Public statement of warning concerning Peter Tatchell and Outrage!

This press statement was signed by 20 African LGBT
activists.

IMPORTANT: see on this the apology of Human Rights Watch: Human Rights Watch apologises to Peter Tatchell

PRESS RELEASE: African LGBTI Human Rights Defenders
Warn Public Against Participation in Campaigns
Concerning LGBTI Issues in Africa Led by Peter
Tatchell and Outrage!

PUBLIC STATEMENT OF WARNING

In order to prevent Peter Tatchell and Outrage! from
causing further damage through their unfounded
campaigns and press releases, we issue this public
statement of warning.

As Human Rights Defenders from across Africa, we
strongly discourage the public from taking part in any
LGBTI campaigns or calls to action concerning Africa
that are led by Peter Tatchell or Outrage!

Collaboration across continents is both important and
valuable. We are willing to work with those who
respect our advice and expertise regarding our
continent.

However, Outrage! has been acting in contempt and
disregard of the wishes and lives of African Lesbian,
Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex (LGBTI) Human
Rights Defenders. We have made every attempt to
address this matter with Outrage!, personally, and
they have refused to listen. We now take this matter
to the public, requesting you not to take part in any
of Peter Tatchell or Outrage!’s campaigns regarding
Africa , as they are not factually-based and are
harmful to African activists.

Through the following actions, Outrage! has repeatedly
disrespected the lives, damaged the struggle, and
endangered the safety of African Human Rights
Defenders:

1. Outrage!’s press releases contain information that
is not factual. They do not verify information
before including it in their press releases. When
they are corrected by local activists, they refuse to
print retractions or to make any attempt to stop the
damaging effects of their press releases.

2. Outrage! repeatedly quotes people out of context
and uses these statements to further their own agenda
rather than presenting the truth.

3. Outrage! does not consult the relevant local
activists before embarking on campaigns that directly
affect us and are destructive to our work. They
disregard collaborative efforts by African LGBTI Human
Rights Defenders and international Human Rights
organisations, and come up with unilateral strategies
that work against the progress being achieved by the
rest of the Human Rights actors. We are tired of
having to constantly expend energy working to undo
irreparable damage that Outrage! has caused.

4. Outrage! exaggerates the violations our governments
commit. When they quote African Human Rights
Defenders in the very same press releases where they
are exaggerating claims against our governments, we
are held responsible for their reckless outbursts.
As African activists, we are then left to face the
wrath of our communities for statements we never made.

5. Outrage! does not listen to, value, or heed the
advice of local genuine activists. They mix our
words with the opinions of uninformed, naïve, or crook
individuals. They take whatever information is
available, regardless of the source, and twist it to
gain more publicity. Certainly, Outrage! is not
acting on our behalf.

Therefore, we urge the public not to participate in
any LGBTI campaigns regarding Africa that are led or
influenced by Peter Tatchell or Outrage!, as they
repeatedly put our lives in danger through their
reckless, non-factual, and inflammatory press
releases, letters, and calls to action.

As African LGBTI Human Rights Defenders, we are
working toward the recognition of our rights by our
governments in Africa . We do not appreciate or
accept the efforts of Western-based individuals or
organisations who try to make our work for liberation
into an ego-boosting publicity campaign for
themselves. We condemn Peter Tatchell and Outrage!
for their irresponsible journalism and a deplorable
lack of respect for the very people they claim they
are defending.

We will continue to work with our governments on the
acknowledgement and protection of our basic human
rights as African lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender,
and intersex people. Furthermore, we will proudly
defend our right as Africans to praise our governments
when they protect and acknowledge us.

OUR MESSAGE

United as African LGBTI Human Rights Defenders, we
send out the following messages:

To Peter Tatchell and Outrage!:

Stay out of African LGBTI issues. You have proven that
you have no respect for conveying the truth with
regards to Africa or consulting African LGBTI leaders
before carrying out campaigns that have severe
consequences in our countries. You have betrayed our
trust over and over again.

This is neo-colonialism and it has no place in our
struggle or in Africa .

To the Press:

Responsible journalism is one of the keys to social
transformation and the protection of human rights.
Verify information about Africa before publishing it.
Consult the leaders of the LGBTI Movement in Africa
about strategy and do not just spread any
misinformation you find on the internet.

Abide by the rules of good journalism with regard to
Africa , as you would be expected to do with regard to
your own countries.

To the Public:

International collaboration can give strength to
already vibrant LGBTI campaigns in Africa . Consult
from reliable sources that investigate cases before
they report, such as Human Rights Watch (HRW), Amnesty
International (AI), and the International Gay and
Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC). Peter
Tatchell and Outrage! are not reliable sources on
LGBTI issues in Africa and information from them
should not be trusted or used as a basis for action.

PRESENT SITUATION

We fear that Peter Tatchell’s sudden call for a
campaign to pressure the Nigerian government regarding
the proposed same-sex marriage prohibition might
backfire and cause the oppressive homophobic bill’s
passage.

After being warned that the advice of Nigerian
activists is to refrain from putting attention on the
dormant bill, Outrage! looked for some individual in
Nigeria to support them in the course they had already
chosen to take. To serve this purpose, Leo Igwe’s
comments were quoted in George Broadhead’s recent
press release and are being taken out of context.
While Leo is a very courageous friend and ally of the
movement, Outrage! should have contacted and requested
advice on strategy from the LGBTI Human Rights
Defenders who led the original campaign against the
bill from Nigeria .

Over the past ten months, Human Rights Defenders from
the region and elsewhere have exercised a lot of
formal and informal pressure on Nigerian law-makers to
make sure the bill did not get passed into law.
Until Outrage!’s action was issued, the bill was dead.
By calling on people to begin a campaign at this
stage, interest could be awakened in the bill.
Outrage! is acting irresponsibly and in direct
contradiction to the advice of leaders of the Nigerian
LGBTI movement.

BACKGROUND

Just five months ago, a similar situation was evolving
in Uganda . Outrage! had included unverified
information in a press release on Uganda and was
refusing to listen to the concerns of Ugandan LGBT
Human Rights Defenders. After many conversations
about the importance of accuracy, fact-checking, and
consultation with genuine African activists, Ugandan
Human Rights Defender Juliet Victor Mukasa, finally
wrote directly to Peter Tatchell:

"You have included unverified information in your
press releases and those allegations against the
government are going to come back to us. You will sit
safely in London while our activists in Uganda pay the
price for your deeds ... We have many people in the
West who support our struggle, but they would not do
anything to jeopardize our safety. ... You have shown
a blatant disregard for the reputations and safety of
legitimate activists in Uganda ... I know what effect
your press releases have on my country. Please put a
stop to all your press releases regarding my country.
It must stop."

Immediately following the receipt of this message,
Outrage! issued yet another press release on Uganda ,
and helped organise a demonstration against the
Ugandan High Commission in London.

These examples from Nigeria and Uganda are just two
out of many instances of breaches of trust and
disregard for the work, wisdom, and lives of African
Human Rights Defenders. We have repeatedly asked
Outrage! to retract their calls to action and to
restrain from any further action regarding LGBTI
issues in Africa . Outrage! has refused. As we would
do in the case of any person or organisation acting
out of such blatant disrespect for the truth and for
the people they claim to defend, we urge the public
not to participate in LGBTI campaigns led by Peter
Tatchell or Outrage! which pertain to our continent,
Africa .

Signed:

Dorothy Aken’Ova

INCRESE, 1E, Bosso Road

G. P. O. 3684, Minna

Niger State Nigeria

increse lycos.com, darlyndotty yahoo.co.uk

08065488417, 08034500714

Juliet Victor Mukasa

Chairperson of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG)

julie.mukasa gmail.com

+27 79 194 9561

Fikile Vilakazi

Director of the Coalition of African Lesbians (CAL)

Johannesburg, South Africa

Wendy Landau

Human Rights Researcher, Behind the Mask (BtM)

Johannesburg, South Africa

Kasha N. Jacqueline

Chairperson of Freedom and Roam Uganda (FARUG)

jnkasha gmail.com

+256 772 463161

David Kato

Integrity Uganda

Samuel Ganafa

Chairperson of Spectrum Uganda

Danilo da Silva

LGBTI Mozambique

Judith Ngunjiri

Minority Women in Action, Kenya

Emmanuel Kamau

Chairperson of ISHTAR Kenya

Peter Njoroge

Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya (GALCK)

Joel Gustave Nana

Human Rights Researcher, Alternatives-Cameroon

Ayesha Imam

Human Rights Defender

Nigeria/Senegal

Sokari Ekine

Human Rights Defender, Black Looks

sokari blacklooks.org

Carlos Idibouo

Consellor at TAGL

Advisor at AfriCar Project

idibouoc yahoo.fr

famillegay2006 yahoo.fr

+1 647 261 3214/ +1 416 922 4226

Mac Darling Cobbinah

Centre for Popular Education and Human Rights Ghana

Kanuma Georges

Leader of LGBTI group ARDHO, Burundi

Linda Baumann

The Rainbow Project (TRP)

Namibia

Thuli Madi

Director, Behind the Mask

Johannesburg, South Africa

Oludare Odumuye

Alliance Rights, Nigeria

For more information about the current situation in

Nigeria , please contact INCRESE at:

darlyndotty yahoo.co.uk

FOR A BETTER AFRICA!

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