I: Torture based on sexual identity -- an unacknowledged global shame
- Subject: I: Torture based on sexual identity -- an unacknowledged global shame
- From: "Stefania Gallaro" <gallarous at tiscalinet.it>
- Date: Sat, 23 Jun 2001 22:03:05 +0200
----- Original Message -----
From: ainews <ainews at amnesty.org>
To: <amnesty-l at oil.ca>
Sent: Friday, June 22, 2001 5:04 PM
Subject: Torture based on sexual identity -- an unacknowledged global shame
> * News Release Issued by the International Secretariat of Amnesty
> International *
> 22 June 2001
> ACT 79/006/2001
> Tortured, ill-treated, sexually assaulted, forcibly subjected to
> medical or psychiatric treatment, forced to flee their home
> countries in terror -- the world over, lesbians, gay men,
> bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people are at particular risk of
> human rights violations because of their sexual identity, Amnesty
> International said today.
> In a new report launched today the organization describes
> the plight of the thousands of people who are tortured and
> ill-treated because their real or perceived sexuality is seen as
> threatening social order. The report includes documented examples
> from some 30 countries, but the full extent of the problem is
> undoubtedly much larger. In over 70 countries same-sex relations
> are considered a crime, and in some instances they incur the
> death penalty.
> "Despite being a widespread occurrence across continents
> and cultures, the torture and ill-treatment suffered by LGBT
> people is surrounded by a conspiracy of silence," Amnesty
> International said, stressing that this is due to the social
> stigma often attached to homosexuality and transsexuality.
> Generalised tolerance of abuses against LGBT people, fear
> of retaliation and reluctance by the victims to gain exposure,
> are some of the factors contributing to this silence. Incidents
> of sexual identity-based ill-treatment remain largely unreported
> and under investigated, and those responsible are seldom brought
> to justice.
> Alongside the heightened risk of torture and
> ill-treatment LGBT people run at the hands of state agents in
> police stations and prisons, they are also vulnerable to physical
> and psychological violence -- often amounting to torture -- in
> the community and even in the family. The prevalence of sexism
> and homophobia in society means that lesbians are at particular
> risk of abuse, including being forced into marriage or sexual
> relationships with men.
> "While some governments take an active role in fuelling
> homophobic violence in society through inflammatory statements
> and institutionalised discrimination, many more share
> responsibility for it through lack of action," Amnesty
> International said.
> "To combat this phenomenon, a clear message must come
> from the authorities -- the torture and ill-treatment of people
> on the basis of their sexual orientation cannot be tolerated, all
> instances of it will be properly investigated and those
> responsible brought to justice," the organization continued.
> "Discrimination -- be it based on sexual identity,
> gender, race, ethnicity or any other factor -- provides a very
> fertile ground for the persistence and proliferation of torture,"
> Amnesty International said.
> "Fighting torture based on sexual identity is an integral
> part of the overall struggle towards a truly torture-free world,"
> added the organization, whose million-strong worldwide membership
> is carrying out a global campaign to eradicate torture and
> Amnesty International supports the efforts of the many
> movements which have emerged throughout the world to break the
> wall of silence surrounding human rights violations against LGBT
> The organization also welcomed the recent initiative by
> the special mechanisms of the UN Commission on Human Rights --
> including the Special Rapporteur on Torture -- to encourage the
> submission of information on human rights abuses related to
> sexual identity. "However, UN human rights bodies should give
> more attention to LGBT issues," Amnesty International said.
> Read the report: Crimes of hate, conspiracy of silence: Torture
> and ill-treatment based on sexual identity:
> Amnesty International's Rafael Barca (RealVideo):
> Comedian Eddie Izzard on the case of Vanessa Lorena Ledesma
> Audio testimony from Christine, whose case is featured in the
> You may repost this message onto other sources provided the main
> text is not altered in any way and both the header crediting
> Amnesty International and this footer remain intact. Only the
> list subscription message may be removed.
> To subscribe to amnesty-L, send a message to <majordomo at oil.ca>
> with "subscribe amnesty-L" in the message body. To unsubscribe,
> send a message to <majordomo at oil.ca> with "unsubscribe amnesty-L"
> in the message body. If you have problem signing off, contact
> <owner-amnesty-L at oil.ca>. <owner-amnesty-L at oil.ca> handles
> only messages concerning list administration. Past and current Amnesty
> news services can be found at <http://www.amnesty.org/news/>.
> Visit <http://www.amnesty.org> for information about Amnesty International
> and for other AI publications. Contact amnestyis at amnesty.org if you
> need to get in touch with the International Secretariat of Amnesty