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6 Men Charged under s377 and s377A for sex with teen (Singapore)
Articles - LGBT Rights, Politics & World News
Written by sayoni   
Sunday, 07 June 2009 00:00

In breaking news of this week, 6 men have been charged under s377A and s377 of the Singapore Penal Code, for sex with a teen they met on the internet. We reproduce the AGC Media Briefing below.

PROCEEDINGS FOR UNNATURAL OFFENCES AGAINST NG GENG WHYE, QUEK HOCK SENG, SONG CHOONG CHEN THOMAS, BALASUNDARAM S/O SUPPIAH, MUHAMMAD HAFASHAH BIN MOHD ASLAM AND NG YONG YOU VICTOR

The abovenamed six accused persons have been charged for committing unnatural
offences with a 15 year old male student on occasions in 2006 and 2007. The six
accused persons met the victim while chatting on the internet. The accused
persons are charged as follows:-

1. NG GENG WHYE: 1 charge of Carnal Intercourse Against the Order of Nature under s377 of the Penal Code Cap.224;

2. QUEK HOCK SENG: 1 charge of Gross Indecency under s377A of the Penal Code Cap.224.

3. SONG CHOONG CHEN THOMAS : 1 charge of Gross Indecency under s377A of the Penal Code Cap.224;

4. BALASUNDARAM S/O SUPPIAH : 1 charge of Carnal Intercourse Against the Order of Nature under s377 of the Penal Code Cap.224.

5. MUHAMMAD HAFASHAH BIN MOHD ASLAM: 2 charges of Carnal Intercourse Against the Order of Nature under s377 of the Penal Code Cap.224; and

6. NG YONG YOU VICTOR: 2 charges of Gross Indecency under s377A of the Penal Code Cap.224.

The Public Prosecutor will prosecute persons who exploit a young victim who is a minor, irrespective of the gender of the victim or whether the act was consensual. A young male victim, who is a minor, deserves to be accorded the same protection the law as that given to a young female victim who is a minor.

One might be inclined to ask why they are being prosecuted under a law that does not exist anymore – s377 is now confined solely to cases of necrophilia, and not unnatural sex. That would be because the offences were committed in 2006-2007, at a time when s377 still covered all unnatural sex.

The other question is, why not charge those charged under s377A, under the new s376A, which was specifically inserted to provide for the protection of minors of both genders? It is a principle of criminal law that laws cannot be retrospective – s376A did not exist in force at the time of the offence (gazetted on 1 Feb 2008), and hence cannot be used to prosecute them.

In our opinion, it is important to protect minors from sexual predators, and we believe that if the men are indeed guilty of assaulting the teen (or having sex with him at a point when he is unable to consent), they should be punished. We cannot, legally and socially, agree with the use of s377A to prosecute the crime, however, we acknowledge that the AGC must have been caught between a rock and a hard place in trying to follow the circuitous roads of legal reasoning. The issue here is that male minors were never protected under the Penal Code until the advent of s376A, and s377A was used a very poor substitute to address a much deeper, very different social problem.

We hope that for future crimes such as this, s376A will be used, and not s377A.

 
UN: General Assembly Statement Affirms Rights for All
Articles - LGBT Rights, Politics & World News
Written by AnJ   
Monday, 22 December 2008 00:00
66 States Condemn Violations Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

For Immediate Release

(New York, December 19, 2008) – In a powerful victory for the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 66 nations at the UN General Assembly yesterday supported a groundbreaking statement confirming that international human rights protections include sexual orientation and gender identity. It is the first time that a statement condemning rights abuses against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people has been presented in the General Assembly.

The statement drew unprecedented support from five continents, including six African nations. Argentina read the statement before the General Assembly. A cross-regional group of states coordinated the drafting of the statement, also including Brazil, Croatia, France, Gabon, Japan, the Netherlands, and Norway.

The 66 countries reaffirmed “the principle of non-discrimination, which requires that human rights apply equally to every human being regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.” They stated they are “deeply concerned by violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms based on sexual orientation or gender identity,” and said that “violence, harassment, discrimination, exclusion, stigmatization and prejudice are directed against persons in all countries in the world because of sexual orientation or gender identity.”

LGBT NGO representatives at the UNGA

LGBT Activists at the UN General Assembly’s Historic Session, Dec 18, 2008. Back row, left to right: Charlotte Bunch (Center for Women’s Global Leadership/CGWL), Kate Sheill (Amnesty International/AI), Jelena Postic (IGLHRC international advisor), Susana Fried (UNDP), Kim Vance and John Fisher (ARC International), Philippe Colomb (Inter-LGBT France), Renato Sabbadini (ILGA), Rev. Jide Macaulay (Metropolitan Community Churches Nigeria), Second row, left to right: Ariel Herrera (AI), Cynthia Rothschild (CWGL), Paula Ettelbrick (IGLHRC), Vanessa Jackson (International Service for Human Rights), Bruce Knotts (Unitarian Universalist), Joyce Hamilton (COC Netherlands), Todd Larson (IGLHRC). Photo Credit: Adrian Coman, IGLHRC. You can download a high resolution version of the image from IGLHRC’s website.

Last Updated on Thursday, 25 February 2010 17:59
 
NST Article: Why do you want to hurt me?
Articles - LGBT Rights, Politics & World News
Written by irene   
Friday, 21 November 2008 00:00

The New Straits Times Online carries an article “Why do you want to hurt me?” discussing homophobia in Malaysia. We are happy that this issue is being openly addressed in our sister country, particularly in the light of it being an Islamic country (according to its leaders, though not officially), and in the light of official homophobic positions (Anwar being prosecuted for sodomy, and official fatwas against the community)

Sayoni is proud of Anj Ho who gave the talk on homophobia in the Seksualiti Merdeka conference in August 2008. You can read more about what she shared on homophobia in the article.

 
Update on Orchard Towers Homicide
Articles - LGBT Rights, Politics & World News
Written by sayoni   
Saturday, 08 November 2008 00:00

In a further development of the story we published on the orchard towers “hate crime”, the remaining three assailants, the ones who started the assault on the victim Suhaimi, have been sentenced by a district judge.

Greater role, so trio get jail

Trio in the dock had each either punched or kicked victim on the head

Teo Xuanwei

[email protected]

ALL six friends were involved in the brawl outside an Orchard Towers pub last November, but a district judge ruled yesterday that three of them had played greater roles in the fatal assault.

For that, a district judge sentenced Mr Muhammad Sufian Zainal, 21, and Mr Helmi Abdul Rahim, 20, each to four years' jail and six strokes of the cane. Mr Ahmad Nur Helmy Ahmad Hamdan, 20, was given four-and-a-half years in jail and eight strokes of the cane.

The fracas that took place in the wee hours of Nov 23 was sparked off after the victim, Mr Suhaimi Sulong, 37, approached a few of the youths- all gang members- outside Brown Sugar pub and made lewd comments and offered sexual services, court documents said. Enraged, some confronted Mr Suhaimi.

Yesterday, Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Samuel Chua told the court that Mr Ahmad Nur Helmy was most culpable as he had thrown the first punch that led to his peers raining blows on Mr Suhaimi.

Mr Suhaimi died an hour after the beating and the trio in the dock had each either punched or kicked him on the head.

Mr Ahmad Nur Helmy's lawyer argued that it was virtually impossible to describe the actual role of each of the offenders, the nature and the extent of their involvement in a group attack.

He appealed for his client to be imposed with the same punishment as his accomplices got last week: Mr Muhammad Ridhwan Mohd Roslan, 20, Lai Chee Kuen, 17, and Mr Ho Ching Boon, 18, were sent to the reformative training centre.

But DPP Chua said that it was because those three youths had played lesser roles in the 'heinous offence'. Reformative training for the three men sentenced yesterday was inadequate because the principle of deterrence should feature more strongly than the principle of rehabilitation, given their roles in the incident.

For voluntarily causing grievous hurt, each of the trio could have been jailed up to seven years, in addition to a fine or caning.

We are satisfied that the offence is being treated with the gravity it should be, but it would have been apropos to emphasise that it is not acceptable for people to hurt each other based on strong prejudicial feelings.

Last Updated on Thursday, 25 February 2010 18:14
 
Good News and Bad News: Obama In, Equal Rights Out
Articles - LGBT Rights, Politics & World News
Written by sayoni   
Thursday, 06 November 2008 00:00

It is good news and bad news today – in the good news, Barrack Obama was elected President of the United States.

In the bad news, three states – Arizona, California and Florida, have voted to pass a constitutional amendment that defines “marriage as being between a man and a woman” only.

The most upsetting of these setbacks, was in the state of California, where Proposition 8 was defeated by a margin of 4% [with 95% of precints reporting in]. At the time of publication, it does not look likely that Proposition 8 will be defeated, and hence, we have to accept the cold hard reality that one of the largest, and supposedly liberal states in America has decided that people like us do not deserve equal rights. [Click here for updates]

Now, readers are inclined to ask: how is this related to us? We do not live in America, for this to really affect us. However, this is likely to have repercussions in both America and abroad, in the march towards progress. After the court case that allowed same-sex couples to get married, this step backwards is a big blow to equal rights. Even though domestic partnerships are still allowed, they are not the same as marriage, and does not confer many of the important rights that come with marriage.

Here’s us hoping that in the years to come, the constitutional amendment will be overturned, though it is so much harder to do.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 February 2010 14:48
 
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