Repost from LGBT Asylum News
Last week the British government announced that it was withdrawing budget support from the Malawian government. The move followed a diplomatic spat but the UK Foreign Office (FCO) blamed Malawi’s increasing authoritarianism for their decision.
Germany, Denmark and other countries have cut their aid to Malawi citing a poor governance record.
Malawi has form on blaming LGBT for aid withdrawals, and some governments and bodies have cited concerns on LGBT rights in their consideration of aid to the country – but they have never been more than a footnote to the same sorts of issues cited by the FCO.
Now Malawi’s government and media has labeled an opposition protest a “gay rights rally”. It banned today’s protest against the state of the economy, which resulted in riots and at least one death. Yesterday, ruling party supporters, who have been encouraged to violence by President Bingu wa Mutharika, threatened anyone who would dare join the protests and attacked two independent radio stations.
Of the two civil society leaders who have been most outspoken in support of LGBT human rights who took part in the protests, Undule Mwakasungula Human Rights Consultative Commitee (HRCC) chairperson was beaten and and executive director of Centre for Development of People (CEDEP) Gift Trapence arrested then released.
Mark Bromley of the Council for Global Equality said:
“Once again we see that an increasingly authoritarian government is trying to deflect attention away from legitimate public grievances and economic hardships by blaming the protests on gay rights supporters. The protests today were not about gay rights, they were about good governance and human rights for all citizens. Continue reading ‘In Malawi, more scapegoating of LGBT as riots erupt’