Iran News | Gay Youth

Iran executes gay teen for alleged rape
  • In the Arak prison, the Iranian government executed Hassan Afshar, who was accused of rape by the parents of Afshar’s sexual partner.
  • Afshar maintained that the sex, which took place when he was 17, was consensual, but Iran’s sodomy laws make it difficult to ascertain consent in same-sex sexual relations.
  • International human rights organizations have expressed outrage at Iran’s practice of capital punishment for juveniles and for rape in opposition to international law.

Read more:
Iran: Hanging of teenager shows authorities’ brazen disregard for international law” (Amnesty International)
Iran’s First Juvenile Execution of 2016 Was a Gay Teenager” (VICE News)
Iran executes teenage boy for being gay” (PinkNews)

Japan Feature | Transgender

The Ambivalence of Pathologizing Transgenderism

Bucking the trend in many developed countries to depathologize the mind-body incongruence at the heart of trans identity, Japan has seen resistance to international efforts to eliminate medical classifications of transgenderism as a disorder. A medical diagnosis of gender identity disorder (GID) has at times been necessary to secure the rights to the myriad legal and medical changes necessary to confirm an individual’s gender identity in the eyes of the state.

Much as disability advocates have fought to secure recognition, acceptance, and accommodation of those with disabilities and chronic illnesses in society, some Japanese trans activists and medical professionals have advocated for the continued recognition of GID and the accommodations necessary for trans people to live healthy lives. BuzzFeed News takes a look at the modern history of transgender visibility in Japan, the ambivalent reaction to declassification attempts, and the broader shift in medicine from corrective to adaptive approaches to addressing “illness” in society.

Why Transgender People In Japan Prefer To Be Told They Have A ‘Disorder’” (BuzzFeed News)

First GID doctors certified in Japan” (The Japan Times)

(Image Credit:  Kate Ferro/BuzzFeed News)

Turkey News | Gay Refugee

Gay Syrian refugee decapitated, body found in Istanbul
  • Muhammed Wisam Sankari’s violently mutilated body was found in the Yenikapi neighborhood of Istanbul on July 25, two days after he left his house in Aksaray.
  • Friends reported that Sankari had feared for his safety and that police and other officials had been slow to respond to concerns.
  • Sankari had also reportedly been raped in the months before his death and had been attempting to gain refugee status for resettlement outside of Turkey.

Read more:
Syrian gay refugee killed in Istanbul” (Kaos GL)
Missing gay Syrian refugee found beheaded in Istanbul” (The Guardian)
Gay Syrian man beheaded and mutilated in Turkey” (BBC)

(Image Credit: via Kaos GL)

Uganda News | LGBT

Police raid Uganda Pride event, arrest more than a dozen
  • After attendees reported some 10 officers stormed the nightclub where the Mr. and Miss Pride pageant was being held in Kampala.
  • Reports of those arrested ranged from 15 to 25, including prominent Ugandan LGBT activist Frank Mugisha, and some witnesses reported that police beat some attendees and undressed trans participants.
  • The Pride march was postponed indefinitely after a senior government official threatened to bring a mob of opposition to protest the event.

Read more:
Ugandan police storm Gay Pride event, arrest at least 15 – activist” (Reuters)
Ugandan Police Storm Gay Pride Event, Arrest More than a Dozen People” (NBC News)
Uganda’s Pride Parade Has Been Cancelled” (BuzzFeed News)

ClimateWatch | France

France, Post-Attacks

In the wake of the attack that left more than 80 dead during Bastille Day festivities in Nice, French Muslims have expressed fears of scapegoating for the violent crime and others that have erupted over the last two years in France. An attack that left a Catholic priest dead in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray further inflamed tensions in the country as the nation responded to its fifth terrorist attack in 2016. Fearing the ongoing state of emergency and retaliatory attacks against their communities, many French Muslims, who have been among the victims of these attacks, have made large public condemnations of the attackers and expressed solidarity with non-Muslim French neighbors and the counterterrorism efforts. Observers and commentators have offered analysis on what the recent attacks mean for Muslim relations in France and how the country can move forward as the country battles inequality at home and threats from abroad.

Nice Aftermath
Community Response
Political Response
France and Islam

Zimbabwe News | Political Dissidents

Police violently break up protest against Mugabe government in Harare as anger swells
  • Peaceful protesters and journalists were attacked with batons during a demonstration against President Robert Mugabe’s handling of the economy in Zimbabwe.
  • Protesters have been rallying against the government’s economic policies, with ire having ballooned over proposals to introduce local bank notes into the economy.
  • Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party also expelled nine senior leaders, including four war veterans linked to a statement denouncing him.

Read more:
Zimbabwe police use batons to break up anti-government protest” (Reuters)
Zimbabwe police violently break up anti-Mugabe protests” (Al Jazeera)
Zimbabwe’s Mugabe faces rising tide of protest” (AP via News24)

(Image Credit: Philimon Bulawayo/Reuters)