We often hear the egregious acts of violence perpetrated against women in South Africa. Yet the headlines often forget to mention the violence carried out against members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) community. Violence directed at individuals perceived to be LGBTI has steadily increased, yet there has been a consistent failure of police authorities to address these acts of targeted violence.
April 24, 2013 marks the two year anniversary of the brutal death of Noxolo Nogwaza. The 24-year-old was raped, repeatedly beaten and stabbed, apparently because of her sexual orientation. Two years after her death, no progress has been made into the investigation of her murder and her killer(s) remain at large.
To mark the two year anniversary, Amnesty International, together with Ekurhuleni Pride Organizing Committee (EPOC), a local community-based organization, are organizing a Day of Commemoration in honor of all LGBTI individuals murdered due to their sexual orientation. A short memorial service will be held and participants will be given the opportunity to write messages of hope/condolence which will remain at the site as a memorial.
Amnesty members throughout the world are demonstrating their solidarity with Noxolo, and other LGBTI individuals who have been targeted simply because of their sexual orientation. We encourage you to send out messages of support through Twitter, Facebook and other social media on that day. We are also collecting messages of support that we will push out for you during the vigil. You can also take action, urging the police to properly investigate all cases of LGBTI violence in South Africa. As human rights defenders, we have a responsibility to take a stand and ensure Noxolo, and all victims of violence, are not forgotten. #Remember #Noxolo #DemandJustice #LGBT
Contributed by Linda Harris, AIUSA South Africa Country Specialist