Friedel Dausab: The Namibian Activist Who Challenged Discrimination Against the LGBTQ+ Community

In a landmark victory for LGBTQ+ rights in Namibia, Friedel Dausab successfully challenged the constitutionality of the country’s laws criminalizing same-sex sexual activity. Dausab’s case, filed in June 2022, was heard in the High Court of Namibia in October 2023, with the court handing down its judgment on June 21, 2024.


Dausab, a prominent Namibian activist, argued that the common law offenses of sodomy and the statutory provisions incorporating “unnatural sexual offenses” were unconstitutional and violated the fundamental rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Namibian Constitution. These laws had long been used to discriminate against and persecute members of the LGBTQ+ community in the country.


In its historic ruling, the High Court agreed with Dausab’s arguments and declared the challenged laws unconstitutional. The court recognized that the criminalization of consensual same-sex sexual activity infringed on the rights to dignity, privacy, and equality before the law, as enshrined in Namibia’s constitution.


“This is a monumental victory not just for me, but for the entire LGBTQ+ community in Namibia, “We have long been marginalized and subjected to discrimination, and this judgment sends a clear message that such treatment is unacceptable and unconstitutional.” (Members LGBTQI+ communities)


The court’s decision marks a significant step forward in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights in Namibia, a country where homosexuality was and is still considered a criminal offense. The ruling is expected to have far-reaching implications, paving the way for greater acceptance and equality for LGBTQ+ individuals in the country.


Dausab’s persistence and courage in challenging the discriminatory laws have been widely praised by human rights organizations and LGBTQ+ advocates both within Namibia and internationally. His victory is a testament to the power of individual action and the importance of standing up for fundamental rights and freedoms.


As Namibia continues to grapple with issues of social and legal equality, the Dausab case serves as an inspiration for other activists and marginalized communities to assert their constitutional rights and challenge unjust laws. This landmark ruling will undoubtedly have a lasting impact on the country’s journey towards a more inclusive and equitable society.


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By Pepe //Naobes (Y–FEM TEAM)
ICT Consultant, Web Developer, and Financial Markets Executioner 

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