Ashton: End violence against homosexuals

Today is the International Day Against Homophobia

EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton has reaffirmed EU’s commitment “to the entitlement of all persons to enjoy the full range of human rights without discrimination.”

In a statement on behalf of the EU to celebrate the International Day against Homophobia, Ms. Ashton said: “Around the world, gender identity and sexual orientation continue to be used wrongly as the pretext for serious human rights violations. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) persons continue to be subjected to persecution, discrimination and gross ill-treatment, often involving extreme forms of violence.”

She observed that transgender and intersex persons are a particularly vulnerable group among LGBTI people.

Same-sex relations between consenting adults continue to be criminalized in around 80 States, while seven States even foresee the death penalty.

“This is incompatible with international human rights law,” Ms. Ashton said: “The EU calls on all States to end acts of violence, criminal sanctions and human rights violations against individuals because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”

Ms. Ashton paid tribute to David Kato and John Edison Ramirez, prominent LGBTI activists who were murdered last year. She commended the selection of the Ugandan LGBT-activist Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera as Laureate for the renowned Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders.


By Stephen Ogongo Ongong’a