Robin Hammond

Kampala, Uganda

21 year old Imran (not his real name) has faced constant persecution because of his sexuality. He describes being 'outed' at school, and the moment his mother found out: 'She didn't even have to listen to what am to say, she told me I was a disgrace and I wasn't worthy being her son, she went ahead to disowning me there and then in front of the entire school and its staff and that I would rather be dead than having me alive as gay. She then walked away and left me on my knees begging for her at least listen to what I have to say, the head teacher then asked me to leave his school, I left school while being mocked , laughed at, on that day hated myself to the extreme I felt I wasn't worthy living, where was I to start from? How when the only person I trusted in the world turned her back on me? And this was the beginning of my suffering. Imran says he struggles emotionally and financially without the support of his parents. While many countries around the world are legally recognising same-sex relationships, individuals in nearly 80 countries face criminal sanctions for private consensual relations with another adult of the same sex. Violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender expression is even more widespread. Across Africa Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender, Queer, Inter-sex (LGBTQI) individuals are being increasingly criminalised. More than two thirds of African countries have laws criminalising consensual same-sex acts. In some, homosexuality is punishable by death. In Nigeria new homophobic laws introduced in 2013 led to a dramatic increase in attacks. Under Sharia Law, homosexuality is punishable by death, up to 50 lashes and six months in prison for women; for men elsewhere, up to 14 years in prison. Same sex acts are illegal in Uganda. A discriminatory law was passed then struck down and homophobic attacks rose tenfold after the passage of the Anti-Homosexuality Act. In Cameroon it is also illegal. More cases against suspected

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