International News - 9/27/19

International News - 9/27/19

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Brazil prosecutor orders indictments in Rio gay councilwoman murder case

Brazil’s top public prosecutor ordered five people indicted over sabotaging efforts surrounding an investigation into the assassination of a Rio de Janeiro city councilwoman on Sept. 17.

In comments to reporters on her last day in office, Brazil’s Prosecutor General Raquel Dodge said she would charge two court officials, two police officers and a lawyer with obstructing

investigations into the March 2018 slaying of Marielle Franco and her driver, Anderson Gomes. She also said federal investigators would take over the case.

A Black, openly gay councilwoman, Franco frequently criticized Rio police for their often-deadly gang-busting operations and excoriated Rio’s so-called “militias,” powerful organized crime groups often run by retired and off-duty police.

Franco’s assassination sparked nationwide protests by Brazilians fed up with endemic violence and has inspired a new generation of Black candidates in Rio de Janeiro.

In March, Rio state police, which have been in charge of the investigation, arrested two former police offers in connection with the murder, but questions still swirl around the slaying, and no clear motive has been established. The murders are widely assumed to have been ordered and orchestrated by a criminal network, and public patience is wearing thin.

Rwandan gospel singer comes out as gay, to country’s shock

A well-known gospel singer in Rwanda shocked many last month when he revealed he is a gay man.

Although Rwanda has been relatively free of the anti-gay rhetoric commonly heard in some other parts of sub-Saharan Africa, homosexuality is still widely despised.

“But there is no going back, because I have to live my real life,” Albert Nabonibo says.

Although Rwanda’s penal code does not explicitly proscribe gay sex, same-sex marriage is banned.

Rwanda’s state minister for foreign affairs, however, has expressed support for Nabonibo, saying he is protected under the law and urging the singer to continue his worship ministry.

According to Human Rights Watch, 32 African nations have varying laws criminalizing homosexuality.

Security concerns prompt Montego Bay Pride cancellation

Organizers of Montego Bay Pride in Jamaica have canceled the event because of security concerns.

A press release that Montego Bay Pride organizers released on Sept. 19 said Montego Bay Mayor Homer Davis and St. James Councilor Charles Sinclair “don’t feel that we belong in Jamaica” and have banned them from using a public cultural center.

“I am not opposed if Montego Bay Pride wishes to have an event to promote same-sex marriage, but I believe it should not be held at the Montego Bay Cultural Center,” said Sinclair, according to the Jamaica Gleaner, a Jamaican newspaper. “The cultural center is a building under the management of the municipal corporation, which is a government agency.”

“We, as a government agency, must ensure that we uphold the Constitution of Jamaica, and in upholding the Constitution, why would we engage a building controlled by the municipal corporation to be used to hold a function to promote same-sex marriage?” he added. “It is not consistent with the mandate that we have.”

Montego Bay Pride in their press release said “no other venue will rent to us at a reasonable rate” because of Sinclair and Davis’ comments.

Upwards of 3,000 people were expected to attend this year’s Montego Bay Pride that was scheduled to take place from Oct. 13-20. The first Montego Bay Pride took place five years ago. 

Reporting via Associated Press

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