Monday, December 1, 2008

World AIDS Day Press Release

Karnataka Sex Workers Union

No. 9, ABABIL, Patel Cheluvappa Street, JC Nagar [MR Palya], Bangalore – 560006

Phone: 9731018694, Email: sexworkersunion@gmail.com, Web: http://kswu.blogspot.com/


Press Release


Strongly condemning the actions of Karnataka State health and police officials, that are fuelling the spread of HIV-AIDS

Bangalore, Dec 1, 2008

Health Department in Ramnagara District spreads misinformation against homosexuals making them further vulnerable to HIV infection: District AIDS Prevention and Control Unit, Ramanagara District and District Health and Family Welfare Officer, Ramanagara District have conducted the World AIDS Day program today in Ramanagra town and have spread the misinformation against homosexuals through public distribution of leaflets. Excerpts from the leaflet include 'salingakama: HIV, AIDSge rahadhaari' (meaning – Homosexuality: Highway to HIV, AIDS), 'salingakaamigalinda dhooraviri' (meaning – Stay away from Homosexuals) and warns people to stay away from homosexuals as a way to prevent AIDS. This messages spread prejudice, stigma and discrimination against homosexuals and make them further vulnerable to HIV infection. This is completely opposite to the strategy of National AIDS Control Program, which seeks to fight stigma and discrimination against homosexuals and support their human rights as a strategy to reduce their vulnerability to HIV infection. It is shocking that local health authorities are doing harm to HIV-AIDS program in Karnataka whereas Ms. K. Sujatha Rao (Director General of National AIDS Control Program) and Mr. Anbumani Ramodass (Union health minister) are in the forefront vocally demanding the decimalization of homosexual sex between consenting adults. To prevent AIDS, we need to reach out to homosexuals and support efforts for their health and human rights.

Background: Karnataka is one of the high prevalence states for HIV in India. There is a need for serious and committed efforts to combat AIDS to prevent new infections and to prevent collapse of the public health system, which is already in a bad shape. There is also a strong need to reach out to the people most vulnerable to HIV infection i.e. sexual minorities, sexworkers and Intravenous Drug Users etc. and support them in accessing various social entitlements. It is internationally proved that the best way to prevent HIV is to support the human rights of marginalized people including sexual minorities.

Ineffective functioning and corruption in Karnataka State AIDS Prevention Society: Karnataka State AIDS Control Society, the main body to coordinate the governmental efforts against AIDS has come under severe criticism in the past few years for its ineffective functioning (not utilizing allocated funds properly and sending back most of the funds, frequent change of its directors, not involving people infected/most-affected by HIV in a meaningful way, not involving organizations working on HIV-AIDS issues in a meaningful way etc.) and financial corruption.

Police are purging hijras out of Bengaluru City, making them vulnerable to HIV infection: police have declared an illegal war on hijras (working class male-to-female transgenders) in the past 2 months. On 20th October 2008, when HIV-AIDS program staff (crisis team members of Sangama, an organization implementing the activities of National AIDS Control Program among hijras and homosexual/bisexual males in the city) enquired about the detention of 5 hijras by police, Police belonging to Banashakari Police Station stripped, verbally-physically-sexually assaulted and booked the HIV-AIDS workers on false charges. When human rights activists from various dalit-trade union-women's-sexual minority-sexworker organizations questioned the illegal police actions, Banashankari Police verbally-physically-sexually assaulted them and booked them on false charges. Sangama's crisis intervention is recognized as a best practice model to be emulated by other NGOs by the Indian Government in its National AIDS Control Plan – III (Strategy and Implementation Plan, NACP 3).

In 2nd week of November, Police from Sampigehalli and Amruthahalli police stations started spreading false rumors about already marginalized hijras including 'hijras are kidnapping male children, making them transgenders by injecting with hormones, castrating them by force and forcing them into sexwork/begging'. Police tried to push hijras out of Dasarahalli area (where many hijras are living for many years) in Amruthalli police station limits through issuing written notices and pressurizing the house owners to throw their hijras tents out. This led to the large scale evictions of hijras out of this area and hijras are scattered and are living under the constant fear of police attacks. HIV-AIDS prevention efforts among hijras in Bengaluru is severely affected, as it is becoming impossible to reach out to hijras.

These actions of Karnataka health and police officials are putting the Karnataka HIV-AIDS prevention work at risk. There actions are fuelling prejudice and misinformation against homosexuals and hijras, one of the most marginalized populations of our society. These actions are fueling the spread of HIV-AIDS in the state.

We strongly condemn these actions of health and police officials and demand that the state and union governments take immediate corrective measures.

Yours faithfully

Geetha, General Secretary, Karnataka Sex Workers Union

Umesh, General Secretary, Karnataka Sexual Minorities Forum

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Nov 18 - Hhuman Rights Watch Release

November 18, 2008

For Immediate Release

India: Stop ‘Social Cleansing' in Bangalore

Illegal Mass Evictions Against a Transgender Community

(New York, November 18, 2008) - Police in Bangalore forced about 100 hijras (working-class transgender people) from their homes on November 10, 2008, suggesting a spreading pattern of prejudice-driven violence and abuse in the city, Human Rights Watch said today in letters to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India and local authorities. Following the arrests on October 20 and 21 of more than three dozen hijras and human rights defenders, the incident points to an organized police campaign of social cleansing in Bangalore.

The latest incident came immediately after several national newspapers reported that Bangalore police had captured a "gang" of hijras who kidnapped children, castrated them, and forced them into sex work. Police used these stories to justify the mass evictions of hijras from their homes.

"Of course, all reports of child abuse should be thoroughly investigated," said Dipika Nath, researcher in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights program at Human Rights Watch. "But authorities are also responsible for sorting out fact from prejudice - and there is no excuse for targeting an entire community for retaliation."

Accounts of hijras kidnapping children and changing their sex are a common folk myth in many parts of India. These reports came amid an apparent campaign by Bangalore authorities against hijras in the city. The Mumbai-based Daily News and Analysis quoted Bangalore's Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) on October 20 as calling for a "drive against the city's eunuch menace." "Eunuch" is a widely used derogatory term for hijras.

On the same day, police arrested five hijras in Bangalore and charged them with "extortion," beating and sexually abusing them in the process. They also arrested 41 human rights defenders - including hijras, Dalits, women's rights and sex worker activists, and trade union activists - who came to their defense. When challenged on their unconstitutional actions, the police told some of the activists that they had orders from higher up to round up hijras in Bangalore.

Next, on November 8 and 9, five major newspapers in India, including two national dailies, carried news items about Bangalore police breaking up a "gang" of hijras. The gang allegedly kidnapped children, performed "sex change" operations on them, and forced them to become sex workers. The reports also claimed that the accused hijras were associated with Sangama, a Bangalore-based organization that works to defend the rights of sexual minorities. Sangama members were among the protesters against police actions on October 20-21. Sangama has denied that the two accused hijras are associated with the organization.

Immediately after these reports appeared, on November 9, the police inspector of Amrutahalli police station in Bangalore issued a notice to about 40 homeowners in the Dasarahalli neighborhood - known for having a substantial hijra population - requiring them to evict all hijras who rented apartments or rooms from them. More than 100 hijras rented rooms there, and most found themselves on the streets. Several lost their security deposits, and some lost all their belongings. One hijra told newspapers and local activists that she could not even find an autorickshaw driver to give her a ride because hijras had been labeled kidnappers.

Police claimed the hijras conducted "immoral activities" in their houses, and the eviction notice was, according to newspaper reports, also accompanied by verbal threats to the homeowners. Some of the homeowners told newspapers that they had never had trouble with their hijra tenants, but they were afraid to disobey the arbitrary command.

Evicted hijras told newspapers and local sexual rights activists that the police accusations that they engaged in "immoral activities" were unfounded, and that the kidnapping case brought against two hijras was being used as a pretext for the mass evictions. Police deny responsibility for the evictions, claiming the homeowners evicted their hijra tenants because of the charges of kidnapping in the press. However, The Hindu, a leading national daily, reported that it had a copy of the notice the police personally served to the homeowners.

Campaign for Sexworkers and Sexual Minorities Rights (CSMR), a coalition of activists and human rights organizations, has protested the police's arbitrary violation of hijras' fundamental right to reside in the city. It has also demanded that the eviction notice be withdrawn.

"The near-absolute legal and political disenfranchisement of hijras in most parts of India relies in part on myths about criminal and antisocial behavior as communal characteristics," said Nath. "Because of prevailing myths that hijras habitually kidnap young boys, reports of the arrest of two hijras on criminal charges are a convenient excuse to target the entire community without arousing public outcry."

To read the letter from Human Rights Watch to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, please visit:

http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2008/11/18/human-rights-watch-letter-indian-pm-manmohan-singh


Source: http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2008/11/18/india-stop-social-cleansing-bangalore

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

13 NOV - Media Coverage

http://www.hindu.com/2008/11/13/stories/2008111350580200.htm

MP from Nepal shocked over Dasarahalli incidents

Bageshree S.

Bangalore: "How can an entire community be targeted because two of its members are facing criminal charges," asks Sunil Pant incredulously, referring to the incidents in Dasarahalli in Bangalore where hijras were targeted and turned out of homes over the alleged involvement of two members of the community in a crime.

Coming from a country which is way ahead of India in recognising the rights of the sexuality minority community, the incident comes as a shock to Mr. Pant, a gay Member of Parliament representing the Communist Party of Nepal (United).

He is the founding member of Blue Diamond Society (BDS), a network of 20 groups and organisations working on HIV/AIDS, human rights and social justice for sexuality minorities.

BDS was part of the legal battle in Nepal which led to the ruling in December, 2007 ordering the Government there to defend and protect the rights of Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender people. Issues related to the welfare of the community found a mention in the manifestoes of most political parties in the last elections in Nepal. Nepal has since moved on and sexuality minority groups have been given citizenship identity cards.

That Government has made a special allocation in the budget for their welfare. "Initially, we took up issues related to health and human rights. The next focus is on economic programmes and poverty alleviation that will give them a sense of dignity," Mr. Pant says.

"What needs to be recognised is that hijras and other members of the community are on the streets because they have no other place to go," he says. Things begin to change once other avenues open up, as is happening in Nepal, he adds.

His colleagues in the Nepalese Parliament, says Mr. Pant, are either supportive or want to know more about the sexuality minority community. In fact, the Nepalese are traditionally more tolerant of the community because there is an inherent cultural acceptance. "Hindus worship Ardhanarishwar and Buddhists worship Avalokiteshwar," he says.

Mr. Pant says that documentation done by BDS on violence against the community over the years shows that there was an escalation in atrocities against them between 2003 and 2006, at the height of the monarchic rule. "Naturally, the most powerless and voiceless pay the highest price during such times," he observes.

Both the law enforcing authorities and the political parties in India have something to learn from the Nepalese experience, feels Mr. Pant. "You cannot push people into darkness and expect them to be enlightened," he says.

To align with the sexuality minority makes sense in terms of real-politik too, he adds. Support from the community had a big role in the victory of CPN(U) candidates in the last elections, he says.



http://www.hindu.com/2008/11/13/stories/2008111361820400.htm

Hijras face further harassment

Staff Reporter
'It is wrong to target the whole community'

Bangalore: Hijras residing at Dasarahalli, who have been under pressure to vacate their houses following notices served by the police, were allegedly subjected to further abuse on Wednesday morning.

Soummya, a hirjra from the area, said the police arrived on Wednesday night and announced on loudspeakers that those who continued to stay there should leave immediately.

"Due to pressure from the authorities, many left homes leaving behind their belongings. They spent the night at the Majestic bus terminus," she said.

The situation took a turn for the worse on Wednesday morning when the police arrived on two motorcycles and a van around 9 a.m. and started beating up the hijras who remained in the area, alleged Kala, another hijra.

"Because of pressure from the police our landlords have no choice but to ask us to leave. We have not even been able to get back the deposits we had paid," said Manju, a member of the community.

Speaking about the case of an under-aged boy allegedly kidnapped and castrated by two hijras, following which the community in the area has faced harassment, Kanta said: "Individual cases must be tackled individually. It is wrong to target the whole community."

Jalaja, another hijra, echoed similar sentiments: "Why are we all being treated like criminals? Police have been warning autorickshaw drivers against taking us, telling them to refuse to take us."

Hijras from Dasarahalli were at a meeting of the sexuality minority community organised by Nepalese MP Sunil Pant.

12 NOV Press Release

Campaign for Sexworkers & Sexual Minorities Rights
No. 9 ABABIL, Patel Cheluvappa Street, J C Nagar (MR Palya), Bengaluru – 560 006.
Email: advocacysangama@gmail.com


Press Release
12th Nov 2008, Bengaluru
To

The Editor/Director

Bengaluru


Dear Madam/Sir,

Sub: Illegal evictions of hijras in Dasarahalli Area by Amruthahalli Police

On November 10th, 2008 over 100 hijras residing in Dasarahalli were asked to vacate their premises by their owners. Some of them had been living there as long as two years. When the hijras inquired of the owners of the reasons for them being asked to vacate they were told that some of the owners had received a notice from the police in connection with a criminal case filed against two hijras on November 7th, 2008 on charges of abduction, grievous hurt and attempt to murder. The police notice dated November 9th, 2008 and issued by the Inspector, Amruthhalli Police Station to various home owners in Dasarahalli, intimated them that, while they were entitled to rent out their houses to hijras, it had come to the notice of the police that immoral activities were being carried out in their houses. In this connection a criminal case had been registered in Sampigehalli Police Station and an inquiry had been initiated. Those who were named in the police notice were asked to appear before the police failing which they would themselves be made responsible'.

This notice was accompanied by verbal police threats that the hijras who were tenants should be evicted forthwith. Acting on this arbitrary and irrational action by the police, many owners out of fear began to ask the hijras to evict the premises. Due to this arbitrary police action, over hundred hijras have been forced to leave their homes. On inquiry with home-owners it transpired that they had no problems and no complaints against the hijras who were their tenants. The only fear was the fear of police highhandedness and police vindictiveness should they fail to comply with the oral dictates of the police.

While we believe that the law should take its course as far as this specific allegation against some members of the community is concerned, but what is of grave concern is the targeting of the entire community of hijras in Dasarahalli and some other parts of Bangalore. This is being done in the name of enquiry regarding the alleged crime by a few individual hijras.

The hijra community in Bangalore is an extremely underprivileged community. Most often they do not have the right to live their lives in the gender that they desire as that gender has no official value. Many of them are forced to leave their homes because of violence fueled by rejection by their families. However, the hijra community today is victimized socially, legally, politically and economically. They struggle for day-to-day survival as they do for their basic human rights.

We condemn this high-handed police action and would like to clearly state that:

1) While the police are entitled to clearly prosecute offenses committed by members of the hijra community, any alleged wrong doing by some members should not be taken as a license to target the community as a whole.

2) The collective punishment of the hijra community by the police smacks of vindictiveness and
arbitrariness, and violates the Constitutional promise of equality, freedom of movement and the freedom to settle in any part of the country and the right to live with dignity guaranteed to all citizens under Art 14, Art 19 and Art 21.

3) We demand that the notice be withdrawn and the hijra community is not subjected to collective punishment.


For more information contact: Siddharth – 9845001168, Manohar-9880223460

Yours faithfully


Siddharth
for CSMR


(Constituents: Alternative Law Forum, Aneka, Environment Support Group, Garment and Textile Workers Union, Gud As You, Hengasara Hakkina Sangha, Jyothi Mahila Sangha, Jansthu, Karnataka Dalit Mahila Vedike, Karnataka Komusouhardha Vedike, Karnataka Sexual Minorities Forum, Karnataka Sexworkers Union, Karnataka Janapara Vedike, LesBiT, Lawyers Collective, Milana, Openspace, Pedestrian Pictures, People's Democratic Forum, People's Union for Civil Liberties, Reach Law, Sadhane, Samanatha Mahila Vedike, Sadhana Mahila Gumpu,Samara, Samvada, Sanchaya Nele, Sangama, Suraksha, Swathi Mahila Sangha, Vijaya Mahila Sangha, Vimochana, Visthar and many other individuals and organizations)

Police Notice

victims of illegal evictions

12 NOV - Media Coverage

http://mid-day.com/news/2008/nov/121108-police-diktats-hijras-homeless-amrutahalli-bangalore.htm

Hijras rendered homeless
By: Savie Karnel
Date: 2008-11-12
Bangalore:

A police diktat has left hundreds of hijiras homeless in the city.

The Amrutahalli police station issued a notice to house owners in Dasarahalli asking the landlords to meet the police inspector.

The police notice dated November 9, 2008, has been issued by the Inspector, Amrutahalli Police Station to house owners in Dasarahalli. While the owners were entitled to rent out their houses to hijras, it had come to the notice of the police that immoral activities were being carried out in their houses.

Breaker

In this connection, a criminal case was registered in Sampigehalli police station and an inquiry initiated. Those who were named in the police notice were asked to appear before the police failing which they would be held responsible.

The landlords have asked the hijiras to vacate the houses. "Yesterday, my landlord suddenly asked me to leave. I was in a fix and didn't know what to do. I was on the streets with my things. I dressed up as a man and I am now staying with a friend. I had paid Rs 5,000 as advance. But the landlord has cut Rs 2,500 and given the rest. Now I have to collect money for the advance of another house," said Jacinta, who does not want to disclose her name out of fear that she may not get another house.

Sarita (name changed) could not find an auto to travel and ferry her belongings. "Auto drivers refused to take me saying that we kidnap children. I was left in the lurch. I too am looking for a house now. I don't know if I will get any. The police and the media have made generalisations and accuse us of forcibly castrating children and pushing them into prostitution. It is not true," she said.

'Don't generalise'

Madhumita, who does not want her name changed like others, said the police were victimising them.

"Let the police investigate into what actually happened in Sampigehalli. Why are they generalising? We have a right to live. You cannot just ask anyone to vacate. Where will we go? I do not have friends and am living in a lodge. Just this morning, my landlord said that I had to vacate. The police threatened the landlords verbally, telling them to make us vacate the house. Nearly 400 hijiras have become homeless," she said.

Campaign for Sex Workers and Sexual Minorities Rights, a collective body of organisations fighting for sexual minorities, has urged the police to withdraw the notice.



http://www.hindu.com/2008/11/12/stories/2008111260590400.htm

Landlords pressure transsexuals in Dasarahalli to vacate homes

Clyde D'Souza
Action follows castration of under-aged boy in which accused is transsexual

Police had issued notices to house owners to 'take action' against their transsexual tenants

We are not harassing transsexuals: police

BANGALORE: Several transsexuals residing in Dasarahalli area were rendered homeless on Tuesday after being pressured by their landlords to vacate their homes.

This action is attributed to the fallout of a case reported last week involving the illegal castration of an under-aged boy.

The area is home to a number of transsexuals and the Amruthahalli police had issued notices to the house owners to "take action" against their transsexual tenants.

Leaders of the transsexual community, who have been complaining of harassment, say the entire community is being targeted though they had no role in the crime.

While a couple of transsexuals vacated the houses before 5 p.m., the deadline set by the owners, several others waited nervously in front of their houses, worried about their future.

Though the police deny visiting the area, The Hindu is in possession of a copy of the notice the police issued personally to the house owners on Sunday. "We are a peaceful community and around 100 of us live here. The owners of around 40 houses have received the evacuation notice which states that action will be taken if they do not comply," Kanta, who has been rendered homeless, told The Hindu.

"We have been living here for nearly seven years with no problems. The owners support us and have no issues with us since rent is always paid on time."

People like Smitha hope some non-governmental organisation will come to their aid.

"It is impossible to vacate our homes with no notice period. We too are human and must be given our rights. We are helpless and have nowhere to go."

Subha Chako, secretary of Sangama, a sexuality rights organisation, said: "The house owners say they have a good relationship with the transsexuals who are always prompt with their rent. Then why are they being victimised? There are no criminal cases against them."

Police denial

When contacted, Basavaraja Y. Malagatti, Deputy Commissioner of Police (North-East Division) said: "We are not harassing transsexuals. We have not even entered Amruthahalli. The house owners themselves are asking them to go as an innocent boy was kidnapped and his sex was forcibly changed by the accused, who is a transsexual."

Meanwhile, the Bangalore City Police have sent a team to Kadapa in Andhra Pradesh to arrest the doctor, Naganna, who is said to have conducted the sex reassignment surgery.

(Names of all transsexuals have been changed.)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Press Release - 7 NOV 2008 (Kozhikkode @ Calicut, Kerala)

KOZHIKKODE (CALICUT, KERALA) RALLY

7TH NOVEMBER, 2008

OVER 100 SEXUALITY MINORITIES STAGED A RALLY IN KOZHIKKODE, KERALA, PROTESTING OVER THE BRUTALITY BEING UNLEASHED ON THE SEXUALITY MINORITIES AND HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS IN BANGALORE, AND EXPRESSING SOLIDARITY TO THE VICTIMS OF POLICE TORTURE IN THEIR FIGHT FOR EQUALITY AND JUSTICE.
THE COMMUNITY MEMBERS , HOLDING PLACARDS AND BANNERS AND RAISING SLOGANS FOR THE CAUSE OF THE SEXUALITY MINORITIES , STAGED A 40- MINUTES RALLY BEFORE THE RALLY CULMINATED AT MANANCHIRA GROUND, WHERE THE RALLY MERGED INTO THE CROWD OF GENERAL PUBLIC, NUMBERING OVER 300, ALREADY GATHERED.
LEADERS OF THE COMMUNITY MEMBERS ADDRESSED THE GATHERING . LATER THE CROWD GATHERED LIT CANDLE LIGHTS EXPRESSING SOLIDARITY TO THE FIGHT FOR EQUALITY AND JUSTICE.
THE RALLY AND LIGHTING OF CANDLES WAS ORGANIZED BY FOUNDATION FOR INTEGRATED RESEARCH IN MENTAL HEALTH(firm) IN COLLABORATION WITH THE CBOs IN NORTH KERALA.
THE PROGRAMME STARTED BY 4.30 PM ENDED BY 6.45.PM.

Photos 7 NOV 2008 (Kumbakonam)






Photo 7 NOV 2008 (Calicut)




Photos - 7 NOV 2008





Press Release - 7 NOV 2008 (National Day of Action)

Press Release

07th Nov 2008


Dear Madam/Sir,

Sub: National Day of Action against physical and sexual assault of human rights defenders by Banashankari Police

Campaign for Sexworkers and Sexual Minorities Rights and its allies across India have observed today as the National Day of Action in many cities including Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad, Calicut (Kerala), Dharwad, Ramnagara, Dhoddaballapura, Kumbakonam (Tamil Nadu) by holding various public actions including public rallies, public meetings, public demonstrations, candlelight protests etc.. Sexual minorities and their supporters have raised the united voice against the brutal violence by Banashankari Police.

Bengaluru also ended its week of action today through the public rally from Townhall to Bannappa Park. The rally attened by around 500 sexual minorities and human rights defenders was held from 11am to 12 noon. An overwhelming number of activists who had gathered for the rally were hijras who expressed their anger by shouted slogans against the police violence on sexual minorities and human rights defenders. Some of the slogans include “Stop sexual abuse in Police Stations”, “Dissmiss ACP H. T. Ramesh”, “Dismiss Police Inspector Shivashankaramurthi”, “Banashankari police are goonda police”, “Banashankari police – violators of human rights”,Condemn police violence on hijras and human rights activists”, “Condemn police torture” and ” Dismiss guilty police”. The rally ended at the Bannappa Park with movement songs.

Following programs were held in diffrent cities today:

1. Delhi 11am to 1pm Public Protest in front of Karnataka Bhavan, Kautilya Marg, Chanakyapuri. A memorandum submitted to the resident commisisoner

2. Calicut 4pm to 6pm Public Rally from PM Taj Road to Mananchira Square, Candlelight demonstration at Kidson Corner

3. Dharwad 11am to 1pm Public Rally from Dharwad Bus Stand to District Commissioner’s Office. A memorandum submitted to the District Commissioner

4. Ramnagara 10am to 12pm Public Demonstartion at Kanakapura Busstand Circle. A memorandum submitted to the District Commissioner

5. Kumbakonam 5pm to 6pm Dharna at Gandhi Park

6. Dhoddaballapura 11am to 1pm Public Demonstartion at Kanakapura Busstand Circle. A memorandum submitted to the District Commissioner

7. Hyderabad 10am to 6pm Distribution of leaflets across twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad

The campaign is meeting soon to chalkout the future plans to pressurize the government for its demands.

For more information contact: Lakshmi-9845113792, Gurukiran-9880365692

Yours faithfully

Revathi A.

for CSMR

Press Release - 6 NOV 2008 (Women in Black)

Press Release

06th Nov 2008


Dear Madam/Sir,


Sub: Women In Black organised by CSMR to defend the human rights of sexworkers and sexual minorities and to denounce brutal police violence on peaceful human rights defenders.


Campaign for Sexworkers and Sexual Minorities Rights (CSMR) have organised a week long protest against the brutal violence on human rights defenders by the Banashankari police personnel on 20th November 2008.


On November 6, around 300 human rights activists held a Women in Black vigil at the BDA Shopping Complex in Banashankari. Dressed in black, standing in silence with placards and candles in their hands they drew attention to this barbaric act of violence against hijras and human rights defenders perpetrated by the police. This action drew its inspiration from the global Women in Black movement that stands in silent protest against all acts of violence and wars against women in different countries and cultures. The Women in Black actions in India were initiated in Bangalore at the time of the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992 to protest against the increasing politics of fundamentalism and communalism within the country.


CSMR sent the Memorundam letters to Prime minister, Chief minister of Karnataka, Minister of Law justice and Human rights karnataka, DG and IG of police karnataka, minister for child and women development of karnataka, chief justice of karnataka high court minister for home-karnataka, chair person of karnataka state human rights commiossion, minister for health &family welfare karnataka, KSAPS, Chairperson of UPA, NACO, chairperson of national comminion for women, minister of NHRC.


On 5th November 2008 , over four hundred human rights activists got together at Banashankari BDA Complex, Bangalore. Those gathered in support included those working on the rights of dalits, women, workers, students, youth urban poor, religious minorities, sexual minorities, sexworkers, people living with HIV and on the issues of environemnt, peace, working for communal harmony, cultural activists, Students (UTC), activists working for social change and many organisations across Karnataka state came together to participate in the human chain to show solidarity and support to sexuality minorities and sex workers in Bengaluru. The response from the public for all events has been one of solidarity and support.


On 4th November 2008 through Gandhigiri Hijras and sexual minorities visited important police stations in Bengaluru and gave flowers, leaflets, reports and information on sexual minorities to the police, to sensitise them on their issues. They assured their support to sexual minorities. For a few people’s fault in the community punishing entire community is wrong and cannot brand a community as criminals. They stated this clearly to the police. More than 70 police stations visited by sexual minorities.


On 3rd November 2008 CSMR distributed more than one lakh leaflets about this issue all over Bangalore in 35 locations. After reading the leaflets many people have come farward to support the struggle.


Program outside Bangalore on NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION (7th November, 2008)


Bangalore - Public Rally and Public Meeting

Delhi - Dharna

Calicut - Public Rally

Hubli-Dharwad

Ramanagar - Dharna

Doddaballapura - Dharna

Hyderabad/ Secunderabad

Kumbakonam - Dharna


Programs will also be held in Kolkatta (9th November), Mumbai (13th November) and Chennai (14th November)


We request you to kindly pubish this note in your papers and support us in the programmes of the campaign.


For further information contact :- Sumathi – 9845165143, Lakshmi: 9845113792 & Gurukiran: 9880365692.


In Solidarity


Revathi

Director (Sangama)

on behalf of CSMR

Photos - 6 NOV 2008 (Women in Black)





Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Press Release - 5 NOV 2008 (Human Chain)

Press Release

05th Nov 2008. Bengaluru

Dear Madam/Sir,

Sub: HUMAN CHAIN organised by CSMR to defend the human rights of sexworkers and sexual minorities and to denounce brutal police violence on peaceful human rights defenders

Campaign for Sexworkers and Sexual Minorities Rights (CSMR) is organising a week long protest against the brutal violence on human rights defenders by the Banashankari police personnel on 20th November 2008.

On 5th November 2008 , over five hundred human rights activists got together at Gandhi statue, MG road, Bangalore. Those gathered in support included those working on the rights of dalits, women, workers, students, youth urban poor, religious minorities, sexual minorities, sexworkers, people living with HIV and on the issues of environemnt, peace, working for communal harmony, cultural activists, Students (UTC), activists working for social change and many organisations across Karnataka state came together to participate in the human chain to show solidarity and support to sexuality minorities and sex workers in Bengaluru. More than 500 people gathered near Mahatma Gandhi statue and formed a human chain as a symbol of support holding hands with each other and being part of the struggle for rights of sexual minorities and sex workers. The police too were present in large numbers in precaution and support. The human chain was formed from the Chinnaswamy stadium to LIC building on M.G.Road. This action is also bringingout into the pubilc, the atrocities by the police towards sexual minorities, sex workers and marginalised Communities. Activists carried banners demanding the dismissal of the guilty police of the October 20th incident. The response from the public for all events has been one of solidarity and support.

On 4th November 2008 through Gandhigiri Hijras and sexual minorities visited important police stations in Bengaluru and gave flowers, leaflets, reports and information on sexual minorities to the police, to sensitise them on their issues. They assured their support to sexual minorities. For a few people’s fault in the community punishing entire community is wrong and cannot brand a community as criminals. They stated this clearly to the police. More than 70 police stations visited by sexual minorities.

On 3rd November 2008 CSMR distributed more than one lakh leaflets about this issue all over Bangalore in 35 locations. After reading the leaflets many people have come farward to support the struggle.

In the month of November 2008 groups from different parts of India like Karnataka (Bangalore Urban, Anekal, Hubli, Ramanagar,Dharwad) on 7th Nov.08, Delhi on 7th Nov.08 , Mumbai on 13th Nov.08, Kolkatta on 9th Nov 08, Calicut, Hyderabad(Not confirmed) Chennai on 14th Nov.08, are organising protests as National day of solidarity action condemning the police brutal violence on sexuality minorities.

DATE

TIMING

EVENT

06 Nov

5PM to 7PM

Women in Black in Banashankari BDA Complex Area

07 Nov

11.00 pm to 1.00 pm

Public Rally and Public Meeting

We request you to kindly pubish this note in your papers and support us in the programmes of the campaign.

For further information contact :- Sumathi – 9845165143, Lakshmi: 9845113792 & Gurukiran: 9880365692.

In Solidarity

Revathi

Director (Sangama)

on behalf of CSMR

Photos - 5 NOV 2008 (Human Chain)