GENEVA / MALAWI LGBT HUMAN RIGHTS

22-Jan-2016 00:01:20
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) expressed today (22 Jan) concerns about statements regarding gay and lesbian people that were made, earlier this month, by the People’s Party spokesperson Kenneth Msonda in Malawi on his personal Facebook page and repeated in media interviews. UNTV CH
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STORY: GENEVA/ MALAWI LGBT HUMAN RIGHTS
TRT: 01:20
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 22 JANUARY 2016, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
RECENT, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

1. Tracking shot, exterior Palais des Nations

22 JANUARY 2016, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

2. Wide shot, press briefing room
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Rupert Colville, Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“We are concerned by recent developments in Malawi, where the spokesperson of one of the country’s main political parties recently described gay and lesbian people as ‘worse than dogs’ and called for them to be killed.”
4. Med shot, journalists
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Rupert Colville, Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“He was due to appear before the Blantyre Magistrate Court today, 22 January, after a criminal case was initiated by two civil society organizations. Regrettably, yesterday the Director of Public Prosecutions filed a notice before the Chief Magistrate’s Court to discontinue the case, underlining that the State will not prosecute Mr. Msonda.”
6. Close up, photographer
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Rupert Colville, Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“In May 2015, Malawi accepted a recommendation under the Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review, here in Geneva, to ‘take effective measures to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons from violence, and prosecute the perpetrators of violent attacks’.”
8. Med shot, journalists
9. Med shot, panel
10. Wide shot, press briefing room
11. Med shot, panel
STORYLINE
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) expressed today (22 Jan) concerns about statements regarding gay and lesbian people that were made, earlier this month, by the People’s Party spokesperson Kenneth Msonda in Malawi on his personal Facebook page and repeated in media interviews.

Rupert Colville, Spokesperson for the UN Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner (OHCHR) told reporters today in Geneva that ”we are concerned by recent developments in Malawi, where the spokesperson of one of the country’s main political parties recently described gay and lesbian people as ‘worse than dogs’ and called for them to be killed.”

Msonda was subsequently charged under an article of the Malawi penal code which makes it a criminal offence to incite others to break the law.

The OHCHR spokesperson continued saying that Msonda “was due to appear before the Blantyre Magistrate Court today, 22 January, after a criminal case was initiated by two civil society organizations. Regrettably, yesterday the Director of Public Prosecutions filed a notice before the Chief Magistrate’s Court to discontinue the case, underlining that the State will not prosecute Mr. Msonda.”

OHCHR is concerned that the failure to prosecute this case sends a dangerous message that inciting others to kill gay people is legitimate and will be tolerated by the authorities – in effect encouraging violent threats and attacks on the gay and lesbian community in Malawi.

Colville said that “in May 2015, Malawi accepted a recommendation under the Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review, here in Geneva, to ‘take effective measures to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons from violence, and prosecute the perpetrators of violent attacks’.”

OHCHR urges the Government of Malawi to meet its responsibility, enshrined in international human rights law, to protect all individuals from hatred and violence based on their sexual orientation and gender identity and to hold to account anyone who either engages in such violence or incites others to do so.
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