Lebanon: Police Try to Close LGBT Conference
Human Rights Watch - Beirut, Lebanon, 10/4/2018
Lebanese police unlawfully attempted to shut down a conference on LGBT rights recently, Human Rights Watch reported. Late on the third day of the conference organised by the Arab Foundation for Freedoms and Equality (AFE), officers from the General Security Forces, a branch of the police, arrived on the premises and directed the organisers to cancel the conference and sign a pledge never to organise a similar event again. The police also took details of all conference participants from the hotel registry, including those from highly repressive countries such as Egypt, where, in 2017, police arrested over 100 people for being gay or transgender, and Iraq, where armed groups have murdered LGBT people with impunity.
Porn Ban Introduced in Nepal in Attempt to Combat Violence against Women
ABC News, Nepal, 10/3/2018
Nepal's Government has announced it is banning online pornography, in a move that has been widely ridiculed as an ineffective way of combating violence against women. The Himalayan nation has been shocked by a recent spate of vicious cases of gender-based violence against young girls, including the rape and murder of two schoolgirls, and an acid attack on two teenage sisters. However, this move by the Government is nothing but censorship, perpetuating the misplaced notion that pornography leads to sexual violence. There are doubts that banning online porn will have any effect on reducing violence against women. According to the Internet of Society Nepal, "it is merely a diversionary tactic to hide the Government's incompetence in prosecuting rapists."
Medical, Legal Aid to 'Queer' at the Click of a Button
Indian Express - Chennai, India, 10/1/2018
The LGBTQIA+ community in India has often faced and still faces discrimination when it comes to accessing basic healthcare and legal aid. In an attempt to provide queer-friendly medical and legal services across the country at the click of a button, Varta Trust, Kolkata; Grindr for Equality, Los Angeles, and SAATHII, Chennai, have developed an online locator. The locator is an effort to address the numerous queries on health concerns and complaints of rights violations from LGBTQ people in the country. The information of all service providers included in the database has been validated through a process involving information referees and/or direct interface with service providers. Many queer support groups have worked towards community-sourcing referral lists of service providers that contributed to this database.