Abuses Against Sexual Minorities in India Denounced at the UN
UN Officials Lend Ground-Breaking Support
International Gay and
Lesbian Human Rights Commission
For Immediate Release: April 8, 2002
GENEVA—Today Mr. Aditya Bondyopadhyay denounced the treatment of sexual
minorities in India at an NGO Briefing of the United Nations Commission on
Human Rights. Mr. Bondyopadhyay described cases of discrimination, harassment,
arrest, and torture, and he called on the UN to hold the government of India
responsible for such abuses.
High ranking UN officials made a historic appearance at the briefing and
affirmed the importance of defending sexual rights as part of the UN human
rights work. Speaking at the Briefing were Radhika Coomaraswamy, Special,
Rapporteur on Violence Against Women; Asma Jahangir, Special Rapporteur
Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Arbitrary and Summary Executions, and Jan
Doerfel, the assistant to the Special Rapporteur on Torture.
Ms. Jahangir stated that "there are lesbians and gays in every country
of the world, and I believe there is no country in which they do not face
Mr. Bondyopadhyay presented a detailed complaint of the "Lucknow
4" case, in which four HIV prevention workers were charged with
conspiring to commit "unnatural sexual acts" under Section 377 of
the Indian Penal Code , and were kept in detention without bail for periods
from 45 days to seven months.
"The arrested four were beaten, denied food, forced to drink sewer
water, abused regularly, and refused treatment when they got sick."
stated Mr. Bondyopadhyay. "One of the arrested had his glasses stamped on
and broken and had to spend 45 days’ incarceration with impaired
"It is essential for the United Nations to hear the voices of the
stigmatized and the marginalized directly," said Scott Long, Program
Director at the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, the
organization that brought Mr. Bondyopadhyay to Geneva to testify.
"Courageous UN officials, such as Ms. Coomaraswamy and Ms. Jahangir,
should be supported by all governments in the UN, as they continue to draw
attention to these abuses."
The NGO Briefing was sponsored by IGLHRC as well as by the International
Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA), the International Lesbian and Gay Law
Association, Pink Cross (Switzerland), the World Organization Against Torture
(OMCT), Amnesty International, and the International Service for Human Rights.
The Briefing was chaired by Mr. Yves de Matteis (Pink Cross and ILGA). In
addition to Mr. Bondyopadhyay, Mr. Long, and the three UN officials, the
briefing included remarks by Ignacio Saiz (Amnesty International), Helmut
Graupner (International Lesbian and Gay Law Association), Alex Whinnom (Press
for Change, United Kingdom), and Claudine Ouellet (ILGA).
Full text of Mr. Bondyopadhyay remarks is available at http://www.iglhrc.org/world/s_asia/India2002Apr_2.html
For IGLHRC’s action alerts on the "Lucknow 4" case see http://www.iglhrc.org/world/s_asia/index.html#India
The mission of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC)
is to secure the full enjoyment of the human rights of all people and
communities subject to discrimination or abuse on the basis of sexual
orientation or expression, gender identity or expression, and/or HIV status. A
US-based non-profit, non-governmental organization (NGO), IGLHRC effects this
mission through advocacy, documentation, coalition building, public education,
and technical assistance.
For additional information, contact:
Sydney Levy, +1-415-255-8680 (office), +1-415-577-8680 (cell), firstname.lastname@example.org
Scott Long (in Geneva, use this number until Saturday April 13):
Aditya Bondyopadhyay (in Geneva, use this number until Saturday April 13):
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