Cuerpos de seguridad

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Police block sex worker demonstration in Thika, Kenya

Reports from Kenya are emerging of police blocking and barricading sex workers who were demonstrating today against the recent murders of colleagues and attending the burial of one sex worker.

The protesters had been granted a permit by the police to have a procession in the town of Thika today, and were then planning to continue to the funeral of their colleague.  The police however barricaded more than 300 sex workers at the mortuary.  John Mathenge said the police, some brandishing guns, had threatened demonstrators with tear gas. 

KEWSA, who organised the demonstration in Thika, later addressed the media and demanded police action to investigate the murders.  You can see the ASWA & KESWA press statement on the murders here.

Read more about today's demonstration in Identity Kenya.

International Condemnation of WONETHA arrests

The Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition (WHRD IC) and AWID have expressed deep concern regarding the safety of five staff from the Uganda sex worker organization, Women’s Organization Network for Human Rights Advocacy (WONETHA).

Following a police raid on the WONETHA drop-in centre in Gulu town on 7th May this year, five of WONETHA’s members have been charged with “living on the earnings of prostitution”. If found guilty they could face up to seven years in prison.

Documents were confiscated, as well as computers and other material from the center. They also read personal emails and correspondence. The raid took place without a warrant. Two members of WONETHA staff were arrested at the drop-in centre and three were arrested at the police offices when they went to visit their colleagues.

Read the full reports of the international condemnation in these stories on the AWID and WHRD IC websites.

Stop the Arrests Campaign Launch: London this Monday

INVITATION: Stop the Arrests Campaign Launch this Monday

WHEN: 6.30PM, MONDAY 18th June

WHERE: Centre for Possible Studies, 

21 Gloucester Place, London W1U 8HR (nearest tube: Marble Arch)

Campaign group, Stop the Arrests(1), will hold a public launch in central London this Monday to outline its call for a moratorium on sex worker arrests during the London 2012 Olympic Games. The panel includes Laura Agustín, trafficking expert and author of Sex at the Margins, Georgina Perry, manager of Open Doors, a sex worker health project operating in Hackney and a video link up with Brooke Magnanti, aka Belle de Jour and author of The Sex Myth. Stop the Arrests is concerned that the policing of sex work and sex establishments in the lead-up to the Olympics threatens to compromise the safety and autonomy of sex workers.

ILLEGAL RAID and closure of WONETHA’s Gulu office

On the 7th of May 2012, the WONETHA Drop-In Centre in Gulu, Uganda was raided by police and computers and other items taken away.  WONETHA’s staff at the Drop In centre were also arrested and detained.

The arrested outreach workers and 3 other member were taken to court and charged with ‘living on the earnings of prostitution’.

Read the full story on ASWA’s website.

Sign the petition: Justice For Anu Mokal

On Monday 14th May hundreds of sex workers marched in Satara, India to protest against the violent attack on Anu Mokal, a pregnant sex worker in Satara, who was beaten up by police inspector Dayanand Dhome on April 2, along with her friend Ms. Anjana Ghadge.  Three days later, on 5th April, she suffered a miscarriage.

You can now sign the petition online here to support their demands.

Olympic crack-down putting sex workers at risk

Raids on flats in London and increased activity by the Metropolitan Police in targeting street-based sex workers have forced women to work underground, begin working outdoors and to move away from areas they know well.  All of which has put them at greater risk of violence and driven them further away from the support services they use and trust, reports the Independent today.

Greek police Out HIV+ sex workers: SIGN the petition

In a deplorable move, Athens police have published photographs of 12 sex workers who have tested HIV positive in the last few days, with more disgraceful abuses being promised in the future.

You can sign the petition to the Greek Prime Minister to stop the forced testing and outing of HIV+ sex workers here.  (Read it in English, Spanish & French)