Magazine article New Internationalist

Down, but Not Out

Magazine article New Internationalist

Down, but Not Out

Article excerpt


Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni recently approved one of the harshest anti-gay laws in the world, but members of the LGBTI community are not taking it lying down.

They have launched a strong legal challenge to the Anti-Homosexuality Act, saying it is a violation of Uganda's Constitution and international human rights obligations. Jacquiline Kasha, one of the petitioners, has described the law and the harassment of gay Ugandans as 'motivated purely by hate'.

Following the passing of the law in February 2014, donor countries including Britain and the US cut aid to the Ugandan government. The US warned that diplomatic relations with Uganda would be compromised while countries like Scotland offered asylum to gay Ugandans.

A coalition of LGBTI NGOs in Uganda says it has recorded over 15 arrests and evictions of people suspected of being gay. Tabloids have further fuelled hate against LGBTI people, publishing names and addresses of those presumed to be gay. The petitioners also asked the court to grant an injunction stopping these tabloids from outing gay people.

'We are hopeful that the court will immediately prevent these publications from continuing to violate the rights of Ugandans to privacy - they have done extensive damage already,' says Kasha. …

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