Anonymous: From the Netherlands about Ethiopia

Posted on March 7, 2010. Filed under: Stories - from other sites |

The other face of Ethiopia

Like other oppressive homophobic governments & society homosexuality remains illegal & totally taboo in Ethiopia. Ethiopia’s government took a strong move to ban same-sex relationship even between consensual same sex adult in the criminal & penal code of the country chapter 600/601 from 5-10 years hard imprisonment. Any acts of showing this behavior will end in imprisonment with sever corporal punishment & torture. This in turn violate Ethiopia’s own Constitution and the analogous provisions of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (i.e. articles 2, 3, 11, and 28) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) (i.e. articles 2, 18, 19, 21, 22, and 26).The legislators called homosexuality an affront to Christianity and Islam. Since, this sexual orientation does not conform to the legendary tale & primitive ideology of ultraconservative society; gays & lesbians of Ethiopia prefer to live hidden behind the curtains with lack of confidence & constant fear. Ethiopia has an ever growing gay & lesbian’s population from time to time; the society thinks homosexuality as a western influence (foreign import) & inexcusable sin.

Therefore, gays & lesbians of Ethiopia are suffering a lot from the government’s hostility. Stigma, violence, discrimination, hatred, disrespect, intimidation, abuse, harassment, negative attitude, economic deprivation social injustice, kangaroo court trial, extra-judicial killing & even worse murder. The refusal of the Ethiopian governments to address violence committed against LGBT people creates a culture of impunity where such abuses can continue and escalate unmitigated. Often, such abuses are committed by the state authorities themselves, with legal sanction. Human rights abuses based on sexual orientation in Ethiopia violates the fundamental tenets of international human rights law which is signed & ratified by the Ethiopian government; the infliction of torture and cruel inhuman and degrading treatment (Article 5); arbitrary detention on grounds of identity or beliefs (Article 9); the restriction of freedom of association (Article 20) and the denial of the basic rights of due process of law. The Ethiopian government has an obligation to promote and protect the human rights of its population without distinction of any kind, including sexual orientation or gender identity. As a member of the UN Human Rights Council, Ethiopia is required to uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights of all people regardless of their sexual orientation.

In Ethiopia, if some one is discovered or even suspected to be gay, no one will shake his hand; they want you to be burned in the ever-lasting flame. Many gays & lesbians of Ethiopia have committed suicide & flee out of their country in response to this & they still fear for their lives back in Ethiopia. The Ethiopian gays, lesbians, bisexual & transgender community based human right organization is established in 2007 on the aim of engaging in the areas of advocacy, relief & development for the sexual minorities of Ethiopian & Ethiopian origin, demanding & safeguarding sexual freedom in Ethiopia.We are working hard & tirelessly for the acknowledgment by the Ethiopian government & the international human rights community but the reaction of the Ethiopian government was discouraging & they told us to emigrate only for our difference in sexual orientation. As a steering committee of organization we are responsible for generating a peaceful storm of publicity about Ethiopian gays, lesbians, bisexual & Trans gender peoples sexual freedom all over Ethiopia but no way to accomplish this because the government is putting obstacles not to give press conference, no gay summit pride parade; we are surrounded by the government security forces in every step we make. We face on our day to day life a massive arrest, corporal punishment,detention,torture,forced disappearances, structural economic deprivation,inhman/degrading punishment, extra judicial killings,& other forms of government sponsored human right abuses on Ethiopian sexual community members who live in Addis especially on selectively targeted HR activists. Particularly these form of HR abuse are practiced commonly by the law enforcement officers & if the abuse is in prison it is also assisted by other inmate prisoners. We will send you if you need extra detailed information we can send you the state very inhuman & rampant human right abuse report.

We strongly believe that we don’t have to get a majority of the population on our side to enjoy our basic human rights; a civil right does not depend on a majority approval to be exercised. Recently, we have started some grass root activities for the acknowledgment, understanding, & legalization of sexual freedom of gay & lesbians in Ethiopia. ESMCBO urgently need the helping hand of all International human right actors to work with us in partnership/collaboration of any means to achieve the planned projects of Ethiopian LGBT community to bring the desired human right & social justice for those who are victimized, traumatized, oppressed & stigmatized. We are also lobbying UN higher commission on human right & UN Human Rights Council to influence the Ethiopian government to abide by the Article 16, Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) which stipulates;
     1. Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
     2. Ensure that all allegations and reports of human rights violations based on sexual orientation or gender identity are promptly and impartially investigated and perpetrators held accountable and brought to justice;
     3 Take all necessary legislative, administrative and other measures to prohibit and eliminate prejudicial treatment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity at every stage of the administration of justice;
     4. Ensure adequate protection of human rights defenders at risk because of their work on human rights and sexual orientation and gender identity. We urgently need the recognition & assistance of all international human right actors to change the current unacceptable & oppressive situation in Ethiopia.
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One Response to “Anonymous: From the Netherlands about Ethiopia”


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