SNP MEP Alyn Smith has today (Friday) welcomed a declaration by the European Parliament which condemns violence against, and supports, LGBTI rights in Africa.
The Parliament reacted following an increase in arrests and violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people in African countries.
"I was pleased to see the Parliament express its acute concern over LGBTI rights and in particular the arrests, violence, rape and murder of lesbian women in African countries.
"Recently, lesbian women were reported to be increasingly arrested in Cameroon. They remain regular victims of ‘corrective’ rape and murders in South Africa, and in other countries, such as Liberia, legal and social conditions have worsened.
"The Parliament notes the situation is worsening in places such as Uganda and Nigeria, but potentially improving in Malawi, where newly appointed president Joyce Banda aims to decriminalise homosexuality, and in Swaziland, where HIV/AIDS prevention efforts are ongoing despite strong legal threats.
"I was disappointed to see some centre-right MEPs fail to support this declaration, however, on the whole, the debate in the European Parliament was overwhelmingly supportive of the rights of LGBTI people, and especially lesbian women."