Namibian Leader Attacks Gays Again
Gay.com / PlanetOut.com Network, April 3, 2001
By Matt Alsdorf
SUMMARY: Namibias president wants local leaders to cooperate with his
plan to rid the country of gays and lesbians, who he believes shouldnt be
allowed to "do their bad things" in the country.
Namibian President Sam Nujoma has called on regional leaders to identify
and arrest gays and lesbians in their communities.
The Namibian, a national newspaper, reports that in an address delivered
April 1, Nujoma elaborated on the call he made two weeks earlier for gays and
lesbians to be arrested, imprisoned, and deported.
"Traditional leaders, governors, see to it that there are no
criminals, gays and lesbians in your villages and regions," The Namibian
quoted Nujoma as saying. "We ... have not fought for an independent
Namibia that gives rights to botsotsos [criminals], gays and lesbians to do
their bad things here."
Amnesty International condemned Nujomas statements, saying that it would
consider gays and lesbians imprisoned because of their sexuality to be
"prisoners of conscience." The organization asserted that the
government was obligated to "fully protect the rights of all its people,
including gays and lesbians"
The Namibian Constitution prohibits discrimination, but does not
specifically mention sexual orientation.
Nujoma also reportedly said during his speech that Namibians should not
sleep with foreigners. He has previously attributed homosexuality and a rising
HIV infection rate to foreign influences.
Namibian leaders have a history of condemning gays and lesbians. In 1996,
Nujoma called for homosexuals to be "condemned and rejected in our
society." And last year, Namibias Home Affairs Minister Jerry Ekandjo
called on his countryment to "eliminate [gays and lesbians] from the face
No arrests have yet been reported.
[Home] [World] [Namibia]