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Sunday, 15 August 2010

Trust outraged by Igwe attack

The UK gay Humanist charity the Pink Triangle Trust (this blog’s parent organisation) has expressed its shock and outrage at a report it has received from the Nigerian Humanist and human-rights activist Leo Igwe. The report – which we blogged last Friday – concerns an attack on his home in which his father was brutally attacked and after which he subsequently had to have his right eye removed.

This, says the Trust in a news release, is the most recent in a series of attacks that have followed Igwe’s fearless human-rights campaigns, including those in support of LGBT rights, which the state authorities have done little or nothing to address.

PTT secretary George Broadhead said, “Mr Igwe, who is the executive secretary of the Nigerian Humanist Movement, has demonstrated his staunch support for LGBT rights.

“In 2006 he made an impassioned appeal to members of the Nigerian National Assembly not to pass a Bill that would not only criminalise gay marriage but also impose a five-year jail sentence on anyone who has a gay relationship or anyone who aids or supports a gay marriage or relationship. The Bill had the blessing of the Nigerian Anglican Church and its leader, Archbishop Peter Akinola, as well as the then Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, who declared that homosexual practice ‘is clearly unbiblical, unnatural and definitely un-African’.

“In May this year Mr Igwe was presented with the Rainbow Humanist Award by Nordic Rainbow Humanists for his ‘courageous defence of LGBT rights and dignity in the face of ferocious attacks from homophobic Nigerian politicians, parliamentarians and religious leaders calling for the imprisonment of those having homosexual relations and those who dare to support such relations, and for reminding fellow countrymen and -women in Nigeria of the need to safeguard the spirit of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights and the need for reason, common sense, thoughtfulness, knowledge, love, tolerance, solidarity and empathy, instead of hate and homophobia’. The presention took place at an event in London to mark the International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO).

“This latest brutal attack on Mr Igwe’s family and the grave injury to his father is shocking and outrageous and we are very concerned about Mr Igwe’s own safety,” Broadhead added.

The PTT has sent a letter of protest to the Nigerian High Commissioner in the UK, Dr Dalhatu Sarki Tafida, and asked the European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBT Rights to issue a public condemnation.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Belgium: “Di Rupo Will Die by the White Sword”

Sat 07/08/2010 — 12:01 The Flemish commercial broadcaster VTM has received a letter containing death threats addressed to the man currently leading the negotiations for the formation of a new federal coalition Elio Di Rupo (Francophone socialist). VTM passed the letter on to the Federal Judicial Police in Brussels.

A police spokesman told journalists that the threats are been taken seriously and that an investigation has been launched.

The spokesman added that the very fact that an investigation has been launched proves that the Federal Police don’t believe that the letter is the work of a prankster.

The letter opens with the words “In the name of Allah”.

The writer goes on to say that “A homosexual can’t become the Prime Minister of a future Islamic state like Belgium.”

“The sinner and homosexual Di Rupo will die by the white sword.”

Although Mr Di Rupo keeps his private life very much to himself he makes no secret of his homosexuality.

If he becomes Belgium’s next Prime Minister he will be the European Union’s first openly homosexual PM.

The Interior Ministry’s Crisis Centre has decided not to give Mr Di Rupo extra protection.

The Centre will continue to monitor the situation and make any changes if necessary .