While France announced Wednesday, October 14 a plan to 150 measures to strengthen people’s rights LGBT + (Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Trans, Queers), franceinfo looks back on the news of discrimination against these LGBT + people in Japan, Poland and Egypt.
Japan, the only G7 country without a legal framework for same-sex unions
In Japan, being LGBT + still condemns you today, with a few exceptions, to silence or marginality. Marriage for all here is probably not for tomorrow, as is feared by the recurring positions taken by members of the omnipotent Liberal Democratic Party in power. An elected official, Mio Sugita, regularly hits the headlines with her homophobic remarks and a mayor of a district in Tokyo recently had to apologize for saying that “if the law came to protect gays and lesbians, [sa] constituency would not survive. “
Little by little, over the years and especially among young people, acceptance and understanding progress. Large companies are working to eliminate discrimination when there is a very strong reluctance to come out in the workplace. Municipalities issue certificates of cohabitation, which make it easier for homosexual couples to rent an apartment or to carry out joint proceedings. Information desks or advice centers are opening in large cities, as recently in Tokyo, and the government is also taking some initiatives in the right direction.
Addressing the LGBT + subject is less taboo as the success of the film shows Midnight Swan, on a transgender, which attracts a young audience even if it is also debated. But beware of the showcase effect. If a few homosexual or transgender people have been present on television for a long time, they are unfortunately often pretext stars that mask a very different social reality.
In Poland, a new openly homophobic Minister of Education
The new Minister of Education, Przemyslaw Czarnek, was ttested positive for Covid-19 last week, and could not be sworn in, but that hasn’t stopped several protests across the country. Students also came to school dressed in black as a sign of mourning. Because Przemyslaw Czarnek, is known in Poland for his attacks against the LGBT + community. This member of the ultraconservative Law and Justice party, for example, declared that LGBT + people were not equal to others.
Anti LGBT + rhetoric is frequent in Poland, as we saw in particular during the presidential election campaign. The head of state Andrzej Duda had spoken of an ideology more dangerous than communism. A climate which has led to numerous protests in the streets of Poland.
Poland is often called to order by European declarations. In early August 2020, the European Union refused to provide funding to six Polish cities that had declared themselves “free” from “LGBT ideology”. But that does not seem to move the Polish government. The Minister of Justice had also qualified this decision as illegal. A government that does not hesitate – moreover – to threaten the EU not to vote for its recovery plan, if the payment of funds is conditioned on respect for the rule of law.
Egypt refuses to recognize the very existence of LGBT + people
In a report published two weeks ago, the NGO Human Rights Watch reports arbitrary arrests and torture of LGBT + people in Egyptian prisons. The testimonies gathered in this report are chilling. In police stations and in prisons, LGBT + detainees are humiliated, threatened, beaten, placed in solitary confinement for days. They are, in the majority of cases, sexually harassed and raped. Ahmed Alaa was jailed for three months. He now lives in exile in Canada: “An officer sexually harassed me. And, along with other officers, they told the inmates that I was the gay in segregation. As a result, I started receiving rape threats. “
Thehomosexuality is not, however, criminalized in Egypt. To carry out these sentences, the Egyptian courts use the very vague concept of “incitement to debauchery”. The sentences sometimes go up to several years of detention. Police are now creating fake accounts on dating apps to trick LGBT + people.
Technique used in particular since the last wave of large-scale arrests: in September 2017, rainbow flags were waved in public during a concert in Cairo. Seventy-five people will be arrested in the following months. Among them, the activist Sarah Hegazy. In exile in Canada, the young woman committed suicide four months ago. A life shattered by prison and torture. Symbol of the trauma of the victims targeted by the systematic repression exercised by the regime of President Al Sisi.