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LGBT Ugandans dying in ‘crimes against humanity’

Trans activist flees to U.S. after mob attack, family rejection



Nikki Mawanda, gay news, Washington Blade

Nikki Mawanda (Washington Blade photo by Damien Salas)

Nikki Mawanda was 13 when his stepfather kicked him out of his family’s home because he thought he was a lesbian.

The executive director of Trans Support Initiative-Uganda, a group that advocates for transgender and intersex people in the East African country, had returned home late after visiting his girlfriend.

Mawanda, 32, told the Washington Blade during an emotional interview on April 28 that he heard noises coming from his mother’s bedroom. He said he opened the door and found his stepfather strangling her because “she gave birth to me.”

“I was sent out,” said Mawanda. “Then there was a big fight. Neighbors, so many people came.”

Mawanda, who now identifies as trans and uses male pronouns, spoke with the Blade slightly more than two months after President Yoweri Museveni signed the Anti-Homosexuality Bill into law that imposes a life sentence upon anyone found guilty of repeated same-sex sexual acts. Reports this week emerged that Ugandan lawmakers are slated to introduce a measure that would ban non-profit organizations from promoting homosexuality.

Mawanda is among those included in a list of “200 top homos” that a Ugandan tabloid published after Museveni signed the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

“I think I was number 10, something like that,” said Mawanda. “My name appeared and where I hang [out], things like that.”

Mawanda, who grew up in a Muslim family in Kampala, the Ugandan capital, told the Blade that his mother’s neighbors held a prayer vigil outside her home to “pray for me to leave the village.” He said they returned after Museveni signed the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

“They told my mom that they wondered why she tolerates me coming there, even with my so-called girlfriends when they know that she’s a Muslim person who should be very against it, who shouldn’t even be a part of it,” Mawanda told the Blade through tears. “They told her that she had two options: One is to see me being punished as their religion says or for me to not be around because for them they think I’m sowing the seed of homosexuality in their children.”

Mawanda said his grandfather, who is a “very staunch Muslim,” wrote a letter to his mother after Museveni signed the Anti-Homosexuality Bill and asked her what they are “going to do with the homosexuals that we know at home.” Mawanda went to his mother’s house and waited for her response.

“She didn’t know what to do, but I said to her it’s your call, say what you feel,” he told the Blade. “I don’t know what she wrote him, but she just told me she said to him ‘let the government do whatever they have to do because she’s not going to the police.’”

Officials ‘don’t understand’ trans issues

Mawanda, who is a board member of Sexual Minorities Uganda, another Ugandan LGBT advocacy group, told the Blade that police on Feb. 1 arrested him at Entebbe International Airport outside Kampala as he returned to the country from South Africa. He said the authorities confiscated his passport and accused him of “impersonating to be someone else.”

“In Uganda, they don’t understand the issues of trans,” said Mawanda. “When I say I’m a trans person, that is a typical gay. That’s why it was an issue for me to prove whether I’m gay or not actually.”

He said a mob attacked him in March during a friend’s father’s funeral.

Mawanda told the Blade another incident took place in 2005 while he was shopping in a convenience store at a gas station in the Wandegeya neighborhood of Kampala while his girlfriend sat outside in their car.

Mawanda told the Blade a man approached him while inside the store and said “get your things and go.” He said he ignored him, but the man approached him again. Mawanda said he pulled out a gun and struck him in the face with it.

“He was like, ‘does this shop look gay to you?’” said Mawanda, pointing to the left side of his jaw where he said the man hit him. “I couldn’t swallow for two weeks. My face was swollen.”

Mawanda said he sought treatment for his injuries at a private hospital because of the discrimination he says LGBT Ugandans experience at public institutions.

“That is the price I pay for who I am,” he said. “I pay a lot of money to get worked on. It’s a challenge because of the discrimination that comes with it. And so as a result you do self-medication. If you can afford it than you have a private doctor working on you.”

Mawanda and other Ugandan advocates with whom the Blade has spoken in recent weeks say anti-LGBT discrimination and violence has only increased since Museveni signed the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

Ugandan police on April 3 raided a U.S.-funded HIV/AIDS service organization in Kampala it said recruited teenage boys and young men “into homosexual practices.”

Mawanda told the Blade a group of people who identified themselves as police officers kidnapped a trans man and his partner less than a week ago. He said other forms of discrimination and violence that include physical assault, rape, a lack of housing and parents disowning their LGBT children often go unreported.

“It looks like the community-at-large has taken on the role of doing vigilante [justice,]” said Mawanda. “Since the law was signed on the 24th of February, people felt that they should implement the law even before it was gazetted.”

Scott Lively ‘inciting a genocide’

The White House announced after Museveni signed the Anti-Homosexuality Bill that it would review its relationship with the Ugandan government.

The U.S. has suspended a study to identify groups at risk for HIV/AIDS the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had planned to conduct with a Ugandan university. A CDC agreement that funded the salaries of 87 employees of the Ugandan Ministry of Health who support the country’s response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic expired at the end of February.

The World Bank delayed a $90 million loan to the Ugandan government that had been earmarked to bolster the East African country’s health care system — although published reports earlier this month indicate that Kampala will receive the funds.

Uganda receives nearly $300 million each year through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief to fight the epidemic in the East African country. Kampala in 2013 received more than $485 million in aid from the U.S.

Museveni has repeatedly criticized the U.S. and other donor countries that have cut foreign aid as a result of his decision to sign the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. The Ugandan president has also said homosexuality is a Western import.

“People say homosexuality is from the West, it’s from you whites — but that’s a lie,” said Mawanda, noting the Muganda tribe of which he is a member has a gay king. “Why even did it take the white man to put together a penal code to criminalize something he did find? Of course he found it there and because for them they had criminalized it where they were coming from.”

Mawanda also accused the U.S. of using Uganda to “play their own politics.” He specifically cited the White House’s decision to increase aid to help Kampala track down Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army who faces international war crimes charges that stem from his group’s decades long insurgency against the Uganda government, while cutting support for other programs.

“They’re using our situation, our misery to play with their own politics,” said Mawanda. “You can’t tell us that you’ve cut aid within our health sector and you increase aid in defense.”

Mawanda also angrily criticized Scott Lively, a U.S. evangelical who faces a federal lawsuit for allegedly inflaming homophobic attitudes in the country before Ugandan Parliamentarian David Bahati in 2009 introduced the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. The measure once contained a provision that would have imposed the death penalty against anyone found guilty of repeated same-sex sexual relations.

“I look at this creature and wonder,” said Mawanda. “He says he’s a Christian. I don’t know whether the Bible he reads is the same Bible that I read.”

Mawanda also blasted Lively — who is running to succeed outgoing Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick — for comparing homosexuality to pedophilia and linking gay men to Nazis.

“He should be really punished for all these evil deeds he’s done,” Mawanda told the Blade. “Those are crimes against humanity in a sense. He’s inciting a genocide and right now many Ugandans are unsafe. Ugandans are dying. We are committing suicide. Everything that is happening to LGBT people is in the hands of Scott Lively.”

Mawanda also urged the U.S. to relax relations for those who want to obtain a visa to travel to the U.S. or receive asylum. He said he raised the issue directly with U.S. Ambassador to Uganda Scott DeLisi during a February meeting.

“We know they’ve supported the lawsuits that we have right now, but those are long-term goals that we have,” Mawanda told the Blade, asking whether the U.S. can do more to support LGBT Ugandans who remain in the country. “Those who are in hiding don’t have food.”

Mother has been ‘my dad and my mom’

Mawanda arrived in D.C. on March 20, but he said he remains worried that Ugandan authorities would seek to extradite him back to his homeland.

“I personally feel safe, but not completely knowing that I’m still a citizen of Uganda in the United States,” he said. “I worry that if I go back, I worry they can just get me at the airport because they told me that my passport is being monitored.”

Mawanda continues to speak with his mother.

“She’s been my dad and my mom,” he emotionally said, noting his father passed away when he was three months old. “When I came, she was so worried. She wasn’t sure I had actually reached [the U.S.]”

Damien Salas contributed to this article.

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  1. Larry Esser

    May 1, 2014 at 10:25 am

    We here in the US sometimes forget how really bad it is in many other places in the world for people like us. Mawanda is right, Scott Lively should be treated as a criminal for the terror he has brought to the gay and trans people of Uganda.

  2. Denis LeBlanc

    May 1, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    The Blade should be more careful with the use of sensational headlines. First, let me say this is an excellent story to raise awareness of the plight of some LGBTI Ugandans. However, your headline charges that LGBT Ugandans are dying in ‘crimes against humanity’. This story describes one person`s misery; but it does not document or describe ‘crimes against humanity' and it does not document or describe any case(s) of Ugandans dying as a result of the new law. Sensational headlines impact negatively on your credibility.

  3. James Windsor

    May 1, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    What do you want, 5000 dead people a day. Would that make you wake up and start caring.

  4. Lisa Equality Talmadge

    May 1, 2014 at 10:20 pm

    Nikki's story is one of many hundreds, if not thousands. There have been many at least 2 dozen that I am aware of suicides, many more attempts, many acts of mob violence, many evictions based on sexual orientation, and many of the named and other endangered persons have fled to Nairobi. Indeed 'crimes against humanity ' have been committed, spurred, planned, coordinated, and pushed by US right wing evangelicals like Lively, Rick Warren, Pat RObertson, Lou Engle, et al and the many LGBTI Ugandans are not completely unsafe in their home country. The many individual stories are difficult to record, report and disseminate to the press due to safety and financial restrictions. Please do not dismiss the suicides, at least one murder of a transgender woman and the many hundreds of stories just like Nikki's. The thing for Americans to do is to protest American evangelicals with strong ties to Ugandan government, Rick Warren and Sen Jim Inhofe and demand they use their influence to stop the crimes against humanity that are in fact happening.

  5. Erica Cook

    May 2, 2014 at 12:24 am

    James Windsor We care, I think he just means it needs a different title. But really, we care. I watch this and I feel like I'm watching Nazi Germany all over again and I can't do a damned thing about it. But I care, there aren't enough words for how much I care. And if Lively is convicted I want to see him rot. There isn't a punishment horable enough for him.

  6. Denis LeBlanc

    May 2, 2014 at 2:27 am

    Thanks Erica and yes, James Windsor and Lisa Equality Talmadge, we care a great deal and some of us are actually working on Uganda issues and contributing to help refugees. My concern was simple and technical, that the headline didn't connect to the content of this article. I am well aware of many incidents; a Hotline in Nairobi documents hundreds if not thousands of incidents since the new law passed. I look forward to Lively's US trial, documented cases will certainly be presented there. A project is being set up now in Mbarara to document incidents by photography and video. We need to hear more stories like Nikki's to keep people interested in our larger LGBTI family, outside our own nations. There are many funds to help Ugandan people can give to if able. Here are a few:

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Equality Act, contorted as a danger by anti-LGBTQ forces, is all but dead

No political willpower to force vote or reach a compromise



Despite having President Biden in the White House and Democratic majorities in both chambers of Congress, efforts to update federal civil rights laws to strengthen the prohibition on discrimination against LGBTQ people by passing the Equality Act are all but dead as opponents of the measure have contorted it beyond recognition.

Political willpower is lacking to find a compromise that would be acceptable to enough Republican senators to end a filibuster on the bill — a tall order in any event — nor is there the willpower to force a vote on the Equality Act as opponents stoke fears about transgender kids in sports and not even unanimity in the Democratic caucus in favor of the bill is present, stakeholders who spoke to the Blade on condition of anonymity said.

In fact, there are no imminent plans to hold a vote on the legislation even though Pride month is days away, which would be an opportune time for Congress to demonstrate solidarity with the LGBTQ community by holding a vote on the legislation.

If the Equality Act were to come up for a Senate vote in the next month, it would not have the support to pass. Continued assurances that bipartisan talks are continuing on the legislation have yielded no evidence of additional support, let alone the 10 Republicans needed to end a filibuster.

“I haven’t really heard an update either way, which is usually not good,” one Democratic insider said. “My understanding is that our side was entrenched in a no-compromise mindset and with [Sen. Joe] Manchin saying he didn’t like the bill, it doomed it this Congress. And the bullying of hundreds of trans athletes derailed our message and our arguments of why it was broadly needed.”

The only thing keeping the final nail from being hammered into the Equality Act’s coffin is the unwillingness of its supporters to admit defeat. Other stakeholders who spoke to the Blade continued to assert bipartisan talks are ongoing, strongly pushing back on any conclusion the legislation is dead.

Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said the Equality Act is “alive and well,” citing widespread public support he said includes “the majority of Democrats, Republicans and independents and a growing number of communities across the country engaging and mobilizing every day in support of the legislation.”

“They understand the urgent need to pass this bill and stand up for LGBTQ people across our country,” David added. “As we engage with elected officials, we have confidence that Congress will listen to the voices of their constituents and continue fighting for the Equality Act through the lengthy legislative process.  We will also continue our unprecedented campaign to grow the already-high public support for a popular bill that will save lives and make our country fairer and more equal for all. We will not stop until the Equality Act is passed.”

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), chief sponsor of the Equality Act in the Senate, also signaled through a spokesperson work continues on the legislation, refusing to give up on expectations the legislation would soon become law.

“Sen. Merkley and his staff are in active discussions with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to try to get this done,” McLennan said. “We definitely see it as a key priority that we expect to become law.”

A spokesperson Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who had promised to force a vote on the Equality Act in the Senate on the day the U.S. House approved it earlier this year, pointed to a March 25 “Dear Colleague” letter in which he identified the Equality Act as one of several bills he’d bring up for a vote.

Despite any assurances, the hold up on the bill is apparent. Although the U.S. House approved the legislation earlier this year, the Senate Judiciary Committee hasn’t even reported out the bill yet to the floor in the aftermath of the first-ever Senate hearing on the bill in March. A Senate Judiciary Committee Democratic aide, however, disputed that inaction as evidence the Equality Act is dead in its tracks: “Bipartisan efforts on a path forward are ongoing.”

Democrats are quick to blame Republicans for inaction on the Equality Act, but with Manchin withholding his support for the legislation they can’t even count on the entirety of their caucus to vote “yes” if it came to the floor. Progressives continue to advocate an end to the filibuster to advance legislation Biden has promised as part of his agenda, but even if they were to overcome headwinds and dismantle the institution needing 60 votes to advance legislation, the Equality Act would likely not have majority support to win approval in the Senate with a 50-50 party split.

The office of Manchin, who has previously said he couldn’t support the Equality Act over concerns about public schools having to implement the transgender protections applying to sports and bathrooms, hasn’t responded to multiple requests this year from the Blade on the legislation and didn’t respond to a request to comment for this article.

Meanwhile, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who declined to co-sponsor the Equality Act this year after having signed onto the legislation in the previous Congress, insisted through a spokesperson talks are still happening across the aisle despite the appearances the legislation is dead.

“There continues to be bipartisan support for passing a law that protects the civil rights of Americans, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” said Annie Clark, a Collins spokesperson. “The Equality Act was a starting point for negotiations, and in its current form, it cannot pass. That’s why there are ongoing discussions among senators and stakeholders about a path forward.”

Let’s face it: Anti-LGBTQ forces have railroaded the debate by making the Equality Act about an end to women’s sports by allowing transgender athletes and danger to women in sex-segregated places like bathrooms and prisons. That doesn’t even get into resolving the issue on drawing the line between civil rights for LGBTQ people and religious freedom, which continues to be litigated in the courts as the U.S. Supreme Court is expected any day now to issue a ruling in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia to determine if foster care agencies can reject same-sex couples over religious objections.

For transgender Americans, who continue to report discrimination and violence at high rates, the absence of the Equality Act may be most keenly felt.

Mara Keisling, outgoing executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, disputed any notion the Equality Act is dead and insisted the legislation is “very much alive.”

“We remain optimistic despite misinformation from the opposition,” Keisling said. “NCTE and our movement partners are still working fruitfully on the Equality Act with senators. In fact, we are gaining momentum with all the field organizing we’re doing, like phone banking constituents to call their senators. Legislating takes time. Nothing ever gets through Congress quickly. We expect to see a vote during this Congress, and we are hopeful we can win.”

But one Democratic source said calls to members of Congress against the Equality Act, apparently coordinated by groups like the Heritage Foundation, have has outnumbered calls in favor of it by a substantial margin, with a particular emphasis on Manchin.

No stories are present in the media about same-sex couples being kicked out of a restaurant for holding hands or transgender people for using the restroom consistent with their gender identity, which would be perfectly legal in 25 states thanks to the patchwork of civil rights laws throughout the United States and inadequate protections under federal law.

Tyler Deaton, senior adviser for the American Unity Fund, which has bolstered the Republican-led Fairness for All Act as an alternative to the Equality Act, said he continues to believe the votes are present for a compromise form of the bill.

“I know for a fact there is a supermajority level of support in the Senate for a version of the Equality Act that is fully protective of both LGBTQ civil rights and religious freedom,” Deaton said. “There is interest on both sides of the aisle in getting something done this Congress.”

Deaton, however, didn’t respond to a follow-up inquiry on what evidence exists of agreeing on this compromise.

Biden has already missed the goal he campaigned on in the 2020 election to sign the Equality Act into law within his first 100 days in office. Although Biden renewed his call to pass the legislation in his speech to Congress last month, as things stand now that appears to be a goal he won’t realize for the remainder of this Congress.

Nor has the Biden administration made the Equality Act an issue for top officials within the administration as it pushes for an infrastructure package as a top priority. One Democratic insider said Louisa Terrell, legislative affairs director for the White House, delegated work on the Equality Act to a deputy as opposed to handling it herself.

To be sure, Biden has demonstrated support for the LGBTQ community through executive action at an unprecedented rate, signing an executive order on day one ordering federal agencies to implement the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last year in Bostock v. Clayton County to the fullest extent possible and dismantling former President Trump’s transgender military ban. Biden also made historic LGBTQ appointments with the confirmation of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Rachel Levine as assistant secretary of health.

A White House spokesperson insisted Biden’s team across the board remains committed to the Equality Act, pointing to his remarks to Congress.

“President Biden has urged Congress to get the Equality Act to his desk so he can sign it into law and provide long overdue civil rights protections to LGBTQ+ Americans, and he remains committed to seeing this legislation passed as quickly as possible,” the spokesperson said. “The White House and its entire legislative team remains in ongoing and close coordination with organizations, leaders, members of Congress, including the Equality Caucus, and staff to ensure we are working across the aisle to push the Equality Act forward.”

But at least in the near-term, that progress will fall short of fulfilling the promise of updating federal civil rights law with the Equality Act, which will mean LGBTQ people won’t be able to rely on those protections when faced with discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

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D.C. bill to ban LGBTQ panic defense delayed by Capitol security

Delivery of bill to Congress was held up due to protocols related to Jan. 6 riots



New fencing around the Capitol following the Jan. 6 insurrection prevented some D.C. bills from being delivered to the Hill for a required congressional review. (Blade file photo by Michael K. Lavers)

A bill approved unanimously last December by the D.C. Council to ban the so-called LGBTQ panic defense has been delayed from taking effect as a city law because the fence installed around the U.S. Capitol following the Jan. 6 insurrection prevented the law from being delivered to Congress.

According to Eric Salmi, communications director for D.C. Council member Charles Allen (D-Ward 6), who guided the bill through the Council’s legislative process, all bills approved by the Council and signed by the D.C. mayor must be hand-delivered to Congress for a required congressional review.

“What happened was when the Capitol fence went up after the January insurrection, it created an issue where we physically could not deliver laws to Congress per the congressional review period,” Salmi told the Washington Blade.

Among the bills that could not immediately be delivered to Congress was the Bella Evangelista and Tony Hunter Panic Defense Prohibition and Hate Crimes Response Amendment Act of 2020, which was approved by the Council on a second and final vote on Dec. 15.

Between the time the bill was signed by Mayor Muriel Bowser and published in the D.C. Register under procedural requirements for all bills, it was not ready to be transmitted to Congress until Feb. 16, the Council’s legislative record for the bill shows.

Salmi said the impasse in delivering the bill to Congress due to the security fence prevented the bill from reaching Congress on that date and prevented the mandatory 60-day congressional review period for this bill from beginning at that time. He noted that most bills require a 30 legislative day review by Congress.

But the Evangelista-Hunter bill, named after a transgender woman and a gay man who died in violent attacks by perpetrators who attempted to use the trans and gay panic defense, includes a law enforcement related provision that under the city’s Home Rule Charter passed by Congress in the early 1970s requires a 60-day congressional review.

“There is a chance it goes into effect any day now, just given the timeline is close to being up,” Salmi said on Tuesday. “I don’t know the exact date it was delivered, but I do know the countdown is on,” said Salmi, who added, “I would expect any day now it should go into effect and there’s nothing stopping it other than an insurrection in January.”

If the delivery to Congress had not been delayed, the D.C. Council’s legislative office estimated the congressional review would have been completed by May 12.

A congressional source who spoke on condition of being identified only as a senior Democratic aide, said the holdup of D.C. bills because of the Capitol fence has been corrected.

“The House found an immediate workaround, when this issue first arose after the Jan. 6 insurrection,” the aide said.

“This is yet another reason why D.C. Council bills should not be subject to a congressional review period and why we need to grant D.C. statehood,” the aide said.

The aide added that while no disapproval resolution had been introduced in Congress to overturn the D.C. Evangelista-Hunter bill, House Democrats would have defeated such a resolution.

“House Democrats support D.C. home rule, statehood, and LGBTQ rights,” said the aide.

LGBTQ rights advocates have argued that a ban on using a gay or transgender panic defense in criminal trials is needed to prevent defense attorneys from inappropriately asking juries to find that a victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity or expression is to blame for a defendant’s criminal act, including murder.

Some attorneys have argued that their clients “panicked” after discovering the person against whom they committed a violent crime was gay or transgender, prompting them to act in a way they believed to be a form of self-defense.

In addition to its provision banning the LGBTQ panic defense, the Evangelista-Hunter bill includes a separate provision that strengthens the city’s existing hate crimes law by clarifying that hatred need not be the sole motivating factor for an underlying crime such as assault, murder, or threats to be prosecuted as a hate crime.

LGBTQ supportive prosecutors have said the clarification was needed because it is often difficult to prove to a jury that hatred is the only motive behind a violent crime. The prosecutors noted that juries have found defendants not guilty of committing a hate crime on grounds that they believed other motives were involved in a particular crime after defense lawyers argued that the law required “hate” to be the only motive in order to find someone guilty of a hate crime.

Salmi noted that while the hate crime clarification and panic defense prohibition provisions of the Evangelista-Hunter bill will become law as soon as the congressional review is completed, yet another provision in the bill will not become law after the congressional review because there are insufficient funds in the D.C. budget to cover the costs of implementing the provision.

The provision gives the D.C. Office of Human Rights and the Office of the D.C. Attorney General authority to investigate hate related discrimination at places of public accommodation. Salmi said the provision expands protections against discrimination to include web-based retailers or online delivery services that are not physically located in D.C.

“That is subject to appropriations,” Salmi said. “And until it is funded in the upcoming budget it cannot be legally enforced.”

He said that at Council member Allen’s request, the Council added language to the bill that ensures that all other provisions of the legislation that do not require additional funding – including the ban on use of the LGBTQ panic defense and the provision clarifying that hatred doesn’t have to be the sole motive for a hate crime – will take effect as soon as the congressional approval process is completed.

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D.C. man charged with 2020 anti-gay death threat rearrested

Defendant implicated in three anti-LGBTQ incidents since 2011



shooting, DC Eagle, assault, hate crime, anti-gay attack, police discrimination, sex police, Sisson, gay news, Washington Blade

A D.C. man arrested in August 2020 for allegedly threatening to kill a gay man outside the victim’s apartment in the city’s Adams Morgan neighborhood and who was released while awaiting trial was arrested again two weeks ago for allegedly threatening to kill another man in an unrelated incident.

D.C. Superior Court records show that Jalal Malki, who was 37 at the time of his 2020 arrest on a charge of bias-related attempts to do bodily harm against the gay man, was charged on May 4, 2021 with unlawful entry, simple assault, threats to kidnap and injure a person, and attempted possession of a prohibited weapon against the owner of a vacant house at 4412 Georgia Ave., N.W.

Court charging documents state that Malki was allegedly staying at the house without permission as a squatter. An arrest affidavit filed in court by D.C. police says Malki allegedly threatened to kill the man who owns the house shortly after the man arrived at the house while Malki was inside.

According to the affidavit, Malki walked up to the owner of the house while the owner was sitting in his car after having called police and told him, “If you come back here, I’m going to kill you.” While making that threat Malki displayed what appeared to be a gun in his waistband, but which was later found to be a toy gun, the affidavit says.

Malki then walked back inside the house minutes before police arrived and arrested him. Court records show that similar to the court proceedings following his 2020 arrest for threatening the gay man, a judge in the latest case ordered Malki released while awaiting trial. In both cases, the judge ordered him to stay away from the two men he allegedly threatened to kill.

An arrest affidavit filed by D.C. police in the 2020 case states that Malki allegedly made the threats inside an apartment building where the victim lived on the 2300 block of Champlain Street, N.W. It says Malki was living in a nearby building but often visited the building where the victim lived.

“Victim 1 continued to state during an interview that it was not the first time that Defendant 1 had made threats to him, but this time Defendant 1 stated that if he caught him outside, he would ‘fucking kill him.’” the affidavit says. It quotes the victim as saying during this time Malki repeatedly called the victim a “fucking faggot.”

The affidavit, prepared by the arresting officers, says that after the officers arrested Malki and were leading him to a police transport vehicle to be booked for the arrest, he expressed an “excited utterance” that he was “in disbelief that officers sided with the ‘fucking faggot.’”

Court records show that Malki is scheduled to appear in court on June 4 for a status hearing for both the 2020 arrest and the arrest two weeks ago for allegedly threatening to kill the owner of the house in which police say he was illegally squatting.

Superior Court records show that Malki had been arrested three times between 2011 and 2015 in cases unrelated to the 2021 and 2020 cases for allegedly also making threats of violence against people. Two of the cases appear to be LGBTQ related, but prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office did not list the cases as hate crimes.

In the first of the three cases, filed in July 2011, Malki allegedly shoved a man inside Dupont Circle and threatened to kill him after asking the man why he was wearing a purple shirt.

“Victim 1 believes the assault occurred because Suspect 1 believes Victim 1 is a homosexual,” the police arrest affidavit says.

Court records show prosecutors charged Malki with simple assault and threats to do bodily harm in the case. But the court records show that on Sept. 13, 2011, D.C. Superior Court Judge Stephen F. Eilperin found Malki not guilty on both charges following a non-jury trial.

The online court records do not state why the judge rendered a not guilty verdict. With the courthouse currently closed to the public and the press due to COVID-related restrictions, the Washington Blade couldn’t immediately obtain the records to determine the judge’s reason for the verdict.

In the second case, court records show Malki was arrested by D.C. police outside the Townhouse Tavern bar and restaurant at 1637 R St., N.W. on Nov. 7, 2012 for allegedly threatening one or more people with a knife after employees ordered Malki to leave the establishment for “disorderly behavior.”

At the time, the Townhouse Tavern was located next door to the gay nightclub Cobalt, which before going out of business two years ago, was located at the corner of 17th and R Streets, N.W.

The police arrest affidavit in the case says Malki allegedly pointed a knife in a threatening way at two of the tavern’s employees who blocked his path when he attempted to re-enter the tavern. The affidavit says he was initially charged by D.C. police with assault with a dangerous weapon – knife. Court records, however, show that prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office lowered the charges to two counts of simple assault. The records show that on Jan. 15, 2013, Malki pleaded guilty to the two charges as part of a plea bargain arrangement.

The records show that Judge Marissa Demeo on that same day issued a sentence of 30 days for each of the two charges but suspended all 30 days for both counts. She then sentenced Malki to one year of supervised probation for both charges and ordered that he undergo alcohol and drug testing and undergo treatment if appropriate.

In the third case prior to the 2020 and 2021 cases, court records show Malki was arrested outside the Cobalt gay nightclub on March 14, 2015 on multiple counts of simple assault, attempted assault with a dangerous weapon – knife, possession of a prohibited weapon – knife, and unlawful entry.

The arrest affidavit says an altercation started on the sidewalk outside the bar when for unknown reasons, Malki grabbed a female customer who was outside smoking and attempted to pull her toward him. When her female friend came to her aid, Malki allegedly got “aggressive” by threatening the woman and “removed what appeared to be a knife from an unknown location” and pointed it at the woman’s friend in a threatening way, the affidavit says.

It says a Cobalt employee minutes later ordered Malki to leave the area and he appeared to do so. But others noticed that he walked toward another entrance door to Cobalt and attempted to enter the establishment knowing he had been ordered not to return because of previous problems with his behavior, the affidavit says. When he attempted to push away another employee to force his way into Cobalt, Malki fell to the ground during a scuffle and other employees held him on the ground while someone else called D.C. police.

Court records show that similar to all of Malki’s arrests, a judge released him while awaiting trial and ordered him to stay away from Cobalt and all of those he was charged with threatening and assaulting.

The records show that on Sept. 18, 2015, Malki agreed to a plea bargain offer by prosecutors in which all except two of the charges – attempted possession of a prohibited weapon and simple assault – were dropped. Judge Alfred S. Irving Jr. on Oct. 2, 2015 sentenced Malki to 60 days of incarnation for each of the two charges but suspended all but five days, which he allowed Malki to serve on weekends, the court records show.

The judge ordered that the two five-day jail terms could be served concurrently, meaning just five days total would be served, according to court records. The records also show that Judge Irving sentenced Malki to one year of supervised probation for each of the two counts and ordered that he enter an alcohol treatment program and stay away from Cobalt.

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