Prominent Yemeni Activist Under Fire for Defending LGBT+ Rights in the Middle East

Published January 21st, 2020 - 06:06 GMT
Hind Al Eryani @HindAleryani // Twitter
Hind Al Eryani @HindAleryani // Twitter

"A community whose members suffer from injustice, murder, torture, arrest and, at best, they are ostracized by society." With these words, Yemeni journalist and human rights activist Hind Al-Eryani defended the LGBT+ community. 

Hind said these words in a video posted on her official Twitter account, after she received harsh criticism for publishing an article titled "Why Fear Homosexuals" last month. 

Translation: “LGBT+ issues are significant.”

She continued, "LGBT people are forced to live in two worlds, live miserable or reprimanded. They lead a miserable life that causes them to commit suicide."

"Why all this injustice? I understand that some say our religion tells us that homosexuality is a sin, but does your humanity accept this injustice? Why would you be prejudiced against a group of people just because they are different from you? These people have always existed in the past and always will exist." 

"Many of the tweets that I received tell me, 'you are gay,' thinking I will get angry or will feel offended by this description. They are wrong... my perception of homosexuality is not an insult, it is not offensive and does not annoy me at all, it is an adjective.”

Al Eryani referred to the struggles of Arab homosexuals, who are sometimes forced to "hide their sexual orientation and take one of two decisions: either to marry someone from the opposite sex and live unhappy and cause misery to the deceived partner who does not know anything about the reality of their partner's sexual orientation, or to remain single and have homosexual affairs secretly and be subjected to the harassment of our conservative society and the constant fear of being exposed." 

Translation: “Of course I am in favor of their rights, their existence and their freedom.”

The Yemeni activist stressed that homosexuality "exists in humans, animals and even plants, and it is not a disease that needs treatment nor is it a temporary phase, and certainly not a crime… it is a human right, and we must respect it even if it is contrary to some religious convictions."

But not everybody felt the same way. 

Translation: “I hope Allah puts you in Hell with gay people on Judgement day…”

Hind received harsh criticism on her social media for her remarks, highlighting the issue of homophobia even more, and proving that it is indeed a major problem in the Middle East.

Translation: “I hope your views are just lies to convince countries to grant you asylum.”
It is noteworthy that Hind Aleryani, who sought asylum in Sweden in 2018, has already been granted it.


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