‘Why I Think The Gay Community Should Come Out’ – Seun Kuti

In this piece Seun Kuti boldly discusses those parts of the new law he finds disturbing and raises very valid concerns.

Afrobeat musician Seun Kuti writes for OkayAfrica.com. Find it below…

I’m writing to condemn the recent anti-gay bill signed into law by  our President Jonathan Goodluck. This law – which contains penalties of  up to 14 years in prison for anyone in a same-sex marriage or civil  union, 10 years for anyone who attends a same-sex wedding, 10 years for  anyone involved with an LGBT organization, and even 10 years for anyone  who shows affection for someone of the same sex – should be cast out.  Since the law was passed, police across Nigeria have begun arresting and torturing dozens of our fellow citizens suspected of being gay. Don’t  forget that in some of our states, if you are found guilty of being gay, you could be stoned to death.

First of all, this law was unnecessary. There is not space in the  existing constitution for gay marriage. Our constitution is very  definitive of marriage as a union between man and woman. I see the  signing in of this law for what it was: a cheap shot by an  under-achieving government to discriminate against people because they  are different.

The president of Nigeria has a PhD, so he should understand better  than most the implications of the law. Even if he couldn’t stop the  senate from passing the bill, he had the power to delay signing it as a  way of protecting the gay community. The President has had the Petroleum Industry Bill in front of him for years, and he and our senators have  stalled on the bill calling for harsher punishment for corruption.  Meanwhile, Nigeria’s senate has just sanctioned pedophilia in our  constitution (girls that are as young as 9 years old can continue to be  married in if they are “physically developed enough” according to their  parents or prospective husbands) – so this the ban on homosexuality can  hardly be a so-called “moral” issue. This is simply a move for cheap  political points. Meanwhile, people’s lives hang in the balance.
Today I am writing this not as a fight for “gay rights”, I am  fighting for all rights. People should be allowed to express themselves  freely and this includes their sexuality. I believe all gay people  should come out and organize openly. I expect that society should allow  them live their lives as they please. It’s not a cultural thing – it’s a sexual thing. I have even heard  people say it’s Western culture imposed on us and if the West doesn’t  recognize polygamy we should not accept homosexuality. This is the kind  of scary ignorance that this kind of law will foster. (I can say for a  fact that the constitution of Nigeria does not recognize polygamy. We  have customary laws that are non-binding, but our secular courts and  national constitution does not allow polygamy even though it’s “our  culture.”) I believe in education as the answer to any problem and I know this  law does not educate positively. It just criminalizes and  institutionalizes hate towards the gay community.
Here’s a call to action: I believe the gay community should come out! They need to put love above fear. I also believe that gay people in  Africa not just Nigeria who are being targeted like this should put  pressure on the West by claiming asylum in their countries. I think we  are about to see a new wave of sexual refugees!
Love over fear should be the way forward. -Seun Kuti

Culled from Linda Ikeji’s blog

Perverted Indiana mom admits selling baby for sex eight different times

When I come across stories like this I find myself at a loss regarding who to blame. The mother for being so evil or the man for being so perverted?

Personally Ibelieve stories like this further help buttress the point that men who violate women just have those tendencies, not necessarily that they were overwhelmed with lust and lost control. What could even be remotely sexual about a baby? How do you even begin to position the infant? Did he actually penetrate that baby? Was it oral? Will that baby be physically okay or is she ruined for life.

Questions lacking answers, all of them.

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Natisha Hillard, 25,  told a judge she needed money for rent so she sold the baby to a 40-year-old man  for sex. She faces 30 years in prison.

  By      / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Natisha Hillard said she needed money so she sold her months-old baby for sex.

Gary Police Department

Natisha Hillard said she needed money  so she sold her months-old baby for sex.

A perverted Indiana mom is facing life in prison after she admitted selling  her baby eight different times so a man could have sex with the infant.

Natisha Hillard, 25, told a federal judge that she was in dire need of money  so she rented the baby, which was between 4 months old and 16 months old during  the demented trysts, for sex with Christopher M. Bour, 40.

Federal officers first learned of the disturbing deal when Bour’s masseuse  saw child pornography videos on his computer during a visit to his Gary, Ind.  home, the Chicago Tribune reported.

He later asked her to take pictures of him having sex with the baby, which  he told her the mother had allowed.

“I was just seeing if u would hold the camera,” he later texted the woman as  he graphically described the sex acts he planned.

“It’s the best sex I ever had,” he wrote the woman, according to the  indictment.

Christopher Bour is expected to plead guilty to having sex with an infant and photographing it.

Gary Police Department

Christopher Bour is expected to plead  guilty to having sex with an infant and photographing it.

Hillard was in the room for seven of the sexual encounters, but relented one  time and allowed the man to abuse and take photos of the baby without  supervision.

“He didn’t tell me what he was going to do with (the pictures),” she told  authorities, The Post-Tribune reported.

The degenerate couple first met in 2011 through a dating service. Hillard  introduced the pervert to her two children, including her baby and 3-year-old  daughter.

She let the deviant take sexual pictures of the older girl at least once as  well.

She faces a minimum of 30 years to life in prison when sentenced.

Bour is scheduled to appear in federal court on Thursday and is expected to  plead guilty. He’s been charged with buying a child to produce child  pornography, producing child pornography and possessing child pornorgraphy  depicting a child under the age of 12.

sgoldstein@nydailynews.com or  follow on Twitter

 

Enugu Government House Hostage: I Was Fully Briefed By Mrs Clara Chime, Asserts Femi Falana

Meanwhile this is what her counsel, Femi Falana, a Human Rights activist is saying.

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caption:  Femi Falana (SAN)
                    By SaharaReporters, New York

Human rights advocate Femi Falana has repudiated the claim by the governor of Enugu State, Mr. Sullivan Chime, that he did not receive a brief from his wife to represent her to secure her release from the illegal detention imposed by her husband, the governor.

“I wish to say, without any fear of contradiction, that I have her instructions in writing to challenge her illegal detention at the Government House, Enugu,” he declared in a statement on Wednesday.  “Through the assistance of some of the security personnel in the Government House she has since spoken to me on phone to confirm her instructions.  Indeed, Mrs Chime’s  mother and her personal physician have also been in touch with me urging me to take all appropriate measures to secure her freedom from Governor Chime’s illegal confinement.”

Beyond that, Mr. Falana pointed out that contrary to the governor’s diversionary statement, he does not need the instructions of citizens who are illegally detained to demand for their release.

“Without any instructions I am duty bound to file cases in court to secure the enforcement of the fundamental rights of detainees to personal liberty.  For the avoidance of doubt, the doctrine of locus standi in the area of human rights has been abolished by the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules 2009 which came into force on December 1, 2009,” he said.

Mr. Falana noted that at the press conference Governor Chime succeeded in confirming the allegation that he has held his wife in illegal custody but attempted to justify the illegality by alleging that his wife has “a medical challenge”.

Said the statement: “When Governor Chime was recently medically challenged he was not subjected to solitary confinement in the Government House but flown abroad for adequate medical treatment,” the lawyer said.  “But Mr Chime has conspired with his private physicians to sentence his wife to unwarranted mental torture and psychological trauma in a room in the Government House for the past four months.  If Mr. Chime’s claim is correct that the wife is non compos mentis, when was the Enugu Government House converted to a psychiatric hospital?

“Having confirmed the allegation that he has willfully infringed the fundamental rights of his wife to personal liberty, dignity of the person and freedom of movement Governor Chime should release his wife from illegal custody [and] be warned not to divert attention from the brutal abuse of the rights of his wife.  If he and his doctors are convinced that she is medically challenged they should send her to a hospital for quick recovery!”

Mr. Falana thanked the Director-General of the State Security Service who, he said, has directed the security service personnel attached to the Government House to desist from teaming up with the Governor to hold his wife hostage.

Culled from Sahara Reporters

“They Are Lying Against Me” – Wife of Enugu State Governor Responds to NHRC Press Statement

Yesterday I brought you the press statement issued by the National Human Rights Commission in respect to Mrs. Sullivan Chime‘s (Enugu state governor’s wife) allegations of emotional abuse, mental torture and house arrest. Well, apparently she saw the report too and is not feeling it on any level. Find her response below.

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Wife of the Enugu State Governor, Sullivan Chime, Clara, has cried out that the report of the National Human Rights Commission on her incarceration by her husband, Governor Sullivan Chime is not the whole truth as it should be told to the Nigerian public.

Clara Chime 1 They Are Lying Against Me ––Governor Chimes Wife Cries Out

Clara said in fact the report was set to damage her reputation…

This was contained in a letter of complaint she wrote to her lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana, SAN. The NHRC had on Friday released a preliminary report on its investigations into Clara’s complaints of rights abuse.

Speaking on the report, the Executive Secretary of the NHRC, Prof. Bem Angwe, said the bone of contention between Chime and his wife was a disagreement over the procedure for the treatment of her occasional hallucinations and depression.

But Clara said she never told them about any “hallucinations”. In her letter, she said, “I am very disappointed to read what has been narrated by the National Human Rights Commission. Apart from the fact that the information was largely false, it showed lack of sensitivity in publishing sensitive medical detail.

“This has the effect of tarnishing and damaging my reputation. It is as though the commission set out to ridicule me. I made it clear to them that I had a nervous breakdown and found it inexplicable as to how hallucinations featured as part of my symptoms.

“It is important to make this clear, so that the public should be made aware of this and that the Commission should recognise part of her ethos in protecting human dignity. It has been suggested by some quarters that the Commission appears biased already because of the profile of the person whose reputation is at stake.

“I want to believe that the Commission would approach my case with open mind and in particular recognise me as a victim of crime. I hope that common sense would prevail and that the Commission should now retract the damaging publication and stop stigmatising me.”

I thought Governor Chime had said a neuro-psychiatric doctor, Dr Aham Agumoh was around to take care of his wife? What is really going? Is this be a case of cover up and counter cover up? Too many questions.

‘Die, my daughter, die!’ An old-world ‘honor killing’ in modern St. Louis

This is one of the most shocking stories I have read in a long time. I thought honor killings were mostly to do with involvement in sexual relations or the suspicion of such conduct. Apparently not. It appears this man left his hometown but the cultural norms and values remained ingrained. As for the “Catholic” mother, I am still trying to fathom which aspect of Catholicism forbids anyone of any age, taking a job or even being in a relationship. What a tragic end.

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How FBI’s terror bug  caught parents red-handed, stabbing teenager Tina Isa to death

  By      / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

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Ed Lallo/Time & Life  Pictures/Getty Image

Immigrant high school student Tina Isa, 16, posed in the hallway at  Roosevelt High School. Her father stabbed her to death for rebelling against his  old-country mores — and the FBI caught the whole thing on a bug planted in  their home.

Like many teenagers, Tina Isa didn’t listen to her parents.

They lived in different worlds, in effect.

Her father, Zein Isa, was a Palestinian Muslim with Old World ideas about  how his child should and should not behave. His wife, Maria, a Brazilian  Catholic, was more a martinet than a mother.

But Tina was a headstrong modern girl growing up in big-city St. Louis, not  some medieval village.

At age 16, she was a bright senior honors student at rugged Roosevelt High  School. She dreamed of studying aeronautics in college. She wanted to learn to  fly.

She liked hip hop music and giggled with girlfriends about cute boys.

“She was so American,” a schoolmate said.

Zein and Maria Isa tried to keep their daughter — the youngest of four — on  a short leash. They discouraged her from playing sports and forbid her from  going on school trips.

Her father decreed that she was destined for an arranged marriage with a  good Muslim from his West Bank hometown.

She was not allowed to date or take a job. When she managed to steal away to  the junior prom, they tracked her down and hauled her home.

Six weeks into Tina’s senior year, her parents began the process of  withdrawing her from school for disobeying “family rules.” During a conference  with the girl’s guidance counselor, Maria Isa described her daughter as a  “tramp” and a “whore.”

Police photo of Palestinian emigre grocer Zein Isa, wearing blood-stained sweater, with bloodied hands, standing at home after he stabbed his 16-year-old daughter Tina to death.

Ed Lallo/Time & Life  Pictures/Getty Image

Police photo of Palestinian emigre  grocer Zein Isa, wearing blood-stained sweater, with bloodied hands, standing at  home after he stabbed his 16-year-old daughter Tina to death.

On Nov. 6, 1989, Tina was late coming home.

Her parents were waiting, glaring through the windows, as a classmate — a  boy she had secretly begun dating — walked her to the door.

When she stepped inside, her mother fumed, “Where were you, bitch?”

Tina explained that she had taken a part-time job at a Wendy’s restaurant a  mile from home and had just finished her first shift.

“We do not accept that — to work!” shouted her father. He raged about  fornication with the boy and called his daughter a “she-devil.”

For several minutes, they argued in a mix of English and Arabic about whether  Tina would be allowed to continue living with her parents.

“Come on, throw me out!” Tina said. “OK, here is my key.”

During the argument, Maria Isa searched Tina’s school bag, interrogating her  about shoes, books and a newspaper she found inside.

The father suddenly cut off the conversation.

“Listen, my dear daughter, do you know that this is the last day?” Zein Isa  said.

“Huh?” Tina replied.

Before killing his daughter Tina, Zein Isa asked her: "Do you know that you are going to die tonight?"

 Before killing his daughter Tina,  Zein Isa asked her: “Do you know that you are going to die tonight?”

“Do you know that you are going to die tonight?”

When he returned from the kitchen with a 7-inch boning knife, Tina grasped  that he was serious. She cried out, “Mother, please help me!”

“What help?” the mother replied. “Are you going to listen? Are you going to  listen?”

“Yes! Yes! Yes, I am!”

But it was too late. As her mother pinned the screaming girl to the living  room floor, her father raised the knife and buried it in her left breast six  times.

“No! Please!” she shouted.

“Shut up!” her mother replied.

“Die! Die quickly!” said the father.

After one final death groan, he added, “Quiet, little one! Die, my daughter,  die!”

The parents then called 911 to announce that Tina had attacked them. Zein Isa  told police he had killed her in self-defense.

St. Louis detectives were trying to make sense of the case the next day when  they were contacted by the FBI.

Maria Isa held her daughter Tina down as her husband stabbed the teen to death.

 Maria Isa held her daughter Tina down  as her husband stabbed the teen to death.

Zein Isa, who owned a small grocery store, had been under surveillance as a  member of a Midwest-based terrorist cell linked to Abu Nidal, a jihadist group.  The seven-minute Isa family argument culminating in the stone-hearted murder had  been recorded via a bug planted in their home.

FBI agents heard every mortifying word when they reviewed the tapes the next  morning.

The press called it an “honor killing,” though Zein and Maria Isa stuck to  their story that the girl had struck first.

The FBI recording was damning evidence when the two went on trial for  first-degree murder in the fall of 1991. They did little to encourage sympathy,  and both were convicted.

At her sentencing, Maria Isa told the judge that it was all Tina’s  fault.

“My daughter was very disrespectful and very rebellious,” she said. “We  should not have to pay with our lives for something she did.”

Judge Charles Shaw disagreed and sentenced both to die.

In 1993, as he sat waiting among Missouri’s condemned, Zein Isa was indicted  with four other men on racketeering charges for plotting terrorism. All of them,  including Isa, were naturalized American citizens who had grown up in the same  West Bank town, Beitin.

Charges were dropped against Isa since they were redundant to his death  sentence. The others pleaded guilty in 1994, and each served about two years in  federal prison.

Isa didn’t make it to the executioner’s gurney. He died behind bars of  diabetes in 1997. That same year, Maria Isa’s death sentence was reduced to life  without parole after an appeals court ruled that her brutality should have been  considered separately from that of her husband.

Now 70, Maria Isa is still locked up in a Missouri penitentiary, 24 years  after witnessing her daughter die, begging for mercy that she would not  bestow.

Culled from nydailynews.com

Nigerian human rights lawyer profiled in International Day to End Impunity campaign

The International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX) today launched the start of its 2013 anti-impunity campaign ahead of the third annual International Day to End Impunity (IDEI) during which it will profile the case of Nigerian human rights lawyer, Mr. Rommy Mom, who had to flee his home state of Benue following threats to his life.
Mr. Mom, who is President of the Makurdi-based non-governmental organization, Lawyers Alert, is being threatened because he is asking questions, using the Freedom of Information Act,  about how much Benue state received from the Federal Government and other sources as support to flood victims in 2012 and how a N500 million federal assistance was spent, since no victim of the floods in the state had been paid.

Rommy Mom is being threatened for asking questions about how much Benue State received from the Federal Government as support to flood victims in 2012.
Rommy Mom is being threatened for asking questions about how much Benue State received from the Federal Government as support to flood victims in 2012.
Media Rights Agenda

 For the first time ever, Nigeria entered the Impunity Index of the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists’ (CPJ), released on May 3, this year, in commemoration of World Press Freedom Day.  The Impunity Index is an annual ranking of countries where journalists are murdered regularly and their killers go free.
Nigeria is one of five countries around the world to be highlighted in this year’s global campaign to end impunity. The other countries are Cambodia, Egypt, Turkey and Ecuador.
In launching the IDEI campaign, IFEX is asking its members around the globe, as well as other individuals and organizations, to participate in its “23 Actions in 23 Days” by taking actions hosted on the website; www.daytoendimpunity.org, which will serve as the campaign hub from November 1 to 23.
Observing that something new will be featured on the website every day between November 1 and 23, IFEX said:  “We’ve created multimedia resources to help people understand the problem and find ways to add their voices to a global network of activists working together. Through infographics, videos, online interactive experiences, articles, country profiles and interviews, we hope to engage more people than ever in this campaign that strikes at the very roots of the injustice and insecurity that silence expression.”
IFEX explained that it especially hopes the campaign will help draw attention to and encourage action in support of five individuals who will be profiled on specific days during the campaign, and then again on 23 November, the International Day to End Impunity.
Those to be profiled ahead of the IDEI are: Yorm Bopha, a Cambodian human rights activist and protester, on November 4; Eren Keskin, a Women’s rights activist and lawyer in Turkey, on November 7; Doaa Eladl, an Egyptian cartoonist on November 12; Martin Pallares, an Ecuadorian journalist on November 14; and Rommy Mom, a Nigerian human rights lawyer, on November 18.
IFEX is working with its Nigerian member, Media Rights Agenda (MRA), to draw national and international attention to the plight of Mr. Mom. MRA will be coordinating activities in Nigeria in the lead up to the IDEI, particularly on November 18 and 23, including providing details of Mr. Mom’s case and calling for public support on his behalf to ensure his safety and enable him return to his home state to continue his work.
The IFEX impunity campaign website also features an interactive map that will plot all campaign events and actions planned or undertaken by IFEX members.   The hashtags for tweets are: #IDEI, #endimpunity and #23Nov

Benue Flood Relief Case Draws International Attention: Bar. Rommy Mom to be Profiled in International Day to End Impunity Campaign

When I first started talking about the Flood Relief Funds palaver in Benue state, I had no idea the whole thing would grow to such exponential proportions. Apparently it has.

You might remember that one Bar. Rommy Mom had made enquiries of the state regarding the status of funds meant for victims of the flood. When he could get no satisfaction from the Benue State Emergency Management Agency, the organization which was meant to have managed the disbursement of the funds appropriately, he took the matter to court but lost the case. Thereafter I understand, the threats began.

Well, apparently the dude has been a human rights activist for a while and the whole episode did not go unnoticed. Indeed it has made Nigeria one of the countries the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX) is concerned about as it commences its 2013 anti impunity campaign.

You might need to read the article below to get the full story.

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Rommy Mom, esq.
 The International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX) today launched the start of its 2013 anti-impunity campaign ahead of the third annual “International Day to End Impunity” (IDEI) during which it will profile the case of Nigerian human rights lawyer, Mr. Rommy Mom, who had to flee his home State of Benue following threats to his life.
Mr. Mom, who is President of the Makurdi-based non-governmental organization, Lawyers Alert, is being threatened because he is asking questions, using the Freedom of Information Act,  about how much Benue State received from the Federal Government and other sources as support to flood victims in 2012 and how a N500 million Federal assistance was spent since no victim of the floods in the State had been paid.
For the first time ever, Nigeria entered the “Impunity Index” of the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists’ (CPJ), released on May 3, this year, in commemoration of the World Press Freedom Day.  The Impunity Index is an annual ranking of countries where journalists are murdered regularly and their killers go free.
Nigeria is one of five countries around the world to be highlighted in this year’s global campaign to end impunity. The other countries are Cambodia, Egypt, Turkey and Ecuador.
In launching the IDEI campaign, IFEX is asking its members around the globe, as well as other individuals and organizations, to participate in its “23 Actions in 23 Days” by taking actions hosted on the website; www.daytoendimpunity.org, which will serve as the campaign hub from November 1 to 23.
Observing that something new will be featured on the website every day between November 1 and 23, IFEX said:  “We’ve created multimedia resources to help people understand the problem and find ways to add their voices to a global network of activists working together. Through infographics, videos, online interactive experiences, articles, country profiles and interviews, we hope to engage more people than ever in this campaign that strikes at the very roots of the injustice and insecurity that silence expression.”
IFEX explained that it especially hopes the campaign will help draw attention to and encourage action in support of five individuals who will be profiled on specific days during the campaign, and then again on 23 November, the International Day to End Impunity.
Those to be profiled ahead of the IDEI are: Yorm Bopha, a Cambodian human rights activist and protester, on November 4; Eren Keskin, a Women’s rights activist and lawyer in Turkey, on November 7; Doaa Eladl, an Egyptian cartoonist on November 12; Martin Pallares,  an Ecuadorian journalist on November 14; and Rommy Mom, a Nigerian human rights lawyer, on November 18.
IFEX is working with its Nigerian member, Media Rights Agenda (MRA), to draw national and international attention to the plight of Mr. Mom. MRA will be coordinating activities in Nigeria in the lead up to the IDEI, particularly on November 18 and 23, including providing details of Mr. Mom’s case and calling for public support on his behalf to ensure his safety and enable him return to his home state to continue his work.
The IFEX impunity campaign website also features an interactive map that will plot all campaign events and actions planned or undertaken by IFEX members.   The hashtags for tweets are: #IDEI, #endimpunity and #23Nov.