the paper, he got to know some Chechens online, went on a date, and they turned out to be “Guardians of Islam” and pushed him into a car. Thankfully, he wasn’t a Chechen, but from a neighbouring republic. Otherwise everything could have ended badly, and so he was released.”

 

Undercover marriage

As a rule, underlined by the authors of the report, after relatives learn that a member of the family belongs to the LGBT community, the family is considered to be ‘disgraced’. The purity of the reputation happens through “honour killings”, a practise which is still carried out in Northern Caucasus. 38% of the respondents who participated in the study said that they had not only heard of “honour killings” but personally knew acquaintances or (female) friends who had been killed in this way “due to behaviour that disgraces the family.”

Queer women of the caucasus 5

Illustration 5 from “the report on violence against queer women of the Caucasus”

Illustration translation:
The outing and coming out of lesbian, bisexual and transgender women in their families in the Northern Caucasus
“One of them said that I needed a “purifying of demonic blood” ritual. To do this, my parents pierced the skin of my back with needles, and made small outlines on my arms and legs. They took such a thing…a vacuum, to get the blood. After this I was put in a bath with very salty water and I had to lie there” (CH R)
Undergoing the practice of “chasing out of Djinns” – 24%

 

Forced marriage is an alternative form of “purifying the reputation”. Of the respondents, nine admitted that they were or had been in forced marriages. Seven of the eight women who had gone through a forced marriage, said that their marriage took place after their outing. That is, after relatives received confirmation of their sexual orientation from third parties: for example, through correspondence or personal photographs.

However, events do not always take such a serious turn. Needles to say, open marriage between LGBT people in the Caucasus is forbidden. But family-imposed marriages with the “right” husband can be both a form of punishment and salvation, often being the only way a woman can live relatively normally, without arousing suspicion.

“I still have a tense relationship with my relatives, they believe that I need to come home and get married. I was proposed to not once but twice. They gave out my number, sent grooms,” Kamilla recounts her personal life.

“In the event of an outing, the person becomes an outcast. The family tries to influence them, either physically or morally. Living in the Republic after this is not an option. You need to leave in any situation.”

“To those who are sent, I can’t respond sharply or rudely, as I don’t want to arouse suspicion. There’s technology. We need to break contact slowly with these young men. It’s stressful, of course. But it could be worse. There are families where a father and brother have ordered it, and the girl cannot get out, because a girl must submit to an adult. That’s not happened to me,” she explains.

“Undercover marriage” is a fictitious marriage which often takes place between a homosexual man and woman, so that they can appear to their parents as a “fully-fledged” traditional family.

“I attempted this,” Kamilla says, “we met through the internet. He knew everything about me, I wasn’t against it. In time we became friends. Fictitious marriage is a saviour for women. She can’t go anywhere alone, she can’t travel alone, and she can’t live alone. Men, if they’re not suspected of being gay, have more possibilities to move. But if there are suspicions that the guy isn’t like everyone else, that he isn’t interested in the opposite sex, that there are no dates, it’s not so easy…rumours spread quickly. That’s why they try to marry, to reassure the family. My marriage didn’t happen because at the very last moment the guy got HIV.”

Such legalised forms of relationships give a feeling of security, the authors of the report say, however, patriarchal foundations often hit and this is a fact in a fictitious marriage. Not only heterosexual men but also gay and bisexual men continue to try to completely control their wives, using violent practises, despite the forced and feigned nature of the partnership itself.

Queer women of the caucasus 6

Illustration 6 from “the report on violence against queer women of the Caucasus”

Illustration translation:
Psychological condition of LGBT women, having lived through violence and hate speech
29% self-harm
43% suicidal thoughts
33% attempt suicide

 

Fear of Djinns

It may seem strange that in traditional Caucasus society the practise of “chasing out the Djinns” is still carried out, it is customary to ‘correct’ or ‘heal’ LGBT people through rites of exorcism.

Researchers explain that even parents with a higher education often converse with “specialists on chasing out Djinns.” Moreover, women themselves often believe in the diabolical essence of their desires: a “male djinn” living inside them and the like. The process of expelling the Djinns, after their sexual orientation had been discovered by relatives, had been suffered by 5 out of 21 respondents.

In general, the authors of the report underline that the stigma, the general atmosphere of fear in which homosexual in the Caucasus live, often doesn’t allow them to seek help in time, even in situations of mortal danger. 100% of the respondents in this study claimed to have experienced both physical and psychological violence.

Queer women of the caucasus 7

Illustration 7 from “the report on violence against queer women of the Caucasus”

Illustration translation:
The outing and coming out of lesbian, bisexual and transgender women in their families in the Northern Caucasus
“My brother sat next to me on his knees, he gave me a pistol…he was crying, I swear, he was crying and he was saying, “I gave father my word that I would not kill you. I beg you, shoot yourself, and just shoot yourself!” and…like a zombie, I went up to him and I gave the pistol to him and I said “you want it, so kill me yourself. I’m not going to shoot myself.” And he said, “If you kill yourself, all this will end, we will tell people that it was an accident” (Ch.P) 

14% survived a direct order to commit suicide.

 

“Even if this report doesn’t change anything and nothing else happens, it’s important that we share it, it’s important that you hear us,” Kamilla concludes towards the end of our conversation, “it’s important that there are people with whom we can just share this with. Someone we can trust. In our region, we know about violence, we have nowhere to turn to, there are Russian laws, but nobody complains about the fact that they’re not complied to. It’s a completely different world there. In traditional families, the person must either live with their relatives or have their own family. Otherwise you will be alone, an outcast, and most of us simply do not have the freedom of choice. What we can wear, who we can talk to, how we can live and in which city, with a male or female partner. Women must be women, men must be men, and everyone has their responsibility. But, nevertheless, I dream of having the freedom to choose”

For the first few days after the presentation, the authors didn’t publish the report online, fearing for their own safety. Today, it went out on an overseas site. Unfortunately, to date, those who are at risk of being exposed are not only those who do not fit into the “traditional” ideas according to local customs, but also human rights activists, researchers and journalists covering “uncomfortable topics”, often beyond the law, discussing the lives of the people there.
The Caucasus.
Where human rights do not exist.

Original Russian article: https://spid.center/ru/articles/2223 (Source)

 

Namibia: Lesbian asylum seeker in Scotland fears forced marriage to man if deported

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Isabella Katjiparatijivi came to Scotland in October 2017, seeking asylum from prejudice because of her sexuality.
Speaking exclusively to The Sunday National, Katjiparatijivi explained that she fears being forced into an arranged marriage if she is deported.
“Lesbianism is not yet legalised in Namibia but there’s an organisation working to legalise it. In my tribe they do not allow two women to get married or be in a relationship.
“My dad doesn’t allow me to be a lesbian and that’s why I came here to seek asylum.
“When he found out I was a lesbian he was planning to arrange a marriage for me, because he and the rest of the tribe believe that if you sleep with a man it ‘cures’ you.
“If I go back my father will try to arrange another marriage because that’s what he believes.”

Continue reading at: https://www.thenational.scot/news/
17405017.lesbian-asylum-seeker-in-scotland-fears-forced-marriage-to-man-if-deported/
(source)