Speeches

Please find below a small selection of speeches by Stephen Lewis. Mr. Lewis makes dozens of speeches a year, many of which are not directly related to his role as Chair of the Board of the Stephen Lewis Foundation. This is a small collection of speeches he has made recently about the AIDS epidemic and related issues.

These speeches may be reprinted, distributed, quoted, or copied as long as it is not for commercial use and they are properly sourced.

To browse older speeches, click on a year from the list on the right.

Sexual Violence: An Issue of Health

Speech delivered by Stephen Lewis, Co-Director, AIDS-Free World

July 21, 2008


TIDES Foundation "Momentum" Conference, San Francisco, California, USA

 On July 10th, Ann Njogu, a human rights activist in Kenya, wrote as follows to friends and associates: “The last couple of days have been a nightmare for me and several other civil rights activists who were arrested in a most brutal manner after police stormed the hotel [where] we were planning to hold demonstrations over Grand Corruption (sale of the Grand Regency hotel by a cartel led by the Finance Minister --- who has since resigned in disgrace over the same). But on Tuesday, 8th July, when they arrested seven of us, the police not only brutally arrested us but also sexually violated and harassed me and a male colleague. One senior officer even had the audacity to put his hand inside my trouser, fondle my private parts and my breasts, all this while the rest were busy brutalizing us. Upon arrival at the police station, my colleagues sought to know from the senior police officer why he had sexually assaulted me, and without warning, this police officer, who we have since learnt was the deputy officer commanding [the] Division (very senior position), grabbed a police baton from one of the junior officers and set upon us in a most vicious manner. Other officers joined in, hitting, kicking and insulting us and it did not matter that some of us were already bleeding … we were later taken to court, charged with participating in an illegal assembly (never mind that we were inside a hotel and it’s the police who stormed in), and released on bail. The police also refused to record our complaint over the violations at the police station.”

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