World Briefs

Posted on 05 May 2006 at 12:38pm
By Rex Wockner

Police raid Buenos Aires gay bar; record names of all attending private party

Police raid Buenos Aires gay bar; record names of all attending private party
The Buenos Aires gay bar Zero Consequence was raided by Argentina’s Federal Police April 18 while the venue was hosting a private party.

According to the group Argentine Homosexual Community, the cops turned on the lights, stopped the music and forced the 120 people present to stand with their hands against a wall for an hour without telling them why.

Information from the individuals’ identity cards was recorded in a notebook.
When activists from the gay organization arrived on the scene, the police responded by calling for backup, doubling their presence.

“It was like the worst times of the military dictatorship 30 years ago,” said C?sar Cigliutti, president of the Argentine Homosexual Community.
The police occupation continued for nearly four hours. In the end, no one was arrested.

Some journalists speculated that the club may have failed to pay routine expected bribes.

“Perhaps there was pending “‘business’ between the cops and the owners of the bar,” said correspondent Mariano Lago. “The fact that it was a gay bar only made it worse, as military and police forces are deeply homophobic. Anyway, what happened was absolutely illegal. These people were taken hostage.”The gay organization said it planned to file criminal charges alleging “illegal deprivation of freedom,” meet with the Interior Ministry and file a complaint of “police violence” with the Secretary of Human Rights

Swedish organization plans Pride event to be held in anti-gay pastor’s town
Sweden’s National Federation for Sexual Equality (RFSL) will stage a gay Pride festival this summer in the town of Pentecostal pastor Ake Green, who made headlines when he was sentenced to prison for a hate crime after preaching that homosexuality is “a deep cancerous tumor on the body of society” that leads to bestiality and pedophilia.

The Swedish Supreme Court later acquitted Green, saying his homily was protected by freedom of speech and freedom of religion provisions in the European Convention on Human Rights.

Reine Medelius with the federation told Barometer magazine that Green’s town of “Borgholm is seen as the original town of prejudice. We want to change that.”

The historic seaside resort is near the royal family’s summer home.

British group documents Iran’s executions of gays, say as many as 4,000 killed

The Iranian government is executing gay and bisexual men under the cover of rape and kidnapping charges, according to the British gay group OutRage.
A nine-month investigation by group member Simon Forbes, who accessed “credible, verified sources inside Iran,” uncovered evidence of lynchings by Iran’s security forces, “honor killings” by families in the southwestern province of Khuzestan, secret hangings in prison and “a pattern of framing gay people on charges of kidnap, rape and pedophilia.”

“[Our] research confirms a pattern of framing same-sex lovers in order to discredit them, discourage public protests and deflect international condemnation,” said OutRage leader Peter Tatchell.

The Iranian exile gay group Homan has claimed that 4,000 people have been executed for sodomy since 1979. The OutRage report said an attempt to set up a gay organization in the early 1980s led to 70 executions, and that around 100 gays were sentenced to death following a raid on a private party in 1992.

“A very large number were executed, or rather lynched without trial, as the Ayatollahs began to hijack the Iranian Revolution by the end of 1979,” Forbes said.

“That year gay activists from the Lavender Crescent Society in San Francisco were taken from the airport in Tehran shortly after their arrival and summarily shot dead. Gay and bisexual men were quite literally hanged from trees at that time.”

61 percent of Spaniards support same-sex marriage, new poll indicates
Sixty-one percent of Spaniards say the government was right to legalize full marriage for same-sex couples, according to a new Instituto Opina poll.
Thirty-two percent think it was a mistake, and about 7 percent are unsure or refused to answer the question. Pollsters quizzed 1,000 adults by phone on March 30. The margin of error is 3.1 percent.

Same-sex marriage is also legal in Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands and Massachusetts. A court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage in South Africa will take effect Dec. 1 unless Parliament makes the change sooner.

Nine Cameroon gay men jailed for homosexuality acquitted by high court
Nine men jailed for eleven months in Cameroon on charges of practicing homosexuality were acquitted by the High Court April 21.
According to the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, the Cameroon government has refused to release the men despite their acquittal. In a further travesty of justice, the government is forcing the men to stand trial again.

At their initial trial, no witnesses were called and no proof offered by the prosecution. The magistrate overseeing the case declared the men innocent of all charges. The men expected to be released from prison quickly, but the prosecutor’s office has refused to order their release and has said the men will be retried.

“You arrest people unfairly, violate their rights for almost a year, and then refuse to release them this constitutes an abuse of power,” Dugi Titanji, the men’s attorney, told IGLHRC. “This development constitutes a major violation of due process. This is now a blatant case of arbitrary detention.”
Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states that, “no one shall be liable to be tried or punished again for an offense for which he has already been finally convicted or acquitted.

“This is nothing more than double jeopardy,” stated Cary Alan Johnson, senior coordinator for Africa at IGLHRC. “The Cameroonian government has upended the entire judicial process and is showing blatant disregard for legal procedures. We will work with the Cameroonian activists to confront this brazen abuse in the courts and at the national and international diplomatic levels.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, May 5, 2006.

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