There’s a story I know bout how the spaces between de diaspora en Mama Afrika are bridged all de time by hadithi.

The hadithi we tell ourselves and others, they’re all we know…….few hours to a year filled with changing faces (in ever mo) quickly evolving spaces (lakini bado pole pole ndio mwendo) en I share with you a hadithi that was given to me in neo-colonial Afrikan style, a story I shared with others for the first time at a vigil last year in Tdot.

Dis story blessed by the elders, pulled from the internet, (but true say transcribed from the mouths of great granmas en griots) and approved with words of caution & mystery still.

A Muganda will never betray the secret of his, hir or her friend.

reminds me of the beginning of that powerful poem by Mukoma wa Ngugi. Recipe: How to become an immigrant and an exile.

Listen. Do you hear ghosts? Connect them to the sound of a canoe
on Indian Ocean. Listen to that tape of familiar beats that has weathered
foreign seasons. Sukus found in Salsa. Fela Kuti meets Masekela
in Appalachia. Do not inhale the coal fumes. Hold a memory……

Remember that hadithi? Listen..

THE STORY OF THE FAIRY FOXES

Hapo zamani za kale there was a King of Uganda who wanted to make a Zoo, and he called all his chiefs together and told them to bring animals of every kind from the forests and jungles and swamps

Then he planted a beautiful garden and put cages into it, and people came from all over the country to see it. But the animals were very miserable; night and day they thought of their homes, and they hated having food brought to them instead of hunting for it themselves, and they hated having water brought to them in water-pots instead of drinking it from the deep forest pools, but no one was sorry for them except the King’s dwarf, and he had lived in the jungle and knew their language.

One day when the King was walking in his Zoo and the dwarf was with him, he said:

“Am I not a great King? No one has ever made a Zoo like this before, in which all the animals of the country are collected together.” But the dwarf said:

“All the animals are not here; there is one animal which lives in the Mukono Forest which no chief has brought, because, though it cries all night and everyone hears it, no man has ever seen it. Some people say it is a bat, and some say it is a sloth, and some say it is a fairy fox with wings made of the night mists.”

When the King heard this he said:

“I will not be beaten by any animal; I will go to Mukono and fetch this fairy animal myself.” So he sent for Sekibobo the chief and told him to build a big encampment near the forest, and the men worked night and day till it was finished. Then the King and his whole court went to Mukono.

For three months the King lived in the encampment, and every night he went into the forest, but though he heard the fairy foxes crying all round him he never saw one. Sometimes the sound came from above his head, but there was nothing there; and sometimes it came from the ground at his feet, but there was nothing there; and sometimes to the right hand and sometimes to the left, but nothing was there; and the people called them “enjoga,” which means “bullies,” because they teased the King every night.

At last the time came to return to the capital, and the King sat sadly in his house, and the dwarf sat near him and said:

“Why is the King so sad?” And the King answered:

“I am sorry I have no fairy fox for my Zoo, but there is another reason. I have learnt to love the beautiful forests and jungles and the deep glades and shady paths and water pools, and the moonlight nights are never so lovely in the capital as they are in the country, and I am sad that I must leave it all and return.”

Then the dwarf said: “If you are so sad at leaving the country after only three months, how much more sad must the animals be, for this is their home, and in your wonderful Zoo they are only prisoners.”

#To David with Love

When the King heard that he was thoughtful and silent for some time, and then he called Sekibobo and said: “Send a messenger quickly to the capital and tell the Katikiro that all the animals in the Zoo are to be sent home, everyone to his own forest or jungle or swamp.” “I will have no more prisoners,” he said.

And now there is a broad road which goes from Kampala to Jinja and passes quite near to the Mukono Forest, and if you go there you will hear the “enjoga “crying in the forest all night, but no one has ever seen them. Some people say they are bats, and some say they are sloths, and some say they are fairy foxes with wings made of the night mists.

reposted from http://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/baskerville/king/king.html, via the healing orality of  Afrika.

Advertisements

now check dis out, the realityTV saga continues, and the big question is whether we should be laughing in relief that the Prime Minister backtracked so seemingly speedingly or much mo critical about Raila Odinga’s weak retraction….”I didn’t say so,” when millions have already heard you say so, does NOT  a retraction make….but many would still like to know, when you now say you respect gay rights, what do you mean exactly?

http://www.nation.co.ke/News/Retract%20arrest%20order%20gays%20tell%20PM%20/-/1056/1064096/-/wtbsov/-/index.html

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 2 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Thursday denied that he had ordered a nationwide crackdown on homosexuals but maintained that such unions were illegal.

He argued that he was misquoted and that his statements were not meant to victimise anyone because: “I understand there are gay rights.”

The Premier, who was speaking during the opening session of the review on Kenya’s progress two years after the National Dialogue and Reconciliation Accord was signed, also argued that he was only highlighting some of the half truths that were used during the referendum campaigns.

“It was said that I ordered the arrest of gay people but nothing could be further from the truth. I did not say that. I was just explaining the propaganda used by people who were campaigning against the new constitution,” he argued.

On Sunday, Mr Odinga was captured on camera saying: “We will not tolerate such behaviour in the country. The Constitution is very clear on this issue and men or women found engaging in homosexuality will not be spared.

“Any man found engaging in sexual activities with another man should be arrested. Even women found engaging in sexual activities will be arrested,” the premier had warned.

The Prime Minister also cited the recent population census results which put the ratio of men to women equal, and wondered why people should engage in homosexuality.

”This [homosexual] kind of behaviours will not be tolerated in this country. Men or women found engaging in those acts deserve to be arrested and will be arrested,” he told a crowd in his Langata constituency.

He said leaders who were propagating rumours of same sex marriages in Kenya during campaigns for the new Constitution had failed miserably because Kenyans did not buy their propaganda.

”Those were lies from leaders who wanted to confuse Kenyans to reject the new law; the Constitution is very clear on that matter. It does not state anywhere that same sex marriage is legal in Kenya,” he added.

His remarks on Sunday elicited an outcry from various human rights groups in the country which wanted him to retract the said statements and apologise.

The Bill of Rights under chapter four of the new Constitution states that: “Every adult has the right to marry a person of the opposite sex, based on the free consent of the parties.”

Read more: http://www.capitalfm.co.ke/news/Kenyanews/I-respect-gay-rights%2C-says-PM-10731.html#ixzz16zqyuxix
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives

and in the spirit of embracing the power of our people and some of those intersections of our diversity, check dis out….

Grassy Narrows Blockade 8th Anniversary December 2, 2010

by Judy Da Silva

< http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=883595625 >

on Thursday, December 2, 2010 @ 12:22am

 

Highschool youth blocks logging trucks, Ontario, 2002

December 2, 2002 was the day the community of grassy narrows people set up a human blockade against logging trucks.

Many people have come through here-advocates, helpers, warriors, children, women, men  elders of all nations; without them, the word would not have> gone out to peoples out there!!!  so we thank all those people that have helped us in so many many ways.

I wanted to say to people we are still  fighting against logging and resource extraction on our natural territory  and we will be lighting a sacred fire and giving our humble offerings to the land on December 2, 2010.

So today, we say to everyone,  we the blockaders continue with our opposition to the logging industry and against weyerhauser co.  We just wanted to put that out straight to our supporters out there.  We the blockaders are still

Against any sort of logging activities or resource extraction and we will continue our campaigns against weyerhauser and how the logging industry destroys the land and the Anishinabe way of life and this we cannot allow.

We will sing and dance and fight and die as long as the rivers flow, as long as the sweetgrass grows, as long as the sun shall shine, treaties are forever, keep the circle strong!!!

Please light a sacred fire, light a candle, smudge, offer tobacco, sing a song, drum, make a sweatlodge, offer prayers in any way for all the fights that are in front of us to continue strong and for our children and youth not to forget.

Dedicated to the memory of; Dave Brophy, Catherine Mae Keesick, Marcel Angeconeb, Gary Raven, Colleen McCrory

Dedicated to KI People, Ardoch, Barriere Lake, Haudenosaunee, Migmaw, Shuswap –

please excuse my misspelling.

Power to our peoples!!!

check out  freegrassy.org  for updates..

ase….

Dear  be/loved peeps…..

 How do we harvest the resources we have to share with our communities, across time and spaces? How do we harness the powah! of the all those intersections of our diversity to mobilise continental Afrikans and those in the diaspora in re-constitutional-i- sing our political and social systems to sustain not only all Afrikan people’s liberation, but all our living relatives?

[like real tox we all know many gifted en loving folks in our communities that are hungry to gain more balance, grounding en wellbeing while serving the frontlines in their hoods, many of us have be/come familiar with weariness en ‘thick’ skins, with living ‘cheque’ to ‘check’, en sacrificing ‘personal’ time for collective sowing, planting en harvesting bounties that shrink en swell according to imperialist currencies and the commitment of warriors….truthIS  there’s always a crisis in the horizon..day before yesterday it was the prime minister spewing hatred in a call to arrest gays and lesbians, and those hours of panic en fear, a few weeks ago it was the (slow) burning of witches, every day it’s the po’ and indigenus people’s struggle]

[http://www.capitalfm.co.ke/news/Kenyanews/Arrest-gays,-Kenyan-PM-orders-10670.html]

Real tox: who en where are the ones who are willing to harvest the powah! of our love for Afrika(ns) to rebuild sustaining and sustainable united villages, cities en states of Afreeka that hold us ALL safely? are the questions too massive to reason en organise through, outside of OUR  social movements? or are they too specific? what is the appropriate scale to work through on a small-ish blog on the world wide web? what are the right questions to galvanise each other to seek ourselves out and support our family en comrades mo?

in the (t)here en then en now, in solidarity with LGBTTIQ folks in Kenya, what creative sustained resistance and renewal can we magically craft and organise in response to the increasing backlash to Queer/trans communities in East Afrika?

Like that public call of hate for mo’ state-sanctioned homophobia, and quite explicitly for mass allegiance to our persecution…. that kinda shit gets people killed, and Dear Raila, he knows that very well, so today, en tomorrow en the moons en years after, it would be amazing and much needed to hear more voices calling for mo’ than a public retraction, en organise with more bodies to advocate for and serve queer/trans communties all over Afrika

coz this shit is Raila’s hateful call and Bahati’s Bill , Burundi and Rwanda, Nigeria and South Afrika, Ayiti and Jamaica,  it’s about 53 African nations (that technically really should be states) denying observer status to the Coalition of African Lesbians and upholding coloniser’s/foreign laws so shamelessly….

the bigger point is, dis solidarity ofcourse is much more than media campaigns or pointing fingers, it’s bout working collectively on sustaining ourselves en our growing movements, en harvesting all the wealth we do have…..hadithi kama

African women’s decade: strategic opportunities http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/69053

Ayiti: reclaiming sovereignty http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/69025

Western Sahara: the forgotten conflict

The Western Sahara conflict with Morocco is one of those almost forgotten conflicts. It is one that is an unbelievable 35 years old – and still the Moroccan government remains intransigent. A Moroccan About a World around him reports on recent uprising in one of the camps in Laayoune the main city in occupied Western Sahara. Prior to this King Mohammed VI had accused Algeria of human rights violations against Saharawis in Tindouf camps ignoring his country’s central part in why they are there in the first place.

‘The violence was triggered when a battalion-size security force descended on the camp in the early hours of Monday in an attempt to raze it and disperse its residents using tear gas and water cannons. The protests seeped into Laayoune and resulted in substantial material damage and loss of life as a group of the camp’s residents that an official Ministry of Interior statement described as wanted criminals and subversive agents clashed with the security forces. Black smoke bellowed over the city and debris littered its arteries. The number of people injured and killed could not yet be confirmed. According to the BBC, about seventy people have been injured and over ten have died.’…..read more @ http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/69060

na pia…..

What powah! does reclaiming indigenus knowledge en spirituality have for harvesting all those intersections of our diversity?

….not against flesh en blood

 Sister Outsider

check dis….

Mr Odinga on Sunday said that police should arrest anyone found engaging in such behaviours and take appropriate legal action against them.

“We will not tolerate such behaviours in the country. The constitution is very clear on this issue and men or women found engaging in homosexuality will not be spared,” Mr Odinga said.

Listen to Raila

“Any man found engaging in sexual activities with another man should be arrested. Even women found engaging in sexual activities will be arrested,” the premier warned.

Speaking at a public rally at the Kamukunji grounds in his Nairobi’s Kibera constituency on Sunday afternoon, the Prime Minister cited the recent population census results which put the ratio of men to women equal and wondered why people should engage in homosexuality.

“This [homosexual] kind of behaviours will not be tolerated in this country. Men or women found engaging in those acts deserve to be arrested and will be arrested,” he told the crowd.

He said leaders who were propagating rumours of same sex marriages in Kenya during campaigns for the new Constitution had failed miserably because Kenyans did not buy their propaganda.

“Those were lies from leaders who wanted to confuse Kenyans to reject the new law; the Constitution is very clear on that matter. It does not state anywhere that same sex marriage is legal in Kenya,” he added.

The Bill of Rights under chapter four of the new Constitution states that: “Every adult has the right to marry a person of the opposite sex, based on the free consent of the parties.”

A move by Uganda to introduce a Bill calling for long jail terms or death penalty in some cases of homosexuality received international condemnation, with US President Barack Obama describing it as “odious”.

He said: “But surely we can agree that it is unconscionable to target gays and lesbians for who they are, whether it is here in the United States or… more extremely, in odious laws that are being proposed more recently in Uganda.”
But notwithstanding Obama’s remarks, homosexual acts are now illegal in Uganda and attracts jail terms of up to 14 years in prison.

Read more: http://www.capitalfm.co.ke/news/Kenyanews/Arrest-gays,-Kenyan-PM-orders-10670.html#ixzz16pge8BvV

[and that is the story of how Raila tried to score cheap points, and took another brutal blow to his leadership, going to show yet again, what he sealed in ink when he accepted his position as prime minister, that he is not the rightful leader of our beloved country Kenya, maybe the other Agwambo, but dis one here o…..he dun make too much war o, it’s time for him to go O, no? in the spirit of….]

Ubuntu

many possibilities……

The bigger point of sharing these videos is to highlight the police brutality and targeting of peaceful protesters, in the thousands, and who continue to wo/man the frontlines of working for justice and peace.

Pictures of the burning cop car & ‘violent’ protesters vandalising property circulated the world yesterday while Tdot’s Robocops have arrested six hundred and counting & continue to maintain a lockdown in many parts of the cities

Bredrin en sistren gathered to fight for different causes, all united by our common resistance to the G20  summit, reminding our (in) glorious leaders that most people would not have had our government waste a billion dollars in a summit that has not only failed (read: refused) to re/dress our most critical challenges yet, but that legislated the transformation of downtown Toronto into an armed fortress, where the police state that we live in was most visible with the excessive violence used by mostly  robocops

[ youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KAQKmKjRwU&feature=related]

http://news.nationalpost.com/2010/06/27/12572/

To make it plain, this is illegal fuckery that we cannot ignore and the government seriously needs to be taken to task now by more of us people, for sanctioning the measures used by the police to violate our human rights…..

http://movementdefence.org/G20appeal

The MDC’s Summit Legal Support Project is appealing to the movements it supports to mobilize a show of political strength and solidarity for the nearly 500 [or 600] people arrested in the last four days. The Toronto Police and the ISU appear to have lost control of their ‘prisoner processing center’, denying arrestees meaningful and timely access to counsel while beating and arresting those peacefully protesting their detention outside.

Despite assurances to the contrary, only a handful of people have been released, including those held for many hours without charge. Arrestees are given incorrect information about the bail process they will be subjected to, and friends and family members gather hours early at the courthouse, located far from the city center and inaccessible via transit. Our lawyers call in and are told that there is no one available to make decisions or wait for hours at the detention centre, only to be denied access to their clients. Almost 500 people are in custody and we know from experience that the vast majority of those charges will disappear and yet the cell doors remain shut.

We need to step it up and build a political response. We need many more voices – especially prominent ones – to say that the abuse and incompetence at 629 Eastern Avenue must stop. We must demand that all levels of government take control of the police forces under their command. We need to ensure that courts and crown attorneys act to enforce constitutional rights rather than collude in their violation.

Free the Toronto 600!

The Movement Defence Committee

This solidarity with those illegally jailed has been growing and going on despite vicious repression….and for native people, for poor & working class people, for so many “minorities”, like another sista said…”this is what we know, this is Canada”

http://toronto.mediacoop.ca/story/outside-makeshift-prisonfor-us-native-people-what-we-know-canada/3895

blogger’s note: in this countdown to the ‘official’ (biggest) pan-afrikan holiday, we’re going to not only (re)vision where we’re coming from, giving thanx for the legacies en sacrifices of our ancestors, our people, en the future we’re preparing for,

but also, interrogate where we’re at NOW, like with-in (myself) en OUT, communally with all the gaps and dis-unity, (en ALL  the intersections, betwixt en between)

(like) dis’ hadithi ya the prosecution and imprisonment of steven monjeza na tiwonge chimbalanga is (pure) madness,

a ‘living’ example of the convoluted ways that we have internalised ‘foreign’ ideologies en  turned to attacking en criminalizing bredrin en sistren for misguided en oppressive reasons,

like it’s all a part of the master plan?

forgive them father, they know not what they do kinda song?

nigga(s) please, let’s jus’ stop hating (ourselves en) on each other!

if it were all that simple to reclaim love for ourselves with the preach en human rights speech no?

with papa malcolm’s anniversary jus’ one day gone, and ALD just 4 days away, (more than a few) big symbols of  all the labour that has gone into the freedom we DO  have,all the more reason to give thanx for en share stories of peace, and (of) the people willing to fight for it, by any means necessary!  afrika huru! ase o….

21 May 2010

UN human rights chief says sentence on Malawi gay couple is discriminatory and sets dangerous precedent

GENEVA – The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said Friday that the prosecution and sentencing of 14 years imprisonment with hard labour for a Malawian gay couple, imposed by a court in Malawi on Thursday, is “blatantly discriminatory” and sets an alarming precedent in the region for the treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, as well as groups that support them.

“I am shocked and dismayed by the sentence and reports of the treatment of Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga while in detention,” Pillay said. “The law which enabled the conviction dates back to the colonial era and has lain dormant for a number of years – rightly so, because it is discriminatory and has the effect of criminalizing and stigmatizing people based on perceptions of their identity. If this was replicated worldwide, we would be talking about the widespread criminalization of millions of people in consensual relationships and the rampant violation of privacy.”  

 “Laws that criminalize people on the basis of their sexual orientation are by their nature discriminatory, and as such are in apparent violation of a number of key international treaties and instruments, including the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights*,” Pillay said “Unfortunately they still exist in quite a number of countries across the world. The trend should be towards getting rid of them, as is the case with other forms of discrimination. Instead, some countries, including Malawi, seem to be heading in the opposite direction.”

 The High Commissioner called for the conviction to be repealed and for the penal codes criminalizing homosexuality to be reformed.

 She said she was also concerned that this case appears to have stimulated a marked deterioration in official and public attitudes in Malawi, not just towards individuals perceived as being homosexual but also towards organizations that speak out about sexual orientation and related issues, including ones doing vital work to mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS.  

 

“I fear the reverberations of this decision, along with the recent attempt to bring in a new draconian bill aimed at homosexuals in Uganda, could have severe repercussions throughout the African continent,” Pillay said. “It will inevitably drive same-sex couples underground, and if this trend continues and spreads, not only will it mark a major setback to civil liberties, it could have a disastrous effect on the fight against HIV/AIDS. So, in addition to the serious moral and legal ramifications of this decision, it raises intensely practical problems as well.”    

The High Commissioner dismissed the argument that non-discrimination against people on the grounds of sexual orientation is a cultural issue. “It is a question of fundamental rights,” she said, “not one of geography, history or disparate cultures. The protection of individuals against discrimination is pervasive in international human rights law. Why should it be suspended for this one group of human beings?”

(*) Article 2:Every individual shall be entitled to the enjoyment of the rights and freedoms recognized and guaranteed in the present Charter without distinction of any kind such as race, ethnic group, color, sex, language, religion, political or any other opinion, national and social origin, fortune, birth or other status. Article 19:All peoples shall be equal; they shall enjoy the same respect and shall have the same rights. Nothing shall justify the domination of a people by another.

Learn more about the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/AboutUs/Pages/HighCommissioner.aspx

Click here to visit OHCHR website: http://www.ohchr.org

OHCHR Country Page – Malawi: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/AfricaRegion/Pages/MWIndex.aspx

For more information or interviews contact: Rupert Colville at + 41 22 917 9767

 I give thanks for yesterday http://www.nation.co.ke/magazines/-/1190/920652/-/hf43kez/-/index.html,

today, tomorrow (en next week): kwasababu it’s beginning to look more like (even) with all the (many/mis) steps backwards, with every ‘other’ determined (people) step(ping) forward (ever)….  

working for unity by teaching ourselves en others  (the practice of freedom), in a genuine commitment to (big) love  

In dis’ resistance (from the margins- na- moyo-ya the world) to (all kinds of) oppreshun,

We come (back) to our true true stories;

[like/dis’ Artist Intensive: Bio-Mythology and Creation with Bamidele Bajowa and d’bi.young anitafrika (A) This special workshop for creators explores the Yoruba pantheon and archetypes in the development of new work as a lens for approaching inter- and cross-cultural performance. Participants will explore the Yoruba symbology with Nigerian master storyteller/ drummer/babalao Bamidele Bajowa, and learn the ‘biomyth orplusi principles’ for creative interpretation and adaptation with acclaimed dubpoet/monodramatist/educator d’bi.young anitafrika. This hands-on and immersive class will look at pathways for integritous trans-cultural creation and how to approach cultural adaptation with honesty, respect, accountability and artistic ingenuity]

 [like/dis’ word! sound! powah! is the final episode of d’bi.young anitafrika’s seven-year-old biomyth trilogy. three faces of sankofa.

blood.claat is the first and benu the second. The trilogy charts the journey of three generations of afrikan-jamaican- becoming- afrikan-jamaica- canadian womben in one family: mudgu sankofa, her daughter sekesu sankofa, and sekesu’s daughter oya sankofa.

 In word! sound! powah!, the grand-daughter of mudgu negotiates her own identity to the backdrop of a mythologized revolution and the birth of dubpoetry in Jamaica]

 

 (all power to the people) fulfilling the legacies of our ancestors (en the wishes of the unborn).

 

I give thanks for bredrin en dadas in solidarity doing the best that we can to unite our people,

By any means necessary (in honour of Mama Afrika)!

 

From the book: “A Return to the Afrikan Mother Principle of Male and Female Equality”, by Oba T’shaka

“Human life on earth goes through the same spiral zigzag path of change and transformation that the cosmos follows. The movement from positive to negative, from Negro to Black; from civil rights to human rights from injustice to justice; from reform to revolution; from the lower self of “me first,” to the higher self of my family, people and humanity first; from the lower self of greed and egoism to the higher self of simplicity and selflessness; all of these transformations are part of the cosmic spiral—the Spiral of MA’AT (Truth, Justice, Balance, Wisdom, Love). The progression of consciousness, the progression of history, the progression of human character from a lower to a higher level occurs because, as we go through the cycles of life, as we learn the lessons of Maat, the lessons of the cosmos.

As we internalize these lessons, we transform our thoughts, words and actions to conform to Maat.

We ascend the spiral ladder of transformation through the cycles of life, rising to the level of perfection where the body becomes one with the soul.

From the blog: http://imperfect-black.blogspot.com/2010/05/raceandhistorycom-return-to-afrikan.html

Read more @ RaceandHistory.com

 

I give thanx for you….

dear (friend/blog) read(enspeak)ers

(asante. artists, activists en extra/ ‘ordinary’ people for sharing y/our resources).

I give thanks for papa na mama,

(wind) dada(s) en (soul) brotha (s/uns of another mama).

I pray for those who pray for not only ourselves but others, en who bless me (with their energy, love, en 2cents on balance, justice, truth and wisdom)

I give thanks for you, my love(s)…..nakupenda.

ase.ase.ase.ase…..

Media Statement

1 March 2010

Uganda: last chance to shelve Anti-Homosexuality Bill should not be missed, warn UN human rights experts

GENEVA – With its third and final reading imminent before the Ugandan Parliament, two UN Special Rapporteurs* voiced their deep concerns about the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which, if adopted, would have an extremely damaging impact on the important and legitimate work of human rights defenders in the country, and would curtail fundamental freedoms.

“The Bill would not only violate the fundamental rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Ugandan people,” stressed Margaret Sekaggya and Frank La Rue, “but would also criminalize the legitimate activities of men and women, as well as national and international organizations, who strive for the respect for equality and non-discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.”

 According to the Bill, in addition to a fine, the offender would face imprisonment of at least five years, and in the case of a non-governmental organization, the cancelling of its certificate of registration and criminal liability for its director.

 “The Bill would further unjustifiably obstruct the exercise of the right to freedoms of opinion and expression, peaceful assembly, and association, by prohibiting the publication and dissemination of materials on homosexuality, as well as funding and sponsoring related activities,” the Special Rapporteurs said.

The experts welcomed “the recent attempts made by President Museveni and other members of the Government to prevent the Bill from becoming law, and call on them to redouble their efforts at this crucial time.”

“We urge Parliamentarians to refrain from adopting this draconian Bill,” said the independent experts echoing previous statements made by the UN human rights chief, Navi Pillay, and the UN Special Rapporteur on health, Anand Grover.

“Adopting the Bill would be in clear breach of international human rights norms and standards contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights,” warned Ms. Sekaggya and Mr. La Rue.

“The passage of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill,” they noted, “would also gravely tarnish the image of Uganda on the regional and international scenes.”

(*) Ms. Margaret Sekaggya, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, and Mr. Frank La Rue, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression.

ENDS

For more information on the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, please visit:
http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/defenders/index.htm
 
For more information on the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, please visit:
http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/opinion/index.htm

For more information or interviews, please contact: Mr Guillaume Pfeifflé (Tel: +41 22 917 9384 / email: gpfeiffle@ohchr.org). 

To see the Media Statement as published on the website of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, visit:
http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/Media.aspx?IsMediaPage=true