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Author Topic: APCOM calls on Malaysian police to lift ban on sexuality rights festival  (Read 755 times)

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Offline emeraldize

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,398
APCOM calls on Malaysian police to lift the ban on the country's annual
sexuality rights festival

The Asia Pacific Coalition on Male Sexual Health (APCOM) is echoing the
concern voiced by PT Foundation and other Malaysian LGBT activists over
the blanket ban imposed by police on Seksualiti Merdeka (‘sexuality
independence’), an annual festival held in the capital Kuala Lumpur.

This year's event was due to take place 1-13 November under the theme
“Queer without Fear”, advocating for equal rights and human dignity for
LGBT communities, with the participation of leading NGOs, artists and
activists.  However, police declared a ban on the event just as it was
about to get underway, a move supported by some Islamic groups in this
Muslim nation who say the event promotes homosexuality.

Event organizers and supporters point out that the event advocates for the
rights and well-being of LGBT individuals, and is an important vehicle to
raise HIV awareness and strengthen health-seeking behaviour in a country
where the epidemic continues to spread among vulnerable populations
including men who have sex with men.

APCOM calls upon Malaysian authorities to lift the ban which effectively
contributes to the significant stigma and discrimination that continues to
affect MSM and other vulnerable communities in Malaysia because of sexual
orientation and gender identity. Stigma is a key driver of the HIV
globally and regionally, lying at the heart of the challenge in tackling
the epidemic.  If Malaysian authorities are to address HIV effectively,
and fulfill the country's global obligations in this regard, actions such
as the ban on Seksuality Merdeka will significantly hinder, not help,
these efforts.

APCOM is a regional coalition of MSM and HIV community-based
organisations, the government sector, donors, technical experts and the UN
system. The main purpose is advocating for political support and increases
in investment and coverage of HIV services in Asia Pacific. APCOM promotes
principles of good practice and lessons learnt by bringing together
representatives from diverse groups in an effort to share experience,
knowledge and expertise.

•       http://www.seksualitimerdeka.org/
•       http://www.ptfmalaysia.org
•       http://www.apcom.org

For additional information: Midnight Poonkasetwattana, APCOM Secretariat
Email: <midnightp@apcom.org>
Telephone: +668-5360-5200 (m)   +66-2-2554410 (o)


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