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Namibian President Calls
for Violence Against Gays

Compiled by GayToday

President Sam Nujoma President Nujoma of Namibia has issued his latest denunciation of gay men and lesbians. Namibia's human rights advocates fear that “violent words from a popular leader may lead to violence against innocent citizens.” President Nujoma, they say, is attempting “to turn a personal dislike into ad-hoc national policy” that is “entirely unconstitutional and misguided.”

On March 19, 2001, the President told students at The University of Namibia, that, "The Republic of Namibia does not allow homosexuality, lesbianism here. Police are ordered to arrest you, and deport you and imprison you too".

The Namibian Constitution, according to the National Society for Human Rights in Namibia (NSHR) is “the supreme law of the land,” and that “the President's 'orders' to the police to arrest, imprison and deport homosexuals are not only unconstitutional but devoid of mature logic. He has recently shown his seriousness in tackling important issues facing Namibia such as AIDS, violence against women, alcohol abuse, corruption and wastage of public funds, but then for inexplicable reasons he returns to pointless public attacks on a harmless minority group.”

The group states:

"All fair-minded Namibians understand that you judge a person by their character not by the color of their skin or whom they choose to spend their personal time with.

"These right-minded Namibians have the National Constitution to support them as Article 10 unambiguously states, 'All persons shall be equal before the law' and that no person may be discriminated against based on inter alia social status. Article 13 guarantees privacy while section 107 of the Labor Act (No. 6 of 1992) clearly states that no one shall be discriminated against or harassed on account of their sexual orientation.

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“The international community, apart from some religiously fanatical countries, understands that homosexual rights are human rights, and Namibia will be seen as a quasi-democracy that discriminates against minority groups. This perception could harm Namibia's image abroad.

“We call upon the President to publicly retract these recent remarks and desist from attacking this minority group and rather continue to focus on real and serious issues facing Namibia on this eleventh anniversary of Namibian Independence.”

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