Your support and donations have helped us secure some notable human rights successes:
A British photographer, Alisdare Hickson, was released from prison in Egypt in March 2012. He’d been held without trial in squalid conditions after being arrested and beaten while photographing the protests in Tahrir Square. The Peter Tatchell Foundation (PTF) liaised with his family, the Foreign Office and his MP to help secure his release.
In mid 2010, we joined with others to help save from execution Ebrahim Hamidi, an Iranian teenager falsely accused of homosexual assault and, later, to stop the hanging of an Iranian Kurdish activist, Habibollah Latifi, who had been scheduled to be executed on 26 December 2010 after an unfair trial.
In the same year, for five months, the PTF organised prison visits, food, medicine and clothing for Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza, while they were held in a Malawi prison after they held a same-sex engagement ceremony. Both men were eventually pardoned by the country’s President, following international pressure from the EU and UN. Working with and supporting Malawian secular and human rights defenders we pressed for the decriminalisation of homosexuality, which contributed to the new president, Joyce Banda, announcing her commitment to gay law reform in May 2012.
In the same month, we counselled a gay Muslim who was contemplating suicide because of family and community threats. We put him in contact with the LGBT Muslim group Imaan. As part of our individual casework, we also recently assisted Pakistani and Ugandan refugees; advising them on preparing their asylum applications.
We have been working with Baloch nationalists and human rights defenders to help draft a Baloch Freedom Charter, which sets out an agenda for demilitarisation, a negotiated political settlement based on the right to self-determination and which outlines the democratic and humanitarian parameters of a self-governing Balochistan.
Pressure and lobbying, spearheaded by the Peter Tatchell Foundation, succeeded in securing the first ever public commitment to LGBT rights by a Commonwealth Secretary General. Responding to a direct challenge from Peter Tatchell, in May 2011 Kamlesh Sharma declared that homophobic discrimination is incompatible with Commonwealth values. This and subsequent high-profile declarations have helped strengthen support for the decriminalisation of same-sex relationships in several Commonwealth countries.
Not long afterwards, the Prime Minister, David Cameron, announced the government’s commitment to end the ban on same-sex civil marriage by 2015. However, he ruled out the legalisation of heterosexual civil partnerships and religious same-sex marriages by faith organisations that wish to conduct them. Our bid for reform and equality will continue. We are confident of eventual success.
The on-going Stop Murder Music campaign, partnered with J-Flag in Jamaica and OutRage! in London, has resulted in a huge reduction in the worldwide performance and broadcast of dancehall songs that incite homophobic prejudice and violence. Beenie Man, one of the main offenders, issued a video apology in May 2012.