End discrimination against LGBTI people - Amnesty International | Sunday Observer

End discrimination against LGBTI people - Amnesty International

Sri Lanka must end discrimination against LGBTI people, Amnesty International said yesterday, as the human rights organisation launched a comic book recounting the struggles of LGBTI people in Sri Lanka.

The new comic book titled ‘Spectrum’ tells four true stories of how LGBTI people in Sri Lanka have suffered discrimination and violence in their daily lives, from workplace bullying to police harassment.

Stories of Manju, Samanali, Kiruthika and Thenu are highlighted in the comic book that also reveal alarming ways police officials handle cases where members of the LGBTI community are involved. It shows how often LGBTI people are treated as criminals when they seek police assistance after being victimised.

Societal taboo has been punishing for LGBTI people when it comes to their jobs, homes and schools – compromising their ability to access services that are central to realising their human rights.

“Being persecuted for sexual orientation or gender identity has no place in our world today, and yet, individuals in Sri Lanka continue to face discrimination, abuse and a complete lack of protection for their real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity,” said Rehab Mahamoor, Research Assistant at Amnesty International.

Mahamoor added that, “a safer environment for LGBTI people must be created before the situation in Sri Lanka deteriorates. The laws that prevent that from happening must be repealed and protections that help uphold the rights of LGBTI people should be put in place without delay”.