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Press Statement: Reposted from Bredrin and Sistas in Solidarity

Uganda: Parliament Should Reject Anti-Homosexuality Bill

16th February 2012

On Tuesday 7th February 2012, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill (2009) was reintroduced to the Parliament of Uganda. If passed, this draft legislation would violate the human rights of all Ugandans, and should immediately be dropped, the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project (EHAHRDP), Foundation for Human Rights Initiative (FHRI), The Human Rights Centre Uganda (HRCU), and Human Rights Network-Uganda (HURINET) said today.

Hon. David Bahati’s widely condemned private member’s bill is one of ten bills saved and reintroduced from the previous Parliament. The bill had its first reading on 7th February 2012 and was referred to the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee for scrutiny. It is understood that the bill was re-tabled in its original form but that amendments recommended by the Committee last year will be incorporated.

Although Hon. Bahati is reported in the media to have said that the death penalty for ‘serial’ acts of homosexuality will be dropped, this is not yet confirmed.

EHAHRDP, FHRI, HRCU and HURINET express their concern at the lack of clarity surrounding the parliamentary process and contents of the bill, and call on Parliament to clarify on this matter.

EHAHRDP, FHRI, HRCU and HURINET recall the submission by the Uganda Human Rights Commission in its 2010 annual report that “some of the provisions in the bill are unnecessary, and that most of them violate international human rights standards.” The rejection of certain international standards envisaged in the 2009 bill sets a dangerous precedent regarding Uganda’s respect for the human rights commitments it has made.

The bill contains harsh provisions which would seriously restrict the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly and would threaten the ability of some human rights organisations to continue operating. Already, on 14th February the Minister of State for Ethics and Integrity,

Hon. Rev. Fr. Lokodo Simon, ordered the unconstitutional shutdown of a capacity-building workshop organized by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) human rights defenders in Entebbe. The bill and such actions by government representatives reinforce the more general threats to civil society space in Uganda, such as the onerous regulation of public meetings and discussions sought to be introduced with the Public Order Management Bill.

As well as threatening the safety of LGBTI people generally, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill also jeopardizes the security of human rights defenders working on these issues. The re-tabling of the bill just days after the first anniversary of the murder of LGBTI activist and EHAHRDP founding member, David Kato, is a stark reminder of the insecurity this bill has already caused in Uganda.

More generally, the bill would have a wide-reaching and disturbing effect on the freedoms of the majority of Ugandans. If health professionals, spiritual leaders, teachers, business people, landlords, and many others in positions built upon trust and confidentiality fail to disclose to the authorities persons they suspect of being homosexual, under the provisions of this bill would also be targeted for prosecution themselves.

EHAHRDP, FHRI, HRCU and HURINET welcome the statement issued by the Minister of State for Ethics and Integrity on Wednesday 8th February that the bill “does not enjoy the support of the Prime Minister or the Cabinet.” We call on the authorities to ensure the physical safety of LGBTI community members and human rights activists and fulfill the commitment made by Uganda during the Universal Periodic Review in October 2011 to “take immediate concrete steps to stop discrimination and assaults against LGBT persons.”

EHAHRDP, FHRI, HRCU and HURINET call on the Members of Parliament, and all Ugandans, to reject this discriminatory and divisive bill and refuse to be distracted from the real pressing issues facing the country at this time, such as the debate over the exploitation of Uganda’s oil resources.

For more information, please contact:

Hassan Shire, Executive Director, East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project, on

executive@defenddefenders.org or

+256 772 753 753

Livingstone Sewanyana, Executive Director, Foundation for Human Rights Initiative, on

fhri@dmail.ug or

+256 414 510 263/498

Margaret Sekaggya, Executive Director, The Human Rights Centre Uganda, on

hrcug@hrcug.org or

+256 414 266 186

Mohammed Ndifuna, Chief Executive Officer, Human Rights Network-Uganda, on

executive@hurinet.or.ug or

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PRESS RELEASE: COALITION OF AFRICAN LESBIANS (CAL) CONDEMNS MINISTERS’S CLOSURE OF LGBT WORKSHOP IN KAMPALA

======================================================

Boksburg, South Africa

February 15, 2012

The Coalition of African Lesbians (CAL) Condemns the Ugandan Government Closing of an LGBT Capacity Building Workshop in Kampala, on February 13, 2012

**Human Rights Defenders Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera and Vanja Braathem Escape Arrest**

The Coalition of African Lesbians (CAL), a coalition of lesbians, bisexual women and trans-divers organizations and individuals, condemns the orders of the State Minister of Ethics and Integrity, Hon. Simon Lukodo to close an LGBT Leadership Training workshop on the morning of Tuesday, February 14, 2012.

Furthermore, the coalition condemns the outright intimidation by government officials of the two organizers of this workshop, Human Rights Defenders Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera and Vanja Braathem. The week-long workshop was due to end tomorrow, February 15, 2012.

Such actions are in direct contravention of the Constitution of Uganda, The African Charter on Human and People’s Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, amongst other international human rights instruments, all of which strongly promote and protect the rights to freedom of association, assembly, speech, expression and the right to information of all citizens and human beings, without discrimination.

In the middle of the Parliament review of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, The Coalition of African Lesbians strongly demands that the Government of Uganda protects all LGBT people in Uganda, particularly known and targeted LGBT Human Rights Defenders. It is the responsibility of the government to ensure safety for all who live within its borders.

Background:
Activists report that in the morning of February 14, 2012, a government official claiming to belong to the President’s Office walked into the workshop room and sat down. With concern, one of the organizers, Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera, asked him to move out as he was uninvited to the workshop. The official asked Kasha to follow him to a spot in the hotel. Upon entering that room with him, Kasha met with the Minister and his aides. The Minister demanded to know the purpose of the workshop and Kasha responded that it was about leadership. He further demanded to know what kind of leadership the workshop was addressing and again, Kasha responded to his inquiry. The Minister then asked Kasha to come with him to the workshop room where he began to speak to the participants directly. At that point, the Minister announced that the workshop was illegal and unethical and ordered its closure. There was resistance from the workshop organizers and participants and as a result, the Minister ordered for the arrest of Kasha. Fortunately, Kasha was able to sneak out and run. On reaching her room, the hotel staff called Kasha to inform her that the Minister and police were waiting for her at the hotel lobby. Kasha managed to sneak out of her room and escaped by jumping over the hotel fence. The hotel manager is reported to have been put under gun point to produce Kasha and the Minister left an order for both Kasha and Vanja to leave the country as they are not needed in Uganda. According to further reports from activists, Kasha was summoned by the office of the Minister yesterday afternoon to explain more about the purpose of the workshop which she declined to do for safety reasons. The rest of the participants checked out of their rooms, amidst officials searching for Kasha on every floor of the hotel, and returned safely to their homes. Eight days after the Anti-Homosexuality Bill has been re-tabled, the general sense among LGBT people is that of fear and hopelessness.

For more information please contact;

Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera
Executive Director
Freedom and Roam Uganda
Tel: +256 772 463161
Email: jnkasha@gmail.com

Moses Kimbugwe
Programs Coordinator
Spectrum Uganda Initiatives
Tel: +256 782 854 391
Email: manyagwa2000@yahoo.com

Victor Mukasa
Advocacy Adviser for East Africa
Coalition of African Lesbians
Tel: +27 11 918 2182
Mobile: +27 78 436 3635
Email: victor@cal.org.za

Pamoja Tutafika! Je, huu ni ungwana?

Pamoja Tutafika!

RESIST, REJECT, OPPOSE THE ANTI-HOMOSEXUALITY BILL 2009 CURRENTLY TABLED IN THE UGANDA PARLIAMENT

 (Please circulate to all your Afrikan contacts)

 The COALITION OF AFRICAN LESBIANS (CAL), a pan African network of lesbian, bisexual and gender non-conforming people, organizations and individuals, calls upon every person who believes in the dignity, equality and freedom of every human being, to take note of and act urgently to halt the Anti-Homosexuality Bill which has just been re – tabled in Uganda.  We look to African human rights activists and defenders, politicians, religious leaders, cultural leaders, scholars, lawyers, medical professionals, educators, parents and all human rights respecting and promoting individuals and institutions, to take such urgent action.

The draconian Bill was re-tabled in the Parliament of Uganda by Member of Parliament, David Bahati, on February 7, 2012. The Bill had its first reading and was referred to the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee for scrutiny. The Committee is expected to examine it and conduct public hearings, and then it will report back to the House for a formal debate on the Bill.

 

Background:

The Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009 was first introduced in the Parliament of Uganda by Member of Parliament, David Bahati, as a Private Member’s Bill in October, 2009. The Bill proposes severe prison sentences, and in some cases the death penalty. It states that anyone who commits the offence of homosexuality will be liable to life imprisonment as the provisions, according to the Bill, are meant to “protect the traditional family by prohibiting any form of sexual relations between persons of the same sex.” The Bill further states that “aggravated homosexuality” will be punished by death as it aims to ban all forms of expression advocating for homosexuality. It would also be an offence for a person who is aware of any violations of the Bill’s provisions not to report them to the authorities within 24 hours. Furthermore, the Bill proposes to criminalize the “promotion of homosexuality” which is a provision targeting civil society and human rights defenders. These and other provisions of the Bill go beyond targeting homosexuals, to affect families, human rights defenders, teachers, neighbors, friends, spiritual leaders, medical professionals, shop owners, to mention but a few.

 

Stand out and up against the Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009 NOW. We have limited time. Resist this unconstitutional bill and take on one, some or all of the following actions;

1.       Pass on this Call to Action to as many concerned Africans as you can and urge them to take action.

 

2.       Write emails to and or call Ugandan Members of Parliament (MPs) urging them to resist and reject the Bill in its entirety because it is anti-human rights and affects every Ugandan in different ways. The full list of all 386 MPs can be found athttp://www.parliament.go.ug/mpdata/mps.hei Click on the MP’s name and you will get their email address and phone number.  The MPs can also be contacted through social media such as Facebook. Just search for their name on Facebook and or Twitter.

 

3.       Write to the President of Uganda, H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and urge him to reject this draconian proposed Bill in its entirety. Urge him to discourage further debate and consideration of the Bill by Parliament and to decline to sign this unconstitutional Bils into law. (Contacts below)

 

4.       Write, call or fax the Inspector General of Police in Uganda, Major General Kale Kaihura, and urge him to ensure the protection of the human rights of all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Uganda and those who defend LGBT people. This includes protection from both state and non-state actors who have started to take the law in their hands by harassing and violating LGBT Ugandans. (Contacts below)

 

5.       Write, fax and or call the Minister of Justice in Uganda, Hon. Major General Kahinda Otafire,   and the State Minister of Justice Hon. Fred Ruhindi and urge them to speak out against the unconstitutionality of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009 and to discourage any further debate on the Bill. (Contacts below)

6.       Write to the Minister of Health in Uganda, Hon. Dr. Christine Ondoa and bring to her attention the implications of this Bill on the fight against HIV/AIDS and on access to medical services by LGBT citizens. (Contacts below)

 

7.       Write to the Cardinal of Uganda, His Eminence Emmanuel Wamala, and the Arch Bishop of the Church of Uganda , The Most Revd Henry Luke Orombi and urge them to stand out and up and oppose the Bill in its entirety. Tell them that homosexuals need their protection. Point out, to the Cardinal of the Catholic Church, the Catechism of the Catholic Church which says in Article 6, 2358: The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition. They are called to protect and not to remain silent amidst injustice and discrimination. (Contacts below)

 

8. Write, call, fax your Minister of Foreign Affairs and urge him/her to put pressure on the Government of Uganda against the further debating of the unconstitutional Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009.

 

For more information, please contact;

Victor Mukasa

Advocacy Advisor for East Africa

Coalition of African Lesbians

Tel: +27 11 918 2182

Mobile: +27 78 436 3635

Email: victor@cal.org.za

 

Fikile Vilakazi

Programs Director

Coalition of African Lesbians

Tel: +27 11 918 2182

Email: fikile@cal.org.za

 

===============================================================================================================================

 

ACTION CONTACTS:

 

The President of the Republic of Uganda

H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni

Email: aak@statehouse.go.ug, cc: pps@statehouse.go.ug

 

The Inspector General of Police

Major-General Kale Kaihura

Tel: +256 414 258 114

Fax : +256 414 270 502

 

Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs

Hon Maj.Gen Kahinda Otafire

Email: mojca@africaonline.co.ug

Tel: +256-414- 230538

Fax: +256-414- 254829

 

State Minister of Justice

Hon. Fred Ruhindi

Email: fruhindi@parliament.go.ug

 

Minister of Health

Hon. Christine Ondoa

Tel: +256-414-340872

Mobile: +256772428346+256701428346

Fax: 256-41-4231584

Email: info@health.go.ug

 

The Cardinal of the Catholic Church

His Eminence Cardinal Emmanuel Wamala

Tel: +256 414 510389/510570/510544/510571

Fax: +256 41 510545

 

Archbishop of Uganda & and Bishop of Kampala

The Most Revd Henry Orombi

Email: abpcou@gmail.com

Tel: +256 414 270 218 / 9

Fax: +256 414 251 925

=============================================================================================

Children’s Peace Theatre Presents:

8th Annual

Peace Is Possible Parade

Friday July 22, 2011

Children and their companions

Proceeding on a path to peace!

The parade will culminate in the Peace Theatre’s natural amphitheater in TaylorCreek Park, where participants are invited to watch a preview performance of:

An original play created by the

participants of Peace Camp 2011!

Details

10:15 am: Meet atShopperWorldPlaza Parking Lot                     (3003 Danforth Ave)

11:00 am: Parade begins!

[call: peace is what we need

response: to be free, to be free]

1:00 pm: Performance of What Goes Around

Children’s Peace Theatre have been facilitating half-day workshops with Torontoartists for each participating day camp to prepare for the parade. Workshops run from July 4- 21

For more info, please contact

Dania Weinstein: 416-752-1550 dania@childrenspeacetheatre.org

A special thank you to Sokari Ekine at Black Looks for organising this statement.

“We the undersigned wish to express our deep sadness at the murder of Ugandan human rights defender David Kato on 26th January 2011.  David’s activism began in the 1980s as an Anti-Apartheid campaigner where he first expressed a strong passion and conviction for freedom and justice which continued throughout his life.   David was a founding member of Sexual Minorities Uganda where he first served as Board member and until his death as Litigation and Advocacy Officer and he was also a member of Integrity Uganda, a faith-based advocacy organization.

David was a man of vision and courage. One of his major concerns was the growth of religious fundamentalism in Uganda and across the continent and how this would impact on the rights of ordinary citizens including lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered / Gender Non-Conforming and Intersex  [LGBTIQ] persons.   Years later his concerns were justified when the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill backed by religious fundamentalists was outlined in 2009.  David was also an extremely brave man who had been imprisoned and beaten severely because of his sexual orientation and for speaking publicly against the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

Many African political and religious leaders in countries such as Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Zambia, Gambia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Malawi and Botswana, have publicly maligned LGBTIQ people and in some cases directly incited violence against them whilst labeling sexual minorities as “unAfrican”.

In October 2010, the Ugandan tabloid, Rolling Stone published the names and photographs of “100 Top homos” including David Kato.   David along with two other LGBTIQ activists successfully sued the magazine on the grounds of “invasion of privacy” and most importantly,  the  judge ruled that the publication would threaten and endanger the lives of LGBTIQ persons.

The court did not only rule that the publication would threaten and endanger the lives of LGBTIQ persons but it issued a permanent injunction against Rolling Stone newspaper never to publish photos of gays in Uganda, and also never to again publish their home addresses.

Justice Kibuuka Musoke ruled that,

“Gays are also entitled to their rights. This court has found that there was infringement of some people’s confidential rights. The court hereby issues an injunction restraining Rolling Stone newspaper from future publishing of identifications of homosexuals.”

Every human being is protected under the African Charter of Peoples and Human Rights and this includes the rights of LGBTIQ persons.   We ask the governments of Uganda and other African countries to stop criminalizing people on the grounds of sexual orientation  and afford LGBTIQ people the same protections, freedoms and dignity, as other citizens on the continent.”

Anengiyefa Alagoa,                           Things I Feel Strongly About

Anthony Hebblethwaite                    African Activist

Barbra Jolie,                                     Me I Think

Ben Amunwa,                                   Remember Ken Saro-Wiwa

Bunmi Oloruntoba,                           A Bombastic Element

Chris Ogunlowo,                              Aloofaa

Eccentric Yoruba,                             Eccentric Yoruba

Exiled Soul                                       ExiledSoul

Francisca Bagulho and Marta Lança,         Buala

Funmilayo Akinosi,                          Finding My Path

Funmi Feyide,                                   Nigerian Curiosity

Gay Uganda,                                     Gay Uganda

Glenna Gordon,                                Scarlett Lion

Godwyns Onwuchekwa,                My Person

Jeremy Weate,                                   Naija Blog

Kayode Ogundamisi                         Canary Bird

Kadija Patel                                          Thoughtleader

Keguro Macharia,                             Gukira

Kenne Mwikya,                                 Kenne’s Blog

Kinsi Abdullah                                  Kudu Arts

Laura Seay,                                       Texas in Africa

Llanor Alleyne                                  Llanor Alleyne

Mark Jordahl,                                   Wild Thoughts from Uganda

Matt Temple                                     Matsuli Music

Mia Nikasimo,                                  MiaScript

Minna Salami,                                  MsAfropolitan

Mshairi,                                               Mshairi

Molisa Nyakale                                 Molisa Nyakale

Ndesanjo Macha                               Global Voices

Nyokabi Musila,                               Sci-Cultura.

Nzesylva,                                          Nzesylva’s Blog

Olumide Abimbola,                           Loomnie

Ory Okolloh,                                     Kenyan Pundit

Pamela Braide,                                  pdbraide

Peter Alegi,                                                 Football is Coming Home

Rethabile Masilo,                                        Poefrika

Saratu Abiola,                                   Method to Madness

Sean Jacobs,                                     Africa is a Country

Sokari Ekine,                                    Black Looks

Sonja Uwimana,                               Africa is a Country

Spectra Speaks,                                Spectra Speaks

TMS Ruge,                                        Project Diaspora

Toyin Ajao                                        StandTall

Tosin Otitoju,                                   Lifelib

Val Kalende,                                     Val Kalende

Zackie Achmat,                                 Writing Rights

Zion Moyo,                                          Sky, Soil and Everything in Between

Not in our name…….

Read the latest statement from Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights on the case of Munyaradzi Gwisai, Hopewell Gumbo and 43 other Zimbabweans who have been charged with treason:

Gwisai bemoans torture as Muchadehama challenges placement of activists on remand

Detained social justice activist Munyaradzi Gwisai on Thursday 24 February 2011 lamented the torture sessions to which suspects are subjected by state security agents as tragic and inexpressible.

Gwisai, who testified before Harare Magistrate Munamato Mutevedzi during an application for refusal of placement on remand for the 45 human rights activists filed by defence lawyer Alec Muchadehama disclosed in court that he, together with other activists, were subjected to torture sessions during their detention by the police at Harare Central Police Station.

Gwisai said the torture sessions were aimed at securing confessions from the activists which would implicate them in the commission of treason, a charge which they are facing in court.

In narrating his ordeal, Gwisai said he was tortured together with five other detainees in a room in the basement at Harare Central Police Station by nine state security agents who included some police officers who had arrested them.

During the torture sessions, which were recorded on video, the detainees were asked to recount what had transpired during their meeting which was held on Saturday 19 February 2011 in central Harare.

Gwisai said each of the six detainees received a series of lashes which were administered while they lay down on their stomachs. He added that he received between 15 and 20 lashes as the police and his tormentors sought to obtain confessions from him and the other detainees.

Gwisai said the pain which he endured and suffered as a result of the torture sessions was “indescribable, sadistic and a tragedy for Zimbabwe”.

The University of Zimbabwe labour law lecturer said it was extremely difficult for him to sit and walk because of the torture sessions he underwent together with other detainees.

Gwisai said the meeting held on Saturday was held to discuss ISO business and issues of democracy and constitutionalism and not to plot the toppling of the government as alleged by the police and prosecutors. He added that the meeting which was attended by HIV/AIDS activists was also meant to commemorate the life of a deceased HIV and AIDS activist, Navigator Mungoni.

Earlier on Muchadehama outlined the detainees’ complaints against the police.

The detainees’ lawyer said the arrest of his clients was unlawful as they were not advised of the reason/s for their arrest. He also advised that they were over-detained in filthy and stinking police cells. He said the detainees only knew of the treason charge when they finally appeared in court on Wednesday 23 February 2011 and no warned and cautioned statements were recorded in relation to the treason charge.

Muchadehama told the court that the police extensively subjected his clients to severe interrogation sessions where they attempted to coax some of the detainees to turn against their colleagues and be considered State witnesses.

He said some of the detainees were assaulted, brutalised and tortured while in police custody. The defence lawyer said the torture sessions were administered through assaults all over the detainees’ bodies, under their feet and buttocks through the use of broomsticks, metal rods, pieces of timber, open palms and some blunt objects.

In his application for refusal of remand Muchadehama argued that the facts as outlined by the State did not constitute the commission of an offence.

The matter continues on Monday 28 February 2011 when prosecutor Edmore Nyazamba, who applied for the placement of the detainees on remand, cross examines Gwisai. In the meantime, all 45 will remain incarcerated in remand prison in Harare and at Chikurubi Women’s Prison for the women detainees.

Source:  http://www.kubatanablogs.net/kubatana/

[ Reposted with overflowing love, respekt en in solidarity with our freedom fighters, healers, peacemakers and youth coming into their right destinies…..In a ‘blog/post-a-day’/series exploring quests of self-en-collective discovery of the powah! of harvesting the intersections of our diversity….

Our basic inquiry: What do we benefit from (wholly) pursuing the vision(s) of ‘a’ United States of Afrika?  And what is it about revolushuns and the urgencies of injustice in ripple effects?

In how many countries not only in North Africa and the Middle East, but all ova di world, will it take protests of indigenus massives not against flesh and blood, but against powers and principalities of darkness to spread the spirit of hope, positivity, truth, justice and love in abundance and institute democracies? ]

What is it?

A Photo Campaign in honor of David Kato’s life and legacy

(February 15,1964 – January 26, 2011)

Why should I care?

Because it is not going to get BETTER until all of our love can be celebrated openly

What can I do?

Join the Movement:To David, With Love” is about sending a message to our LGBTQ brothers and sisters in Afrika that we are watching, that we care and that we will not put up with their persecution any longer.

JOIN US: And make your sign or bring a sign with your personal message! We will photograph you and send your photo message to SMUG, for the QLGBT  community in Uganda.

 

Remember it is not going to get BETTER until all of our love can be celebrated openly

WHERE:

Women’s Health in Women’s Hands Community Health Centre

2 Carlton St, Suite 500 (near College Subway Station)

[Tdot]

WHEN:

Time: 6:00-8:30 pm

Tribute starts at 6:30PM sharp.

 

RSVP: humanwritesproject@rogers.com

Light refreshments

Sign-making materials will be provided

Bring your own markers, sparkles etc. to add that special touch….

A photo booth will be on site.

 

Sponsored by Black Queer Resistance ( BQR) & concerned LGBTQ citizens of Toronto.

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