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New Report Finds More Than 122,000 People In Solitary Confinement In The United States

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Figures Exceed Previous Counts Because They Include All People in Solitary in Prisons and Jails for 22 or More Hours a Day, and Are Based on the Most Reliable Available Sources Washington, DC — The watchdog group Solitary Watch and the advocacy coalition Unlock the Box today released a groundbreaking joint report showing that at least 122,840 people are locked daily in solitary confinement in U.S. prisons and jails for 22 or more hours a day. Calculating Torture ( LINK ) is the first report to combine the use of solitary in local and federal jails in addition to state and federal prisons. It is based on analysis of data recently released by the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) as well as by state prison systems that did not report to BJS, and data from a survey of local jails conducted by the Vera Institute of Justice.

ILGA: 76 countries ban gay sex, 7 have death penalty

The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Intersex Association (ILGA) has released the fourth edition of its massive "State Sponsored Homophobia" report. The most significant change in the new edition: One-sixth of the world’s gays and lesbians were emancipated when India’s Delhi High Court legalized gay sex last July.

"Compared to last year’s report, where we listed the 77 countries prosecuting people on ground of their sexual orientation, this year you will find ’only’ 76 in the same list, including the infamous 5 which put people to death for their sexual orientation: Iran, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Yemen [plus some parts of Nigeria and Somalia]," wrote ILGA Co-Secretary General Gloria Careaga-Perez. "One country less compared to the 2009 list may seem little progress, until one realizes that it hosts one-sixth of the human population, as the country in question is India."

ILGA said the 76 nations criminalize "consensual sexual acts between persons of the same sex in private over the age of consent."

They are: Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Bhutan, Botswana, Brunei, Burundi, Cameroon, Comoros, Dominica, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guinea, Guyana, Iran, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Kuwait, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, São Tomé and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Tanzania, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Yemen, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. In addition, gay sex is illegal in the Cook Islands (a self-governing democracy in free association with New Zealand), the Gaza Strip in Palestine, and Northern Cyprus, which is recognized only by Turkey.

"Naming and shaming homophobic countries is essential but it is also important to recognize countries where progress is being made," said ILGA Co-Secretary General Renato Sabbadini. "For this year we are happy to see the federal district of Mexico City and Argentina joining the community of states and local authorities recognizing equal marriage rights to same-sex couples -- an example of genuine inclusiveness, which will set the standard for many to follow."

ILGA is a 33-year-old network of 700 LGBT and supportive organizations from 110 nations. It identifies as the only international, nongovernmental, community-based association focused on fighting discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity as a global issue.

To see the full report and maps as well as details on gay equality around the world, visit tinyurl.com/ilga-ssh.

Source: Bay Windows, June 1, 2010

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