WTF Friday, 2/18/2012

Biggest merger since peanut butter and jelly? I think we all saw both these coming.

I’ve thought about this a lot so I’m glad someone decided to write about it.

I’ll leave you all with a (rare) happy ending this week. We got a tip from Kim Yi Dionne earlier today about Ralph Kasambara, a political prisoner in Malawi who was being held in what are terrifyingly called “condemned cells.” Deets are here. But, in the time from when we got the tip to now, “a Judge has issued a High Court Order for the immediate release of Ralph.” Now, let’s not forget to knock on wood, but this actually sounds like good news. Don’t get used to it…

WTF Friday, 6/4/10

  • Hadley Freeman of the Guardian does a nice job lampooning certain media outlets for giving Madonna credit for the release of the Malawian couple mentioned here. After a lot of soul searching I am finally able to accept that this one isn’t satire. And still, as tinarussell pointed out to me, no one can seem to get it right that the couple is not two men, but a man and a transgender woman. A commenter and transgender activist named Natacha had to set Freeman straight.
  • Worst/Best sentence of the day: “A founder of the Irish Republic, Eamon de Valera, famously idealized Ireland 70 years ago as an innocent land of saints and scholars, whose villages were joyous with the laughter of happy maidens. If he came back today he would be shocked to find that a village in Ireland is just as likely to contain a brothel, populated by sex slaves from Africa.” (Via Feministing)
  • Three Namibian women are suing the state for allegedly sterilizing them without their knowledge them because they are HIV positive. “The women say the doctors and nurses should have informed them properly about what was happening.” I’d say so.

WTF Friday, 5/21/10

  • More drama in the Campbell-Taylor-Farrow saga. Naomi Campbell may be subpoenaed to testify at Charles Taylor’s trial as she allegedly received a diamond from him. This story basically seems true unless Mia Farrow, who says Campbell told her about the diamond and is willing to testify, is completely making it up. The more I write about this the more it feels like a weird dream.

*Correction. The couple is actually a male and a transgender woman. Thanks to tinarussell for directing me to this article. Sorry for the mistake and for taking so long to correct it. I will try to do better next time.

Places Not to Be Gay: Malawi Edition

Last week, police in Malawi arrested 21 year old Peter Sawali for putting up posters reading “Gay rights are human rights” in response to the public indecency trial of Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga. (The two men face up to 14 years in prison for attempting to marry.)

Apparently, the government believed Monjeza and Chimbalanga were Malawi’s only gays, so imagine their surprise to be confronted with a well-organized gay rights campaign secretly producing and distributing “expertly and expensively printed” posters and leaflets. The authorities have announced that whoever is doing it had better reveal themselves so that they can be arrested too.

I’m thinking given how poorly Malawi has treated the two gays they’ve got, it’s not likely anyone’s going to respond to the request “if there are others, let them come out in the open.” When will governments learn that gays are a privilege, not a right?

Hattip to @SoAfricaAIUSA

Update: If you’d like to blow the Malawian government’s mind by demonstrating that people who are neither gay nor Malawian (or at any rate, not both) care about this issue too, head on over to Amnesty and sign their petition.