UK To Cut Aid To Countries Which Persecute Gay People
October 10th, 2011
British Prime Minister David Cameron has warned that countries which persecute gay people will find their foreign aid budget cut. International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell also told the Daily Mail that Britain has already cut aid to Malawi over it abuse of human right violation, citing the country’s conviction of Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga, a same-sex couple who entered into a traditional engagement ceremony in violation of that nation’s anti-sodomy laws.
Mitchell’s comments however don’t quite line up with the chain of events in Malawi. The couple were pardoned by Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika in May, 2010. Earlier this year, a Wikileaks cable revealed that the British ambassador warned that Malawi’s President was becoming increasingly autocratic and intolerant of criticism. Mutharika responded by expelling the ambassador while violently cracking down on dissent in the impoverished nation, thereby proving the ambassador’s point. Britain began cutting aid to Malawi in July 2011.
Malawi received about £200 million from Britain over the past three years, before Britain announced cuts of £19 million.
Mitchell also cited Uganda (which is due to received £70 million this year) and Ghana (which received £36 million each year) as possible targets for future cuts if they enact further criminal legislation against gay people. No mention was made of Zimbabwe, which received £69 million last year.
Ghana Regional Minister Orders All Gays Arrested
July 19th, 2011
From the the website of Ghana radio Joy 99.7, it looks like a full-fledged witch-hunt is imminent:
The Western Region Minister Paul Evans Aidoo has ordered the immediate arrest of all homosexuals in the region.
He has tasked the Bureau of National Investigations and all security agencies to smoke out persons suspected to be engaging in same sex. He also enlisted the services of landlords and tenants to provide reliable information which will lead to the arrest of homosexuals.
His directive follows months of campaigns against the practice of homosexuality in the country. Only yesterday, the Christian Council of Ghana capped months of protestations against the practice of homosexuality with a strongly worded message against the practice and courting Ghanaians not to vote for any politician who believes in the rights of homosexuals.
This is worrying, not only for the human rights disaster this roundup would pose, but it would also represent a huge betrayal for those 8,000 who signed up at an HIV/AIDS workshop funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). According to Ghanaian radio, that report sparked a series of religious demonstrations with the Muslim and Christian communities in the Central and Western regions.
The website of AfricanActivist has background on the story. Homosexuality is currently a misdemeanor in Ghana. Ghana’s president John Evans Atta Mills denies reports that he intends to institute a new anti-gay law, after witnesses claimed that he told one religious gathering that he would “ do something about the homosexuality menace in Ghana.” Last June, Ghanaian vice president John Dramani Mahama told delegates at a high level UN meeting on HIV/AIDS that it was essential to include Ghana’s LGBT community in its strategy to fight HIV/AIDS. He also acknowledged that current attitudes toward gay people make that strategy difficult. With the latest calls for mass arrests and the rising prospect of violence, that strategy is now in serious jeopardy, along with the safety and security of thousands of citizens of the West African nation.
[via Warren Throckmorton]