Gay Tourist Left Naked By Scam in Jerusalem

Jerusalem – A Palestinian resident of the West Bank was arrested last week for allegedly luring a British tourist into a robbery with offers of gay sex, and then leaving him naked and stranded at a busy intersection.

Police say the alleged attack took place on April 4, when the Briton, a resident of London, became acquainted with the suspect on Tel Aviv’s beach promenade. The tourist was driving a family-owned Volkswagen Golf vehicle, and was convinced by the suspect to drive to the Israeli Arab village of Tira so that the suspect could “pick up money from a friend,? Insp. Doron Ahrak, of the Taibe police station, told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.

The car containing the two men pulled up under a bridge at an intersection near Tira, and the two men began engaging in sexual acts, before the suspect suddenly ejected the Briton from the vehicle and threatened him, police said.

The suspect then drove away with the Briton’s car, belongings and all of his clothes. The victim had to walk to a nearby gas station naked, where he asked staff to contact police.

Officers from Taibe station quickly arrived on the scene, and soon located a vehicle matching the tourist’s description.

“We pursued the car, and identified the suspect,? Ahrak said. “The suspect eventually chose to abandon the vehicle, and managed escape on foot.?

The car was filled with bottles containing alcoholic beverages, and police forensic officers took DNA and fingerprint samples.

“Based on the samples, we identified the suspect, a resident of a village on the outskirts of Nablus, who has a history of robberies,? Ahrak said.

This past Wednesday evening, Ariel and Taibe police launched a joint operation to arrest the suspect. His custody was extended by five days, and he is due to appear again before the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court on Monday, Ahrak said.
The victim returned to Britain right after the attack.

Str8 From School

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6 May 2010

Michael Davenport & Sebastian Kane

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15 April 2010

Michael was found in the London alternative shop, Cyberdog. A bit alternative himself, Michael chatted to us, quite happy to tell the crew that he watches Boynapped and liked all the kinky stuff that happens. Seb invites him to the penthouse and soon has him roped to the examination table, naked with a rock-hard dick. A painfully slow massage leaves Michael begging to cum, Seb keeps the massage nice and slow as Michael pleads to have his load released. Kept from blowing for such a long time, Michael cums twice before pissing himself through a hard cock.

Alternative sexuality in ancient Egypt? Follow the LGBT Trail at the Petrie Museum

Learning about ‘alternative’ sexualities through time is often a murky business, beset with the prejudices and right-leaning morals of almost every culture in history. And when you’re looking as far back as ancient Egypt, the task becomes infinitely harder. This makes the Petrie Museum’s latest endeavour all the more impressive, as it falls in line with LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) Month, a UK-wide event running throughout February.

Like lesbian or gay history in general, you’ll have to do more than scratch at the museum’s surface to get a sniff of alternative sexualities in Egypt. ‘Beyond Isis and Osiris: Alternative Sexualities in Ancient Egypt’ is a recondite retrospective of gay and lesbian life, shown via 14 artefacts. Organiser John J. Johnson is hardly surprised at the lack of conspicuous gay iconography millennia ago: “That there is an ‘official’ somewhat censorious attitude towards homosexual acts in Pharaonic Egyptian culture is difficult to deny…The twenty-seventh declaration of the Book of the Dead is a confirmation by the deceased that he did not have homosexual relations.”

Yet Mr Johnson argues that this suppression proves homosexual activity occured in ancient Egypt – and there is no lack of museum evidence to back his claim. A stela of Akhenaten and his wife Nefertiti shows the heretic king in a wholly effeminate light, suggesting some sort of hermaphroditic aspect to his heretic worship of Aten, the sun-disk. The Tale of Horus and Seth, a papyrus fragment, describes how the two gods “lay down together. At night, Seth let his member become stiff and he inserted it between the thighs of Horus…”

The Classical Period is also explored in the trail, including the alleged romance of Alexander the Great and Hephaestion. Emperor Hadrian, one of Rome’s greatest leaders, was supposedly embroiled in a love affair with a young man called Antinous: a bronze coin of the former and marble statue of the latter prove handy insights into the tale.

The trail is part of a wider series of events and lectures run by University College London this month, which has already featured Andrew Lear’s fascinating views on Greek pederasty. And Mr Johnson claims the Petrie Museum is the perfect venue for such a trail, as “Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie was particularly keen, in his excavation of settlement areas, to reveal the truth of the ancient Egyptians’ day-to-day lives rather than uncovering the art treasures and funerary artefacts sought by his contemporaries.” Catch the LGBT Trail throughout February.

UK: Avoided Deportation of a Gay Algerian

17 February 2010
caption id="attachment_29026" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Gay Algeria"Gay Algeria/caption

The High Court in London has overturned an order that a gay man from Algeria seeking asylum in the UK should be repatriated.

The Home Office had argued the 27-year-old man, referred to as B, would be safe from persecution as long as he was “discreet? about his homosexuality.

However Mr Justice Collins disagreed, saying that B, who has been fighting to remain in the UK since 1996, was at risk of persecution.

The ruling has infuriated the tabloid press, with The Sun reporting that:
“A FAILED (sic) asylum seeker had his deportation halted yesterday – because he is too CAMP to go home.?

The judge stressed that this case was exceptional, and that he was satisfied that B is gay and would not be able to conceal his sexuality.

A medical report backed the assertion that he would not be able to reintegrate into Algerian society.

Allegations that B had over-emphasised his sexuality to stop his deportation were rejected by Mr Justice Collins.

“It may be, when the matter is investigated and tested, that conclusion could be drawn, although it is highly unlikely in the light of the evidence so far produced,? he said, according to PA.
The Home Secretary will now have to reconsider his case.

Sodomy and “outraging public decency? are both offences in Algeria and carry a prison sentence or a fine.

Gay activist group OutRage! has previously claimed there is a “serious danger? of an openly gay man such as B being murdered by Islamic fundamentalists if returned to Algeria.

Transsexuals and the Urban Landscape in Istanbul

Few social groups can boast the visibility and media attention that male-to-female transsexuals have received in Turkey in recent years. At one point, hardly a month went by without some feature in a popular magazine or a television interview. The cartoonist Latif Demirci captured this frenzied interest with his depiction of an apartment block in a notorious back street of Istanbul. Through each window, a transsexual could be seen being interviewed, filmed or recorded, while building janitors implored a queue of journalists waiting in the street outside to be patient. A recent book offering vignettes on modern Turkey devoted an entire chapter to an interview with Sisi, a famous transsexual.1 The popular magazine Kim featured an intriguing article that voiced a complaint by the male gay community concerning these flashy upstarts.2 They contended that an estimated five to six million gay men–the true heirs of Ottoman tradition forced into retreat after post-Tanzimat westernization–had to lead secret lives, while a handful of transsexuals were making quick money from prostitution. Whatever the scale of this urban phenomenon, it appears to have caught the public imagination and evoked an almost voyeuristic curiosity.

caption id="attachment_28476" align="alignnone" width="223" caption="transsexuals-istanbul"transsexuals-istanbul/caption

Part of the fascination surrounding transsexuals in Turkey is undoubtedly related to the sense of unease they generate in the morally and existentially loaded realms of sexuality and gender identity. In a society that prizes masculinity and places severe taboos on the expression of female sexuality, they parade an aggressively overblown feminine style and generally inhabit a shadowy underworld of entertainers and prostitutes. They inevitably raise questions about the sexual inclinations of their clientele since they tend to command considerably higher prices than their genetically female counterparts. They are also the unsettling harbingers of a new urban scene; the mega-metropolis where everything is on display and for sale, a new arena where the landscapes and, especially, the nightscapes of Istanbul, Rio, New York and Bangkok may become indistinct and shade into one another. Indeed, transsexuals appear to inhabit a social space where the influences of the local and the global meet and merge in varied and unpredictable ways. They are, on the one hand, subject to the legal regulations of the Turkish state and are monitored and often harassed by the forces of order. They are members of a self-conscious local subculture that has evolved its own coded vocabulary.3 On the other hand, they participate in a broader circulation of people, fashions and ideas–in an international market for sex-change surgery, for jobs in European clubs and in the international gay movement’s networks of political solidarity.

Recent legislation that made sex change surgery lawful in Turkey was based on the precedent of B&uumllent Ersoy, a popular singer who applied to the courts for legal recognition of his identity as a woman following a sex-change operation in London. The new article–added to the 29th clause of the Turkish Civil Code in 1988–stated that “In cases where there has been a change of sex after birth documented by a report from a committee of medical experts, the necessary amendments are made to the birth certificate.”4 This outcome ended a lengthy legal battle dating from 1981 when the military regime adopted a particularly uncompromising stance on any form of what it regarded as social deviance.5 There is now an established medical-legal procedure that culminates in the award of a pink identity card (to replace the blue identity card held by men) which confers on its holder the full legal status of a woman. Despite these changes, the fact that medical and legal preconditions for sex-change surgery have not been fully worked out creates areas of uncertainty and the potential for medical malpractice. Sahika Yuksel, a psychiatrist with extensive experience in psychotherapy with transsexuals, has made a strong plea for the full legalization of sex-change surgery, because illegality encourages unscrupulous forms of medical intervention for profit, compounding the difficulties of an already stigmatized group.6

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The foothold of transsexuals in urban space is precarious. They are subject to frequent clamp downs by the police. In the summer of 1995, the back streets behind Taksim Square presented the appearance of a fairly settled community. Police raids had an almost ritualistic feel suggesting a well-established routine of protection and payoffs. A year later, when Istanbul hosted the United Nations Habitat II conference in the luxury hotels surrounding Taksim, transsexuals bore the brunt of the massive “cleanup” operation that preceded the event. Transsexuals–evicted en masse from the back streets of Taksim and dispersed throughout the city–kept in touch through the clubs, hairdressers and cafes they frequent. Few are politicized and prepared to fight for their rights. Militants like Demet Demir, a member of the Human Rights Association, have been struggling to find a voice through the Association of Sexual Rights and Liberties, a fragile coalition of gay and feminist activists. Many male gays accuse the transsexuals of riding the sexual liberties bandwagon only as a means of gaining more freedom as prostitutes. Some transsexual activists, on the other hand, consider themselves to be feminists and progressives.

The transnational nature of transsexual networks is apparent on many levels. The search for sex-change surgery takes transsexuals from the Philippines to Istanbul, where operations are cheaper, while more affluent Turkish transsexuals travel to London as their preferred destination. Those who are able to find jobs in European clubs are thoroughly cosmopolitan. News about new clubs, better surgeons, television programs and magazines travels fast.7 Role models for fame and achievement include local idols like B&uumllent Ersoy but also extend to the West as in the case of the fashion model Tula, who is held up as the epitome of success. There is a sense in which the dreams and materialistic aspirations of some for a fast-track to fame and fortune capture the cultural mood of post-1980s Turkey to an uncanny degree, while others include themselves in a broader search for identity and legitimacy that reaches beyond Turkey. The fact that Demet Demir was recently offered an award by the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission confirms this latter tendency. There will undoubtedly be many more troubled chapters in the history of Turkish transsexuals and these will be narrated by the members of this increasingly articulate community themselves.

Endnotes

1 Tim Kelsey, Dervish: The Invention of Modern Turkey, (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1996).

2 &Oumlzdilek, “Muazzam bir escinsel k&uumllt&uumlr, sanat ve ge&ccedilmis,” Kim 47 (February, 1996), pp. 98-101.

3 This vocabulary is claimed to be based on gypsy dialect with traces of Spanish, Latin and possibly Armenian. The word lubinya is used as a self designation by transsexuals but they are more commonly referred to by others as travesti or d&oumlnme.

4 Amendment to the 29th Clause of Law no. 743, Turkish Civil Code, May 12, 1988.

5 Ilmi ve Kazai I&ccediltihatlar Dergisi 22/253 (January, 1982), pp. 911-13 provides the details of a ruling stating that the decision of whether the complainant, who merely has the appearance of a woman, really is a woman is a medical matter. The complainant’s appeal was therefore rejected on the grounds that further medical examinations were necessary. Two dissenting opinions to this ruling were recorded noting that there could be no question of a sex change for someone who had lived as a male beyond puberty. Interestingly, a June 1988 fatwa issued in Egypt by the Mufti of the Republic on the question of Sayid ‘Abd Allah, alias Sally, who had also undergone a sex-change operation concluded that the operation could only be justified on medical grounds, although the debate that followed condemned such deviations in gender identity as abominations. Jakob Skovgaard-Petersen, “Never Change Your Sex in Cairo,” paper presented at the workshop on “Cases and Contexts in Islamic Law,” December 3-4, 1994, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

caption id="attachment_28478" align="alignnone" width="223" caption="shemale-istanbul"shemale-istanbul/caption

6 Sakiha Y&uumlksel, Cumhuriyet, February 13, 1988, p. 2. An article titled “Butcher of Travestis” in the popular weekly Akt&uumlel 202 (1995) revealed that some transsexuals were subjected to castration rather than vaginal reconstruction and that operations were performed under local anaesthesia in hurried and unhygienic conditions. The victims refer to themselves as duvar (literally meaning walls) and consider their sexuality as irreversibly blighted.

7 I was surprised, for instance, to be asked for back copies of Roses, a Manchester-based transsexual magazine, even though few could read or speak English.

Remembering Ahmad

10 February 2010

A crackdown in Egypt destroyed a vibrant gay community and sparked a worldwide protest.

For “security reasons,” New York police ordered the crowd of 30 or so demonstrators to move away from the steps in front of the gray, concrete building where the Egyptian consulate is housed. On that early May weekend the New York demonstrators in Washington, London, Toronto, Montreal, Paris, and Berlin were marching in front of Egyptian consulates and embassies. The protests, organized by Amnesty International and Al Fatiha, a gay and lesbian Muslim organization, marked the second anniversary of an Egyptian police raid on a floating disco on the Nile, the Queen Boat, frequented by gay men. The May 11, 2001 early morning raid resulted in the arrest and subsequent trial of 52 men suspected of being gay.

EGYPT-GAY

The Queen Boat incident won international attention, thanks to outside pressure, including that of Amnesty International activists. Even Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak took note.

Less well known, however, is that ever since the Queen Boat affair, Egyptian authorities have mounted a sustained attack against gay men and what was once an emerging gay community. “The raid marked the beginning of a two-year public campaign of harassment, intimidation, and detention of those perceived to be gay,” said Michael Heflin, director of AIUSA’s OUTfront Program. “Beyond those originally arrested, scores have faced police surveillance, entrapment, drawn out trials, and long periods of detention. Some were rejected by their friends and family, lost their jobs, or were tortured. All were subjected to profound public humiliation, often in the Egyptian media.”

Just back from Egypt, where he spent three months documenting the abuse of gay men, Scott Long of Human Rights Watch took the megaphone and told a chilling story of how the police tortured and killed one young gay man and then, in a transparent attempt to make the death look like a suicide, threw his body off a building.

There are no hard figures, but Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch estimate that in the past two years, police have arrested up to 200 men for “debauchery,” the official codeword for homosexuality. Not all meet such a horrible ending as torture and death, but it is fair to say that most of their lives are shredded by the stigma of being gay in Egypt.

At the rally, I picked up a sign in red, hand-drawn letters, saying “Stop Torture.” The group walked in a circle as a woman with a pink triangle on her black T-shirt led us in chants she shouted through a megaphone. I used both hands to direct my sign toward the men in suits and women in head scarves who peered from the consulate offices on the second and third floors of the consulate.

As I walked, I thought of “Ahmad,” one of many young gay Egyptian men I met while on assignment in Egypt for three weeks last December.

Ahmad worked at his family business on the outskirts of Cairo, hauling and selling coal. He came from a very conservative family. His mother and three sisters cover their heads with the traditional Muslim scarves. His brother studied at Cairo’s premier Muslim university. Ahmad himself prays five times a day.

And yet he was not torn between his religion and his sexuality. He had found a way, as many spiritual people of any faith do, to bridge the gap between the teachings of his religion and his sexual identity. What Ahmad struggled with was not religion, but loneliness and fear.

There was a time, he told me, when he had been able to escape the strict bounds of his family life and go into Cairo to be in the company of men like himself. He recalled visiting the Queen Boat, before it was raided. It was “incredible” he said, as was the sense of community. There were private parties so large “you would have thought all of Cairo was gay.”

These were havens for Ahmad not because, as Egyptian authorities have said, they featured public sex and devil-worshiping. These were havens because gay men could come together and meet and socialize and even talk about building their own movement, making their own place in Egyptian society—something that the government might well have found more threatening than devil-worship.

But in the past two years, all of that has essentially vanished.

Today, Ahmad lives in near-isolation from other gay men, fearing that if he is found out, he will be arrested, his family shamed, and his life ruined. He is lonely enough that he risks the occasional walk along segments of the Nile where gay men still dare to venture in hope of finding one another.

But, he told me, he feels gay life is over in Egypt. He has no hopes of ever finding anyone to love. He dreams of leaving the country, but cannot afford it. And so he is stuck in Egypt and trapped by fear and loneliness.

That is why I went to the New York rally, and that is why it is so important that we tell the Egyptian government that what it is doing is intolerable. It is especially important for Americans to speak out because Cairo receives Washington’s second largest foreign aid package. We need to tell our own representatives that it is unacceptable to continue to support a government that practices such blatant human rights violations against gay men. But there is more we as Americans, and as gay people, can and must do. Many of my fellow gay Arabs come to this country specifically for the freedom to be gay, something they would never have at home. Yet I know that many of my fellow gay Arabs have been made unwelcome by gay Americans since September 11 cast suspicion on all Arabs. That must stop.

I know also that this is a difficult time for every Arab in the United States. We’ve all lived in fear and under suspicion since Sept. 11. But my fellow Arabs must stop trying to tell gay and lesbian members of our community that this is not the time for gay issues. Now more than ever is the time for fair-minded Arabs in America to embrace their gay and lesbian members and to stop forcing us into a lie of invisibility.

And we in America who are gay and who are Arab have a responsibility to speak up and to counter the worst of all lies spread by our enemies both here and abroad: that we as gay Arabs do not exist.

Youssef Chahine (1926-2008) was probably the greatest Arab film director.

Egypt’s great director

The notes below were issued by Channel Four television to accompany a season of Arab films shown on British TV in the late 1980s.

YOUSSEF CHAHINE, director of some 40 films, is probably the most independent of Arab film-makers, producing what he thinks is important, even at his own expense, and raising issues that disturb.

Born in 1926, son of a Syrian lawyer and a Christian family in Alexandria, Egypt, Chahine attended the prestigious Victoria College. He dreamed of the cinema and theatre, watched Hollywood musicals, and in 1946 left to study drama in California. Chahine’s early films in Egypt included Raging Sky (1953), begun while Farouk was still King and dealing with a peasant farmer’s challenge to a feudal landlord. But the first truly indicative film of his style and preoccupations was Cairo Central Station (Bab al-Hadid), in 1958.

Chahine himself plays the central character, Kenaoui, a simple-minded man, beneficently employed as a newspaper-seller. He cuts pictures of women from magazines for the station hut he lives in, but a living focus of his sexual frustrations is Hanouma (played by the popular actress Hind Rostom), who sells lemonade and is engaged to Abou Serib (Farid Chawqi), porter and trade union organiser. With unthinking but affectionate playfulness Hanouma exacerbates Kenaoui’s frustration and adds to his confusion which leads to tragic death. Egyptian audiences, used to simpler melodramas, were disturbed and rejected the film. It was not seen again for some 20 years.

In 1963 Chahine made Saladin (original title: El Nasser – defender/deliverer – Salah ed-Dine), an epic, three-hour film in CinemaScope named after the 12th Century Sultan who, as the film begins, is preparing to liberate Jerusalem from its Christian Crusader occupiers. It was scripted by Naguib Mahfouz and the poet and progressive writer, Abderrahman Cherkaoui, and a parallel between Saladin and President Nasser is easily drawn. Saladin is shown as an educated and peaceable man – at one point he is asked to give clandestine medical help to Richard (the Lion Heart), shot by an arrow, and later he tells him: “Religion is God’s and the Earth is for all … I guarantee to all Christians in Jerusalem the same rights as are enjoyed by Muslims.”

A novel by Cherkaoui, serialised in 1952, formed the basis of The Earth (1968), noted particularly for its image of the peasant farmer – “eternal ‘damned of the earth’” – which broke with “the ridiculous image the cinema had (hitherto) given him” (Khaled Osman). There followed a further collaboration with Mahfouz on The Choice (1970), ostensibly a murder investigation story involving twin brothers, but with the underlying theme of intellectual schizophrenia. In 1976 he made The Return Of The Prodigal Son, a “musical tragedy”, but four years earlier had made one of his greatest films, The Sparrow (1972), both co-productions with Algeria. A journalist and a young police officer meet while investigating incidents of corruption. They and other people of the left pass through Bahiyya’s house, whose name represents the idea of the mother country and is invoked in Cheikh Imam’s song at the end of the film. After Nasser’s announcement of the defeat in the war and his subsequent resignation, Bahiyya runs into the street, followed by a growing crowd, shouting “No! we must fight. We won’t accept defeat!”

In Alexandria, Why? (1978), Yehia, a young Victoria College student, is obsessed with Hollywod and dreams of making cinema. It is 1942, the Germans are about to enter Alexandria, thought preferable to the presence of the British. Yehia’s cousin is gay and ‘buys’ drunken British soldiers. Jewish friends are forced to leave and decide to settle in Palestine. In An Egyptian Story (1982) Yehia is a flim-maker, going to London (as Chahine had earlier) for open-heart surgery. He has a brief affair with a taxi driver. As a result of the operation, he reviews his life: moments of Chahine’s own films are replayed against their autobiographical and social historical context. Memory is very important to Chahine’s most recent work —whether of the “city of my childhood, Alexandria, between the two world wars tolerant, secular, open to Muslims, Christians and Jews” or of a more distant past: such as evoked in Adieu Bonaparte (1985), based on the cultural aspect of Bonaparte’s expedition into Egypt (1798). “Out of this marvellous confrontation there was a rebirth of Egyptian consciousness, of its past … which belongs to humanity.”

Are Gay Iranians Being Deported from European Countries on ‘Erroneous Information’?

Published earlier this month, a new report on information used by the UK Border Agency to make decisions on asylum cases found that reports on the situation for gays in Iran are “sub-standard or erroneous?.

And in the case of deporting gays back to Iran, and a few other countries, any mistake could well be lethal.

The report deals with the situation in the United Kingdom. But one wonders if there is a similar flaw in the Norwegian system where 40-years-old gay Iranian Asghar Hedayati could well be on the brink of deportation following his application for asylum six-and-a-half years ago.

From what he claims, he has had a number of appeals to the immigration department turned down. But he has not, he says, had his day in a court of law. Certainly, he has no access to a specialist immigration/asylum lawyer, he reports.

There is no way of checking on this as the Norwegian authorities are like the UK Border Agency inasmuch as individual cases are never discussed.

On their Website, LLH (Norwegian LGBT Association) wrote last November that “gay asylum seekers need protection?. The article, in Norwegian, which can be read HERE (in English through Google translator), addresses gay Iraqis and the problems they face with asylum applications in Norway.

But if there are major difficulties for Iraqis, it is fair to assume that it is the same for gay Iranians.

It could well be that gays seeking refuge in Norway from tyranny in their home country are in much the same position as those in the United Kingdom – they are playing a game of refugee roulette.

And “Refugee Roulette? is the title of a report produced by the UK Immigration Advisory Service (IAS) which found that recommendations from a previous review on improvements to use of Country of Origin Information (COI) had not been followed up.

COI is, of course, an important part of the refugee status determination process.

The IAS report noted that in the Iran COI report there is a paragraph that talks about “a park in Tehran where homosexuals can meet?. This paragraph is regularly relied upon to refuse a claim for protection on the basis that gays can exist ‘discretely’ in Iran.

This is something that does not quite tally with gay Iranians in Terhan who were filmed by a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation television news crew three years ago is this particular park. (The video report is no longer available on the CBC’s Website, but it is now on YouTube – links are at the end of this commentary).

Meeting other gays in this park is dangerous, CBC was told. One gay Iranian said on camera it was “suicidal?

Perhaps a copy of this video should be part of the COI folder on Iran?

In UK appeal cases, the paragraph on the park is often used – and has shown to be wrong, as has the translation of the Iranian law on homosexuality, which provides for the death penalty for ‘lavat’ (sodomy).

IAS says in its report that “this point still has not been rectified and exists in the Iran COI report of August 2009?.

In December the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), the Iranian Queer Organization (IRQO), and COC of the Netherlands launched an appeal for twelve youths under sentence of death for ‘lavat’. Their statement noted that in Iran “rather than paying attention to evidence, the judge often sentences defendants to death based on his speculations?.

With the support of Pride London, an Iranian gay man recently won asylum in UK. Just a few days earlier he spoke of his plight and what it was like to be gay in Iran to a Pride London meeting.

However, his ‘victory’ was on appeal as the Home Office said he should be returned to Iran as he only needed to keep his head down, be “discrete and not show that he was gay?.

Spain recently accepted its first gay Iranian for asylum. He had been arrested and tortured for a week by Iranian police who shouted “fags, the next day we will kill you? at him.

Now Norway is preparing to deport Iranian gay man, Asghar Hedayati, on the same “be discrete? basis which forms the apparent Home Office/UK Border Agency policy.

The ‘discrete’ theory does seem to be an amazing thing for a government to say – and UK Gay News has been in two Home Office appeals tribunals and actuall heard the “judge? (not a real judge but a chairman, apparently appointed by the Home Office) say the very same thing.

The IRS Report says that the Home Office policy documents, which have country specific guidance on particular asylum seeking groups for decision makers, are “not monitored by an independent monitoring body and arguably selected on the basis of policy considerations?.

And it is not only gay men who are treated this way by the UK government. Gay women are, as well. Remember Pegah Emanbakhsh?

“Refugee Roulette underlines what case workers, lawyers and campaigners have been saying for years – the system is riddled with homophobia,? says Paul Canning of LGBT Asylum News.

“Both Phil Woolas and, previously, Jacqui Smith have said that it is safe to send gays back to Tehran so long as they are “discrete?. Now we have the evidence showing that the advice they based this on was thoroughly flawed.

“Given the situation in Iran, it is high time Ministers intervened and shook up the system.

“It is sheer hypocrisy for the government to trumpet the Foreign Office’s pro-LGBT human rights strategy at the same time as we are sending gay people back to death zones like Iran, “ he suggested.

As one former UK Home Secretary famously said, the Home Office is “not fit for purpose?. And rarely does a senior politician actually tell the truth.

The bottom line to the entire situation in the UK is that, when it comes to the way gay men and women who are seeking refuge from violent persecution – even incarceration for life or death – in their own country, the government is practicing a form of ‘mental torture’ on some applicants.

SEE ALSO

Canandian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC): Out in Iran: Inside Iran’s Secret Gay World. A 20-minute report, filmed mainly in Terhan, broadcast in the Sunday Night programme on February 18, 2007. From YouTube: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

“Now I Have Lost Hope? – Gay Iranian Who Faces Deportation from Norway in Hours. A forty-years-old gay Iranian is today facing deportation from Norway – and it could be in less than 48 hours. (UK Gay News, January 24, 2010)

Istanbul gay life

3 February 2010

Hey friends,

I teach International Politics at a university in Istanbul. Just to make it clear: the Turkish government is the most secular one in the middle east. It is true that the recent one, namely AKP party is somehow conservative in terms of its focus on keeping Turkish traditions alive and keeping good reliations with the rest of Islamic World.

However naming them as a fundemantalist or an Islamist party would be too unfair when you look at their strong efforts to unify Turkey with EU, liberal management of internal affairs – alcohol is totally free, night clubs are full of young people, there is no intervention to gay life, women and men are free to walk together, kiss each other on the streets etc.

Modern life in big cities like Istanbul, Ankara or Izmir is not less liberal than London or Paris: women wear short skirts, go swimming with bikinis etc. Some women wear scarves but this shows the other way of being tolerant and liberal, am I wrong?

In the rural areas though, people are more traditional and you can see more women covering their heads but that is perfectly understandable: When you go to the country sides in all Europe, people become more traditional too.

The gay community in Istanbul will surprise you there. Being a gay is completely legal in Turkey. There are 4 gay organizations working actively on gay rights. There are many local gay social web sites too.

Because of the traditions, gays do not want to show their gay sides openly in the public but Turkish men like very much having sex with gays. Having sex with same sex is not perceived by them as being gay if it is kept intimate. One of my Turkish friend had told me that having same sex relation has been very wide spread for hundreds of years in this society.

You can meet so many very attractive men there but they wouldn’t do it for money. They simply liked being with men. You can meet many gay people over there too, they can easily flirt with so many nice men whenever they want. For example go to a 4 stores gay club, packed with hundreds of gays and good looking men, everything is so free: people kissing, licking and believe me even having sex on the sofas. Those horny men try to romance with you. In Istanbul, there are at least 20 gay night clubs where you can find anything for your taste and all of them are full of young horny men aging between 18-28.

I am not sure whether Istanbul is the gay capital in 2010 but there are many very nice stuff to discover if you go there with no prejudice of course.

Take care…

Original thread here

When I was in Istanbul…

Hey friends,

I teach International Politics at a university in Britain. Just to make it clear: the Turkish government is the most secular one in the middle east. It is true that the recent one, namely AKP party is somehow conservative in terms of its focus on keeping Turkish traditions alive and keeping good reliations with the rest of Islamic World.

However naming them as a fundemantalist or an Islamist party would be too unfair when you look at their strong efforts to unify Turkey with EU, liberal management of internal affairs – alcohol is totally free, night clubs are full of young people, there is no intervention to gay life, women and men are free to walk together, kiss each other on the streets etc.

I have been to Turkey several times and modern life in big cities like Istanbul, Ankara or Izmir is not less liberal than London or Paris: women wear short skirts, go swimming with bikinis etc. Some women wear scarves but this shows the other way of being tolerant and liberal, am I wrong?

In the rural areas though, people are more traditional and you can see more women covering their heads but that is perfectly understandable: When you go to the country sides in Britain, people become more traditional too.

I was suprised by the gay community there. Being a gay is completely legal in Turkey. There are 4 gay organizations working actively on gay rights. There are many local gay social web sites too.

Because of the traditions, gays do not want to show their gay sides openly in the public but Turkish men like very much having sex with gays. Having sex with same sex is not perceived by them as being gay if it is kept intimate. One of my Turkish friend had told me that having same sex relation has been very wide spread for hundreds of years in this society.

My experience over there supports this too: I met so many very attractive men there (believe me if they came to Blackpool, they could earn several hundred pounds every night) but they wouldn’t do it for money. They simply
liked being with men. I met some gay people over there too and I am jealous of them because they can easily flirt with so many nice men whenever they want. I went to a 4 stores gay club for instance, packed with hundreds of gays and good looking men, everything was so free: people kissing, licking and believe me even having sex on the sofas. Those horny men were trying to romance with me and at the end of the night I found myself sleeping with four of them in one gay friend’s apartment. In Istanbul, there are at least 20 gay night clubs where you can find anything for your taste and all of them are full of young horny men aging between 18-28.

There are many very nice stuff to discover if you go there with no prejudice of course.

Take care…

http://gayspeak.com/forum/chit-chat/4678-when-i-istanbul.html

Gay Muslims made homeless by family violence

Gay Muslims made homeless by family violence

A UK charity is dealing with an increasing number of young gay Muslims becoming homeless after fleeing forced marriages and so-called honour violence.

During a weekly drop-in group held by the Albert Kennedy Trust in London, Suni, a 20-year-old London student, helps himself to a warm mince pie and a steaming cup of coffee.

In 2008, during a holiday to Pakistan to visit relatives, his parents suspected the truth about his sexuality. They believed marriage would “cure? him of what they considered to be a psychological disorder.

Name ‘blackened’

“They told me I’m going to be forced into marriage and they’re looking for a girl and I’ll be married in two to three months and I won’t be able to come back to London,? Suni said.

When he refused, he was imprisoned in his family’s ancestral home in a remote village of Pakistan and subjected to regular beatings and abuse as he had brought “shame? on the strict Muslim family.

I think I’d be vulnerable if people knew about me – I’ve heard a lot of remarks in the past about people saying that gay people should die for religious reasons
Shelim, East London

“I stayed there for three months and he was always beating me. He was telling me I had blackened our family name and he was saying it’s a sin. I know it was just for honour.?

Suni managed to escape and return to the UK, penniless and homeless.

Relatives and friends were reluctant to help him due to fear of violent reprisals from his family.

After a night spent in a police cell, he was put in touch with the trust, which helped find him safe accommodation.

‘Gay demons’

Trust worker Annie Southerst said in the past six months there has been an increase in the number of Muslims coming to them for help.

“They face threats of physical violence, actual violence and restriction of liberties,? she said.

“We’ve had people chased out of the house with knives and we have had issues around young people who had exorcisms planned to get rid of the gay demons, I suppose.

“They come to us because they’re homeless, or in danger of being homeless imminently. We sort out emergency accommodation for them.

“But the biggest loss they face is the loss of their families.

“I can’t imagine what it must be like to suddenly in your late teens, early 20s suddenly not to have a family anymore.?

Hamdan British tried for gay sex

26 January 2010

An Emirati nicknamed Hamdan British who is accused of committing lewd acts with men went on trial yesterday.

The accused, MS, 22, was brought to Dubai Criminal Court separately from other defendants under special guard. He denied five charges.

He is accused of practicing lewdness with men and allowing another man – who is currently facing trial at Dubai Misdemeanour Court – to perform a sex act on him.

In addition, he is charged with creating obscene photos of himself and distributing them on the internet, wearing women’s clothes and insulting Islamic rituals.

Defence lawyer Jassim Al Naqbi called for the trial to be held in secret and asked to hear the testimony of two prosecution witnesses, both policemen. Dubai Police arrested MS at Dubai International Airport on July 20 as he was about to fly to London accompanied by another person.

The trial was adjourned until January 20, and the defendant will remain in custody until then. The public prosecution was instructed to ask the two police witnesses to appear at the session.

If found guilty the defendant could face up to six years in jail and a fine of Dh15,000.

Muslim preacher calls for gays to be stoned to death

Hate preacher Anjem Choudary launched a vitrolic attack on gays last week in which he said that they should be stoned to death.

The former lawyer, who lives on benefits, added that this would include gay business secretary Lord Peter Mandelson, who, under Sharia law, would first be educated about the “evils” of homosexuality then executed if he confessed to a same-sex relationship.

He was speaking at a press conference in London organised by Islamic extremists to justify a protest in Luton last week against soldiers returning home from Iraq.

Choudary said: “If a man likes another man, it can happen, but if you go on to fulfil your desire, if it is proved, then there is a punishment to follow. You don’t stone to death unless there are four eyewitnesses. It is a very stringent procedure.

“There are some people who are attracted to donkeys but that does not mean it is right.”

Conservative MP Patrick Mercer told the Daily Mail: “These statements show the depravity of this man’s beliefs. They must incite hatred and encourage terrorism, and I would encourage the Metropolitan Police to investigate them as rigorously as possible.”

A Scotland Yard spokesman said police would investigate Choudary’s remarks if a complaint was made.

Choudary has previously called for Sharia law to be implemented in the UK.

Last week, he called for all British women to be forced to wear burkhas, saying: ““Every woman, whether Muslim or non-Muslim, would have to wear a traditional burkha and cover everything apart from her face and hands in public.

“In matters to do with the judicial system and the penal code, one male witness is sufficient to counter the testimony of two females. People who commit adultery would be stoned to death.?

What is it about Africa and gay people?

26 January 2010

Why is it that gay people are so hated on this continent? What makes people in Africa want to murder, imprison or beat up on them? And before you start telling me it is a tribal thing, a black thing or a whatever thing, I can tell you a lot of white Africans don’t like them either. I went to an all-boys (and pretty much all-white) school and the levels of homophobia ran high. It was part of that whole rugger bugger (oh, the irony) thing. To be honest, while I was at school, the concept of gay men scared me. All I’d ever heard was they were bad and that if you were in the same room as them, they would try to have sex with you. That was until Std 8 and my Uncle Bobby in London died of Aids. Unknown to me, he had been gay. He cheffed at various high-roller clubs in London and by accounts partied quite hard. While the family had their suspicions about his sexuality, they adopted a “don’t ask, don’t tell? type attitude to it. That was until he lay dying and they had to confront it. I’m quite proud to say that love won out and everyone realised it didn’t matter how Bobby chose to live his life, he was still our awesome uncle and that was that.

From that point onwards, I’ve had a slightly better understanding of what it is like for some gay people, often having to lead double lives and having to keep secrets from their families, employers and friends. It’s a tough break.

But in Africa those breaks are even harder still. For many gay people in Africa, their sexuality comes with very heavy toll. From discriminating legislation to violence to plain old prejudice, Africa has a problem with homosexuals. Lesbian footballers have been gang-raped and then murdered because of their sexuality. In Uganda gay men could face the death sentence, while in Malawi a gay couple have been arrested and if the state can prove they have had sex, they’ll do time in prison. In Zimbabwe, long before Robert Mugabe went mad, he spoke out against the evilness of homosexuality. He couldn’t make up his mind who he hated more — the gays or the imperialists?

Now the thing is Africa is one place that should be a little bit savvy about intolerance and hatred. Africa is one place that has experienced discrimination first hand. From Afrophobia, to xenophobia and every other form of cultural exclusion in between, Africa has been exposed to it. So it stands to reason that when it comes to gay people, Africans should be a little bit sympathetic. But vast majority of us are not. Yes, our Constitution is designed to protect the rights of gay people and yes, in the more cosmopolitan areas of our country gay people can live without fear. But leave those suburbs and the world changes. People don’t dig gays. In fact, they hate them.

Across our entire country and our entire continent you will hear people candidly say I hate them because God hates them. I hate them because they are not part of my culture. I hate them because they are different. I think they are a disease. A disgrace. I think they are immoral. Repugnant. A perversity. They’re not natural.

And the worse thing is we have all heard this talk before, sometimes told as a joke and other times more seriously, and we say nothing back. We just let it slide. For the sake of peace, because we don’t want to disrespect another person’s culture or religion, because we don’t spoil an otherwise nice day.

But imagine if we flipped a few words around. Say we were to exchange the word gay for black or white or Indian or Muslim. I hate blacks because God hates them. I hate whites because they are not part of my culture. I hate Indians because they are different. I think Muslims are a disease. A disgrace. I think blacks are immoral. Repugnant. A perversity. They’re not natural.

If you heard that, you’d say something.

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