30 April 2018

Swaziland: Secretive Group Attacks Swazi LGBT

Photo: Lucy Maroncha/Key Correspondents
Kenya’s penal code criminalises same sex sexual relations, which attract a jail term of 14 years. Many LGBT people experience homophobic violence in Kenya, including ‘mob justice’ with claims of what people call “involvement in unnatural acts”. Dennis says: “Personally, I have been physically assaulted many times by people calling me gay.”

A secretive hate group is fighting to stop Swaziland having its first 'gay pride' parade. It has launched an online petition against the march organisers the Rock of Hope.

The group calls itself Parents of Eswatini (Parents of Swaziland). It launched a petition on the CitizenGo website. The petition appears to originate in Germany.

The petition uses hate speech to describe what it calls the 'LGBT lifestyle' [Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender].

It attacked the Rock of Hope for 'promoting homosexuality'.

Rock of Hope in a statement published online said its mission was 'to build a society in Swaziland that is free from the stigmatization, discrimination and the oppression of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people this also include prisoners and sex workers who fall under the listed categories. The organization through its activities aim to create a very strong and proud society of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in the entire kingdom of Swaziland.'

The march is due to be held in June 2018.

CitizenGo started in Spain in 2013 as a project of an organisation called HazteOir. It now claims to have millions of supporters in more than 50 countries, according to the Open Democracy website.

It reported, 'HatzeOir was founded in 2001. [In 2017], a team of investigators in Spain traced links between the group and "El Yunque", a mysterious secret society that allegedly has cells across Mexico and the US mobilised to "defend the Catholic religion and fight the forces of Satan though violence or murder", according to Mexican investigative journalist Alvaro Delgado. Previously, in 2014 a judge dismissed a claim by HazteOir disputing links between the groups.

'CitizenGo describes itself as "pro-family" and a defender of life, family, freedom, and dignity. Madrid lawyer Ignacio Arsuaga, reportedly the great-grandson of the late dictator General Francisco Franco, sits at the helm of both it and HatzeOir,' the website reported.

The Political Research Associates website reported, 'CitizenGo has a variety of longstanding ties to right-wing organizations and right-wing efforts around the globe.'

It added, it operated primarily through an online petition platform 'to push an anti-LGBTQ, anti-abortion agenda'.


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