Your support and donations have helped us secure some notable human rights successes:
Reform of Section 5 of the Public Order Act
The Reform Section 5 of the Public Order Act won widespread acclaim. It was launched jointly by our Director, Peter Tatchell, David Davis MP and others at the House of Commons in May 2012. The campaign seeks to end the criminalisation of mere insults on the grounds that it inhibits free speech and the right to protest.
Supported human rights defenders in arbitrary detention abroad
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.
Offered support and guidance to victims of human rights abuses
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.
Raised awareness and promoted action to end human rights abuses in Balochistan
In March 2012, and previously in 2010, our Director, Peter Tatchell, spoke at a forum at the United Nations in Geneva to highlight the repression and human rights abuses in Pakistani-annexed and occupied Balochistan. His articles, interviews, speeches and protests have probably done more than anyone else to alert the world to the crimes against humanity that are happening in Balochistan at the hands of Pakistan’s security forces.
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.
Spearheaded the first public commitment to LGBT rights by a Commonwealth Secretary General
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.
Pioneered the Equal Love campaign to end the twin ban on same-sex civil marriage and opposite-sex civil partnerships
The Peter Tatchell Foundation is coordinating the Equal Love campaign, which seeks to end the UK’s twin legal bans on same-sex civil marriages and opposite-sex civil partnerships. In February 2011, we organised eight couples (four gay and four straight) to file applications in the European Court of Human Rights, in a bid to overturn sexual orientation discrimination in civil marriage and civil partnership law.
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.
Coordinated the anti-homophobia in music campaign, Stop Murder Music
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.
Raised awareness of human rights abuses worldwide
Our long-standing human rights campaigns have highlighted abuses worldwide, including in Zimbabwe, Russia, Syria, Uganda and Bahrain. We have worked with other campaigners to draw international attention to human rights abuses in Iran, in particular the persecution suffered by Iran’s Sunni Muslims, trade unionists, women, students, LGBT people, human rights defenders, lawyers and journalists, and Iran’s oppression of its Arab, Baluch, Azeri and Kurdish ethnic minorities.