This news release has been
issued by OutRage! at the request of Ugandan LGBTI organisations. OutRage!
is working with them in partnership and solidarity, to support the struggle
for queer freedom in Uganda.
LONDON, September 11, 2006
(Outrage! News Service) – Thirteen alleged lesbians were outed by the
Ugandan tabloid Red Pepper on Friday (September 8), weeks after
outing 45 alleged gay men last month.
The women include two boutique
owners, a basketball player and the daughters of a former MP and a prominent
Under the headline, “Kampala’s
Notorious Lesbians Unearthed”, the sleazy tabloid published a photo of two
very beautiful unnamed women embracing at a party.
The article urged readers to phone
the newspaper with details of any lesbians they know:
“To rid our motherland of the
deadly vice (lesbianism), we are committed to exposing all the lesbos in the
city. Send more names us (sic) the name and occupation of the lesbin (sic)
in your neighbourhood and we shall shame her,” Red Pepper urged.
“I know that some women are
definitely going to lose what they have; jobs, homes, families, and
friends,” commented a Ugandan lesbian activist.
“It is time that gays and lesbians
in Uganda stand together to fight the negative reporting of the press,” she
Ugandan campaigners are relieved
that only 13 alleged lesbians were named. They had feared that 20 to 40
women were going to be outed. Some activists suspect that Red Pepper
may have scaled back its outing campaign following international protests
after it outed 45 alleged gay and bisexual men in August.
There have been a series of
government-backed attacks on the Ugandan LGBTI community in the last year,
including an illegal police raid on the home of the lesbian leader of
Uganda’s LGBTI movement, Victor Juliet Mukasa, in July 2005.
is reportedly owned by Salim Saleh. According to Wikipedia, he is the
half-brother of the homophobic President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni.
Formerly known as Caleb Akandwanaho,
Saleh has faced allegations of corruption and the plundering of resources in
the Congo. A former Uganda army chief, he is now Minister of State for
Microfinance in the Ugandan government.
The outing of lesbians is the
latest in a series lurid, sensationalist homophobic exposes by Red Pepper.
Last week, it published the name and photo of a young gay man who is being
sought by the police on charges of homosexuality.
Gay sex is punishable in Uganda by
life imprisonment, under laws originally introduced by the British colonial
administration in the nineteenth century.
The same newspaper outed 45
supposedly gay and bisexual men in August. The men outed last month include
army officers, priests, university lecturers, entertainers, bankers,
students and lawyers. It also published details of five venues popular with
gays and lesbians.
Ugandan LGBTI activists regard the
outings as an open invitation to the police and queer-bashers to ‘have a
go.’ They fear increased state and vigilante persecution.
At least five men were arrested
soon after the male outing list was published.
Uganda’s Gay and Lesbian Alliance
(GALA) reports that unidentified men in army uniform attacked one of the
outed gay men. He was taken to a police station where he was forced to make
A student named by Red Pepper was
thrown out of home by his parents. He sought refuge with a gay couple he
knew. His mother guessed where he had gone and gave the police the address.
The gay couple were arrested on charges relating to homosexuality. They have
subsequently been let out on bail and are now in hiding.
Peter Tatchell, campaign
coordinator of OutRage!, said today that Uganda is the new Zimbabwe.
“President Yoweri Museveni is the
Robert Mugabe of Uganda – a homophobic tyrant who tramples on democracy and
human rights,” he commented.
The End of All Hope.
A special report by Caroline Moorhead on the
plight of refugees from Uganda seeking asylum in the United Kingdom and
the fate that awaits them when they are deported after appeals are
rejected. There are several 'case studies' - one of them a gay
woman who, on her forced return was arrested for being gay.
"In the current mood of hysteria about terrorists and
immigrants, the UK is failing to meet its international obligations to
protect those whose lives have genuinely been destroyed by conflict and
violence," Caroline Moorhead writes.
(August 23, 2006)
Ugandan Gays Outed in Tabloid Witch-Hunt.
The Ugandan tabloid newspaper, Red Pepper, has outed 45 gay and
bisexual men, including army officers, priests, university lecturers,
entertainers, bankers, students and lawyers. It also published details of
five venues popular with gays and lesbians. (UK Gay News, September 9, 2006)
The Horror of Gay Life in Uganda... By
Louis-Georges Tin. It’s Wednesday October
26. The time is around seven in the evening in Kampala, capital of Uganda.
The pastor praying with the faithful when the police arrive and breaks up
prayers. The Church is closed and the pastor is taken to the police
station. His shoes are removed … What is the crime? It is because he is
homosexual; worse still, is it because he is a homosexual activist?
News, November 2, 2005)
Uganda’s Targeting of Gays and Ban on Same-Sex
Marriage Condemned. The International Gay and Lesbian Human
Rights Commission (IGLHRC) condemned today the recent decision by Uganda
President Yoweri Museveni to ban same-sex marriage. (UK Gay News,
October 12, 2005)
Bid to Deport Gay Ugandan Torture Victim by UK
Government. A twenty-five years old refugee who was jailed by
the Ugandan government for his gay human rights work and subjected to four
months of forced labour, water torture, beatings and rape, from May to
September 2004, is today facing deportation, Outrage! has revealed today.
News, October 7, 2005)
Amnesty Reports Intimidation of Lesbian and Gay
Activists. Amnesty International is concerned about the on-going
intimidation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights
activists in Uganda. The latest incident follows steps taken by Ugandan
law-makers in July 2005, who voted for a constitutional amendment to
criminalize marriage between persons of the same sex.
News, August 2, 2005)
Stop Deporting Gay Asylum Seekers Outrage! Tells Blair.
The placards told the world: “Tony Blair deports gay asylum seekers.
Shame!” and “Labour deports gays to face jail, torture and death”. Bearing
placards with these words, the OutRage! contingent at Saturday’s Pride
London parade condemned the UK government’s abuse of LGBT asylum seekers.
News, July 4, 2005)
Sexual Minorities Uganda (SM-UG) website