GVO: African bloggers react to ICC charges against Sudanese President al-Bashir

My next piece, co-written with John Liebhardt, is up at Global Voices Online:

Bloggers from around the world are reacting to the International Criminal Court’s recent decision to charge Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir with multiple counts of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Many of those bloggers are criticizing the indictments, claiming they are difficult to enforce and that they will bring more unrest to an already unstable nation.

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Featured in this round-up are Too Huge World, Sudanese Thinker, Sudan Watch, Emmanuel Abalo, Codrin Arsene, Nairobi Notebook, The Angry African, Victor Ngeny, Chris Blattman, Ugandabeat, Gay Uganda, Making Sense of Darfur, Daniel Sturgis and Ali Alarabi.

Uniting (belatedly) for GLBT human rights

I got an e-mail from the 27th Comrade today, berating me for taking this long to post my contribution to Bloggers Unite for Human Rights.

The truth is, in trying to find a single, compelling example of the violation of the human rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people on which to focus, I’ve been overwhelmed. I could revisit Martin Ssempa’s anti-homosexuality rally or write about the lesbian football player who was murdered in South Africa earlier this month. I could talk about the discrimination British gay, lesbian and bisexual people feel they face or the parliamentarian in Israel who blamed gays for earthquakes. Today the president of Gambia “declared war” on the country’s homosexuals, comparing them to “drug dealers, thieves and other criminals.”

It’s depressingly easy to find stories of discrimination against GLBT people. I don’t — can’t — understand how some find it acceptable to deny GLBT people the basic rights of humanity. I don’t understand how some believe that being gay means that you are not longer human. It doesn’t make sense to me, any more than rape or child abuse or decades of war.

So instead of focusing on the multitude of ways in which GLBT people have been denied their rights, which hasn’t yet helped me to understand, I want to share several organizations that are fighting for them, including those of the estimated 500,000 gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people in Uganda. These organizations offer education, advocacy and support for the GLBT community worldwide:

Bloggers Unite for Human Rights

Bloggers UniteBloggers Unite is urging bloggers worldwide to focus on human rights issues on May 15:

While the words might change from country to country and are sometimes taken for granted, human rights represent one of the universally agreed upon ideas — that all people are born with basic rights and freedoms that include life, liberty, and justice. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations.

Bloggers Unite For Human Rights challenges bloggers everywhere to help elevate human rights by drawing attention to the challenges and successes of human rights issues on May 15. What those topics may include — the wrongful imprisonment of journalists covering assemblies, governments that ignore the plight of citizens, and censorship of the Internet. What is important is that on one day, thousands of bloggers unite and share their unified support of human rights everywhere.

Amnesty International is co-sponsoring the event and has compiled a list of human rights priorities that can serve as starting points for a post. I’ll be writing about gay and lesbian human rights. What about you?

Via John and Jasmine