Last edited: February 13, 2005

Protests Against Attacks on Namibian Gays

UN Integrated Regional Information Network (IRIN), April 6, 2001

NAIROBI—International human rights group Amnesty International said it was concerned that recent statements by Namibian President Sam Nujoma may lead to the persecution of individuals identified as lesbian or gay and to further attacks on human rights groups advocating support for lesbian and gay rights.

"The government of Namibia is obliged to fully protect the rights of all its people, including gays and lesbians. Public officials must not incite discrimination, hostility or violence against members of sexual minorities," Andrew Anderson, Amnesty International’s Africa program director said in a statement.

"Amnesty International considers those imprisoned for their sexual orientation, or for the legitimate exercise of their right to freedom of expression and assembly, to be prisoners of conscience," Anderson added. In a statement this week the Namibian Society for Human Rights (NSHR) accused Nujoma of dividing Namibians following his public attacks on sexual and racial minority groups.

The NSHR said Nujoma should not ignore his constitutional obligation to uphold, protect and defend peace and democracy as the constitution of the country stated. "He has to faithfully obey, execute and administer the laws of the country as provided in terms of Article 30 of the Namibia Constitution dealing with the presidential oath and affirmation," the NSHR said.

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