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Ethiopia proposes to make homosexual acts a non-pardonable offense

Published: Mar 21, 2014 by bini Filed under: Ethiopian News

Ethiopia proposes to make homosexual acts a non-pardonable offense

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Lawmakers in Ethiopia are expected to pass into law a bill that would make same-sex acts a non-pardonable offense

Ethiopia’s Council of Ministers last week endorsed the measure that would amend the country’s Pardon and Amnesty Law that lists homosexuality along other offenses as a non-pardonable.

According to local sources, a vote will be called upon bill in parliament as early as next week, and normally bills endorsed by the Council are passed.

The bill aims to curb the president’s power to pardon prisoners who committed certain “crimes,” including those imprisoned for homosexuality acts. Other offenses included in the list are corruption, human-trafficking, smuggling, rape and terrorism.

Ethiopia’s Minister of State Getachew Bedane urged a quick vote.

“The decision to include homosexuality in this bill is simply pure ignorance on the part of the government,” said one Ethiopian gay rights activist and blogger. “The rest of the world is decriminalizing homosexuality … because it is now being realized that sexual orientation is a basic human right too. It’s deeply troubling to see Ethiopia opting out of this global consciousness.”

In Ethiopia, same-sex acts are illegal and punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

Under its anti-advocacy law, charities and nongovernmental organizations that receive more than 10 percent of their funding from abroad are prohibited from participating in activities that advance human rights and the promotion of equality.

Death penalty on way in Ethiopia for gays

Published: May 1, 2013 by bini Filed under: Ethiopian News Law & Order
ADDIS ABABA: An anti-gay organization that held a recent workshop on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues in Ethiopia is reporting that the death penalty against gay people in Ethiopia may be on the horizon.

The workshop reportedly looked with the social ‘evils’ and ‘disastrous’ effects of homosexuality in Ethiopia, and was led by United for Life Ethiopia, a Western Evangelical Christian organization with local representation.

Government officials, religious leaders, leading heath professionals, charities and members of the public attended the event at the Bethel Teaching Hospital in Addis Ababa, last week.

In the workshop police alleged ‘homosexual family members and neighbors’ have sexually abused 117 boys last year.

It comes on the heels of much antagonism toward the LGBT community in Ethiopia.

Overcoming homophobia in Ethiopia

Published: Oct 9, 2012 by bini Filed under: Ethiopian News
ADDIS ABABA: David Emete has a good job. He’s an accountant for an international firm in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa. In the past three years he has risen from an intern to assistant accounting director at the company. But he says life is not easy for him. The reason: he is gay

“Just walking down the street, many people know that I am gay and they say the worst things to me,” he told one recent evening at a local cafe. For him, the rise in homophobia has been “shocking” as he believes Ethiopia is still a tolerant society in comparison to neighboring East African countries where being gay is punishable by death.

“I have faith in this country and my people and so it is hard to hear what they say to me on a daily basis,” he continued.

The worst was three weeks ago when a local youth gang attacked him, beating him in an alley after he told them to be quiet.

“Honestly, it is shocking to me how many people know that I am gay, and it is worse still that we allow violence to happen in this day and age,” he said, adding that when he went to report the attack, which saw him break two ribs, the police laughed at him.

“This is normal and usually we in the LGBT community don’t bother with the police, but I was injured and I thought maybe this would be different, but it wasn’t.”

Gay conference in Ethiopia shifts venue

Published: Dec 4, 2011 by bini Filed under: Ethiopian News
The controversial homosexual conference that sparked quite a controversy over the past week in Ethiopia has reportedly shifted its venue from its originally scheduled Jupiter Hotel in Addis to the UN Conference Center yesterday. Following the cancellation of a religious leaders’ press briefing condemning the conference last Tuesday, controversy has been raging in the capital Addis for days. The African Men for Sexual Health and Rights (AMSHeR), the organizer of the conference, noted on its website yesterday day that the new venue has been shifted to the UN Conference Center from its previous location Jupiter Hotel. However, the management of Jupiter Hotel has denied that such event was all together planned to take place there following the announcement of the group in its website earlier in the week. Roman Tafeswork, General Manager of Jupiter Hotel, responded to The Reporter's inquiries regarding the AMSHeR meeting saying that no such meeting was scheduled to be held at Jupiter Hotel and that the rumors are defamatory in nature.

Gay conference in Ethiopia may face ban

Published: Dec 1, 2011 by bini Filed under: Ethiopian News

Religious leaders and government authorities in Ethiopia have ended a meeting on November 29, with an apparent dispute over how to and whether or not ban an upcoming continental gay conference scheduled to be held in Addis Ababa.

Just a day before the 16th International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STIs) in Africa (ICASA) opens, about 200 gays as well as UN and U.S. officials are expected to gather at Addis Ababa’s Jupiter International Hotel, on December 3 to discuss what the organizers call men having sex with men (MSM) issues.

Organized by African Men for Sexual Health and Rights (AMSHeR), the meeting dubbed  ‘Claim, Scale-up, and Sustain’  seeks to  increase attention on MSM and HIV related issues in Africa, to reflect on the state of the response in MSM communities in Africa and to identify ways forward for scaling up MSM and HIV interventions, according to News from Africa website.

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