Monday, February 28, 2011

HRCC gags officials on gays

Lesbians: Cannot be defended by human rights activists in Malawi
The Human Rights Consultative Committee (HRCC),  a consortium of over 91 human rights NGOs in Malawi, has banned any of its officials from commenting on homosexual issues in the country.
HRCC, which has won public support for its human rights advocacy work, silently issued the ban in January 2010, during which time Malawi was plagued by the issue of Tiwonge and Steven Monjeza- the Southern African Development Community (SADC) member state's first open gays.
One of the human rights NGOs mother body revealed to Zachimalawi that he was once summoned (in April 2010) for commenting on gay and lesbian issues on FM 101.
In an interview today (at Malawi Sun Hotel, where HRCC is holding its two-day Annual General Meeeting), HRCC National Coordinator, Mavuto Bamusi, confirmed the development.
Bamusi said HRCC made its stance clear from the onset, "that we will not take a stand on these homosexual issues".
Even gays are not safe
The HRCC Secretariat boss further challenged that "nobody" from the grouping's secretariat will "ever" comment on homosexual matters.
"Our stand is that we will take a no-comment position on homosexual issues. We will not utter a word, either in support or against, on gay issues. In fact, we are not ready to do anything about these issues," said Bamusi.
Asked if this could not be translated as 'abdication' of responsibility, Bamusi said it was up to the Malawian public to judge, but added that HRCC's stance could not change "come rain, or sunshine".

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