The killing of members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Queer, Intersex, and other (LGBTQI+) communities, with six murders reported in the past eight months, raises questions about their basic rights.

Christof Frederick (30), Gerome Helgrain (41), Vernon Gavin (52), Queen Uwuseb (35), Gurney Uirab (35), and Stanley Cloete (36) are victims of what some label as hate crimes.

The Director of the Legal Aid Centre, Toni Hancox, provided a legal perspective on the matter, highlighting the challenge of identifying these crimes under the Constitution.

"We need to start with the constitution; that is our playbook, so everyone in this country is entitled to those protections, the right to equality, and the right to dignity. This is where we are coming from a very, very difficult past. So we need to put it on a pedestal and know that the constitution covers all of these things and we are protected by it, and very often members of the LGBTQ community are not protected, for example, by the Domestic Violence Act. The couple or same-sex couple is not protected by it, and equality goes out the window, so for me, the government has to put its money where its mouth is. That's probably the phrase, and leaders who can influence others or can speak so that others can listen in a much broader community have a particular responsibility to ensure that they follow what their constitution says—a constitution that was written for us as a country."

The Director of Out-Right Namibia, Angapitus Hausiku, expressed concerns that these crimes are motivated by hate to instill fear in the community. 

"Dehumanising the body of a person the way they have done, why so many stabbings? If I were attacked in a spade by robbers, it would be 2 or 3 stabs more than that. What is it that you are trying to send across? And also, why mutilate in a way that it was mutilated? You are actually trying to tell the community that whatever you are busy with, we are not happy with it. That's why we say that this is targeted, and this is as a result of certain individuals thinking to get the message across to the community, and that message is fear."

Currently, the community has only the constitution as its safeguard against any form of violation.

Photo Credits
NBC Digital News


Johanna !Uri#khos