Jamra primary scholl for children affected by HIV/AIDS, drugs or poverty, Senegal (c) Nell Freeman/Alliance Participants in the Photovioce project, Ecuador © Marcela Nievas for the Alliance
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Latest on gay people threatened in Uganda

5
NOV
2010

Sexual minorities are at risk of violence in Ugande (c) Nell Freeman/Alliance

Following the shocking details about the weekly newspaper published in Kampala, Uganda, that publicly exposed the details of homosexuals and called for them to be ‘hanged’, a judge in Uganda has now ordered the Rolling Stone newspaper to stop publishing the men and women’s details.

Newspaper ordered to stop publishing

Following a request by gay rights group Sexual Minorities Uganda to stop publishing after some of the men and women had been attacked, High Court Judge Vincent Musoke-Kibuuka granted their request on the basis that it was ‘an infringement or invasion of the right to privacy’.

But the newspaper’s editor remains defiant and says he will continue in a way that will ‘dodge the law’.

Stop the persecution

The Alliance is calling for the Ugandan authorities to publicly reject the article and to act to protect sexual minorities against violence, intimidation and threats and guarantee their rights as Ugandan citizens.

“Without providing an environment where people most at risk of HIV can come forward for HIV prevention advice, testing and counselling it will be difficult for Uganda to effectively tackle its HIV epidemic,” said Christine Stegling, senior human rights adviser at the Alliance.

Enlightened leadership

While many other countries in Africa also penalise homosexuals, in a welcome move, former President of Botswana, Festus Mogae, appealed to African leaders not to enact laws that criminalise homosexuality and sex work.

Warning that these laws make it hard to fight HIV and AIDS, he told an audience at the State House in Lusaka, Zambia last month that homosexuals and sex workers were part of society and mustn’t be stigmatised or discriminated against.

Mr Mogae who chairs a team of prominent African anti-AIDS activists said that he had been engaging with government in Botswana to repeal the law that criminalises homosexuality. Botswana has not prosecuted anyone over the last three years for being homosexual, despite homosexuality being illegal.

“We welcome the comments from Mr Mogae. He is right. Most at risk populations especially men who have sex with men, transgender people and sex workers are very vulnerable to social rejection, criminalisation and discrimination. All this seriously undermines access to HIV prevention programmes,” said Christine.

    criminalisation seriously undermines access to HIV prevention programmes