Ugandan Tabloid Outs More Homosexuals
By Simone Salvo
Only one day after Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signed into law the Anti-Homosexuality Act, Uganda’s Red Pepper Tabloid published a list of the country’s “200 top” homosexuals under the headline “Exposed!”
Reading like a dossier of discrimination, the cover-story spans three interior pages complete with names, pictures, and other distinguishing information outing alleged homosexuals, including a popular hip-hop star and Catholic priest.
The new Anti-Homosexuality Act enacted on February 24, 2014 imposes life imprisonment for “aggravated homosexuality,” and seven years in jail for conducting a same-sex marriage ceremony, raising deep concerns for the safety of the LGBT community and LGBT allies under Museveni’s government.
In 2010, a similar list appeared in a now-defunct Rolling Stone tabloid that called for the execution of gay Ugandans. Leading LGBT activist David Kato, identified by Rolling Stone, sued the newspaper. The High Court of Uganda ruled that the newspaper had violated the plaintiff’s constitutional rights to dignity and privacy and issued a permanent injunction. Kato was murdered weeks later.
And yet Red Pepper Editor Arinaitwe Rugyendo has the audacity to assert “this coverage will not endanger anyone.”
Prominent activist Jacqueline Kasha, also included in the list, tweeted an update today showing Red Pepper’s latest exposures.
Human Rights First calls on Secretary of State John Kerry to immediately recall the U.S. Ambassador to Uganda to review the direction of U.S. human rights policy in Uganda and develop a plan from the United States and its allies to respond to this law.
We are also urging the State Department to convene all of its diplomatic representatives to review the effectiveness of U.S. funding programs and assess whether Uganda can be a reliable partner and assess whether any U.S. funds are being used to prosecute people under the Anti-Homosexuality Act.
Stay tuned for more on this issue.