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Human Rights Watch launches a new campaign for the LGBT community in the MENA region

Ph./Human Rights Watch
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International NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the Arab Foundation for Freedoms and Equality (AFE) have just launched the «No Longer Alone» campaign to raise awareness among people in the MENA region about the LGBT rights through a series of stories and testimonies.

Through 16 Arab countries, including Morocco, this initiative gives 34 people the opportunity to come out and tell their stories.

Known figures from the above-mentioned countries are among the people who participated to this project : Moroccan writer Abdellah Taia, and Hamed Sinno lead singer of the Lebanese band Mashrou Leila, said AFP. The two artists describe how they figured out their sexual orientation, the insults they have been subjected to, and the efforts they made to overcome judgments and hate.

«I did not think I would have the courage to face society and say : I'm gay whether you like it or not», said Abdellah Taia in his testimony.

Quoted by AFP, the HRW report goes through the LGBT rights battles in the Arab World : «In 2001, there was no association to defend LGBT rights in Arabic-speaking countries. In 2017, there are dozens operating across the region.»

«It is important to highlight the successes to show that this region is not a black hole, that there are movements that act for change», says Neela Ghoshal, researcher at HRW for LGBT issues.

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