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Anti-gay laws: 14 police officers raped one of my colleagues

Anti-gay laws: 14 police officers raped one of my colleagues

Colombo City, Sri Lanka

LGBTI activists are telling their stories about countries which still criminalize homosexuality for Digital Pride.

Right now, 71 countries make gay – and sometimes lesbian – sex illegal. And that’s not including the many more which persecute or discriminate against the LGBTI community.

For Digital Pride this week, we are sharing a series of short videos where activists from Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Kenya and Malaysia tell their stories.

All of their countries make homosexual sex illegal. Worse still, in Northern Nigeria, Sharia Law punishes homosexual acts with death by hanging.

But in the videos, the activists explain it’s not usually about the courts punishing LGBTI people. Instead, it’s often a case of police or mobs taking the law into their own hands.

What the activists say

Rosanna Flamer-Caldera of Equal Ground in Sri Lanka is one of the activists sharing her story. She told us:

‘Especially gay men, transgender women, sometimes lesbians, they are stopped on the street, accosted by the police. Money is extorted, sexual favours are extorted, they are blackmailed.

‘If they refuse this, they are dragged off to the police station, locked up and sometimes raped. I had an incident where one of my colleagues in a remote area was raped by 14 police officers.’

While Nigerian gay activist Reverend Jide Macaulay, the founder of House of Rainbow, said:

‘There are so many examples where people take the law into their own hands. They call it “jungle justice” in Nigeria. If they know you are gay or lesbian, bisexual or transgender, your life begins to crumble in front of you.’

We’ll be putting their stories out on videos throughout Digital Pride week. Meanwhile you can see some of the highlights here:

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