A few weeks ago, Red Pepper, a newspaper in Uganda, printed a list of prominent Ugandan figures who are gay, including students from the Makerere University, as well as a list of underground gay venues. In its article the newspaper said:
To show the nation how shocked we are and how fast the terrible vice known as sodomy is eating up our society, we have decided to unleash an exclusive list of men who enjoy taking on fellow men from the rear.
A few days later the newspaper sported the headline ‘Jinja Cops Hunt For Gays’ in which they called on the public to track down all ‘sodomites’. This story was followed up a day later with the headline ‘Kampalas Notorious Lesbians Unearthed’. The story included a list of lesbian and bisexual women with a call for readers to send more names to the paper for ‘outing’.
In the wake of the outings has come a campaign of state sponsored homophobia by the Ugandan Authorities. Many men on the list have been arrested and charged, others have been forced to flee or go into hiding. There are also reports that some of those arrested were taken to be tortured. See the Human Rights Watch website.
To this end the National Union of Students (NUS) LGBT Campaign, Amnesty International and other partners have organised an emergency demonstration outside the Ugandan Embassy, 58/59 Trafalgar Square, London (map here) at 4pm on Friday 22 September.
We should all, as individuals and groups, LGBT or otherwise, protest against the intimidation, arrest and torture of LGBT people in Uganda. We will be handing a letter of protest to the Ugandan Ambassador calling on his Government to respect the provisions enshrined in the Ugandan Constitution giving citizens rights to equality and freedom and the clauses of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) monitored by the UN, which allows the right to privacy, free from discrimination.
Please join the struggle for LGBT rights across the World and make your views known to the Ugandan Ambassador on Friday.