Uganda Hub




Stoning Death Of Gay Ugandans Remains Unsubstantiated, Activists Skeptical

FnurThe other day we told you the story of how seven LGBT Ugandans were allegedly murdered by stoning, burning, and mob violence as a potential reaction to the repeal of the country's Anti-Homosexuality Act. That claim, which was used as a part of a fundraising effort by the Friends New Underground Railroad, now coming under scrutiny after the Human Rights Awareness and Protection Forum (HRAPF) sent five investigators to the Buyende District where the murders allegedly took place and found no evidence of the acts.

Casting further doubt, Adrian Jjuuko, executive director of the Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum, a legal organization that handles many LGBT rights cases, has claimed that while mob justice does happen on occasion in Uganda, organized biblical stoning is more or less unheard of. Jjuuko sent investigators to try and find validation, but found no reported murders of any kind in two of the towns and that the third town evidently did not exist.

For their part, Friends New Underground Railroad is standing by their story, but are refusing to be cooperative and release information on the claim that they are "protecting lives." Interestingly, they are becoming frustrated that no one is taking their claims seriously.


Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni Signs Law Criminalizing HIV Transmission

MuseveniUgandan President Yoweri Museveni has officially criminalized the transmission of HIV, a move that many public health experts worry could ultimately exacerbate Uganda’s well documented struggles with the virus. Similar to law that sometimes appear here in the U.S. Uganda’s new HIV Prevention and AIDS Control Bill targets those individuals who willfully expose others to the virus without their knowledge. In theory provisions like these would encourage people to exercise safer sex practices. Unfortunately, that is seldom the case. Rather than fostering openness about one’s HIV status, the criminalization of HIV has been proven to be ineffective and ultimately harmful.

The circumstances under which the mandate made its way through the Ugandan legal systems are dubious at best. The law, which surfaced earlier this week, is dated to have have officially been signed in late July, closely following the nullification of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act.

The AHA’s passing was invalidated after legal review revealed that the Ugandan Parliament did not have the quorum of its members necessary to turn the homophobic legislation into law. President Museveni has insisted that the law, which is being reintroduced the Parliament, will be gentler towards adults consensually engaging in homosexual acts. Those found in violation of the original AHA could be sentenced to life in prison but, Museveni says, the revised law focuses solely on the protection of children.

Read the full text of Uganda's law criminalizing the transmission of HIV AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni Signs Law Criminalizing HIV Transmission" »


Ugandan Archbishop On Anti-Gay Violence: 'Homosexuals Are Also Human Beings'

Odama

Ugandan Archbishop John Baptist Odama has reportedly spoken out about the plight of homosexuals in his home country, according to Metro Weekly. Following the overturning of Uganda's controversial anti-gay bill, many Ugandans are eager to move forward on further discriminatory legislation. The archbishop supports such an initiative, but recently told The Daily Reporter:

“People should not take the laws into their hands and harm homosexuals, since they are also human beings though with different sexual feelings.”

It is encouraging that a public official should speak out vehemently against anti-LGBT violence, though his support for a a new anti-gay bill counteracts much of the good will. 


Six LGBT Ugandans Reportedly Stoned To Death In Rural Town

FriendsNewUndergroundRailroad-logo-header

Three gay men, two lesbians, and one trans-identified person were stoned to death in the Ugandan countryside this past weekend, according to a press release sent out by Ugandan queer minorities activist Denis Nzioka. Eyewitnesses claim that one man, who survived the stoning was set aflame following the initial attack and a seventh man was attacked by a mob before succumbing to his injuries the next day.

The Friends New Underground Railroad, an outreach project of the Quaker-run, Washington-based Olympia Friends Meeting, is reporting that the names of the attacked are not currently being shared with the public. Tensions have risen in Uganda following the country’s repeal of its Anti-Homosexuality Act that formerly criminalized lesbian, bisexual, gay, and transgendered people’s existences.

The law was nullified following a court ruling stating that the Ugandan parliament did not have the appropriate quorum necessary for its enactment. Rather than curtailing Uganda’s societal slant towards the homophobic, the repeal of the law marked the beginning of an uptick of violence against LGBT Ugandans. Since the repeal, more than 400 LGBT individuals have sought their help in successfully escaping the country, according to the FNUR.


LGBT Ugandan Refugees Face Persecution, Unemployment Difficulties In Kenya

Ugandans fleeing from the country to avoid its brutal, discriminatory Anti-Homosexuality Act are finding the cultural climate no less hostile into neighboring Kenya, according to their accounts. Legalized in February before more recently being struck down on a technicality, Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act criminalized a variety of behaviors and threatened lifetime imprisonment for those found in violation. Hoping to avoid persecution, many LGBT identified Ugandans fled to Kenyan refugee camps hoping to find a more accepting, if temporary, home.

3489571906_f6bfb32682_z"The reaction shocked me. I went there. I thought it would be a celebration, but ... nothing," Brizan Ogollan explained to the Huffington Post."They knew at an international level and at the diplomatic level, the decision is going to have impact, but at the local level, it won't really. You can overrule the law, but you can't overrule the mind."

Ogollan runs an international aid organization that coordinates with the Kakuma refugee camp. Kakuma, whose name in Swahili means “nowhere” is known as a transitional camp through which many refugees pass on their way to their permanent resettlements. Kenyan society, Ogollan says, is no less homophobic than Uganda’s.

Like in Uganda, homosexuality is illegal in Kenya, and LGBT Ugandan refugees are faced with ostracization both for their sexual and gender presentations as well as their status as displaced people. Queer Ugandans report facing open aggression within the camps and persistent difficulty finding work within Kenyan cities.

The United Nations' refugee agency has taken note of the difficulties facing the refugees and has expressed its intention to expedite the relocations of the 35 Ugandan refugees officially registered as LGBT with the U.N.


Uganda President Claims To Be Interested In Less Harsh Anti-Homosexuality Laws

Museveni

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has urged the country’s Parliamentary Caucus, led by the National Resistance Movement, not to prioritize the resurrection of its anti-homosexuality law, despite his clear intention to bring it back, albeit with different terms. A revised version of the law, according to Museveni, would prioritize penalization for “recruitment of children and exploiting financially vulnerable youths.”

The Ugandan government nullified the original version of the law on a technicality after a review found that it was created without the necessary quorum--a third of the parliamentary body. The law, supported by both of Uganda’s dominant political party and its opposition, drew widespread criticism from the West, prompting the freezing and cancellation of governmental aid.

Despite the invalidation of the law, Museveni has implored members of the Ugandan parliament to debate the legislation at length when it is re-introduced for review. Describing the situation as a delicate problem that needed to be dealt with. Museveni has created a committee of 10, chaired by his Vice President Edward Kwanuka Sekandi, to develop a revised version of the law. In theory, the new law would not carry hard penalties for openly gay individuals.

“If two consenting adults go into their room and decide to be stupid, let them be," Parliament Member Medard Bitekyerezo said of the President’s supposed shift in opinion. "We agreed to come up with a new version that doesn't hurt our Western friends but also protects Ugandans."

Listen to Ugandan President Museveni's remarks after signing Uganda's original anti-homosexuality bill into law, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Uganda President Claims To Be Interested In Less Harsh Anti-Homosexuality Laws" »


Trending



Towleroad - Blogged