Archive for the ‘John Bosco Nyombi’ Category

Human Rights Day protest against Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill – Ugandan Embassy, London, 10 December 2009. L-R: Michael Senyonjo, Richard S, Topher Campbell, Peter Tatchell, Godwyns Onwuchekwa, Rev Rowland Jide Macaulay – Photo credit Brett Lock

London Uganda Demo – Photos and Report by Peter Tatchell

Protesters urge: “Drop the Anti-Homosexuality Bill”

London – 10 December 2009

Nearly 100 protesters rallied outside the Ugandan Embassy in London on Human Rights Day to support the Ugandan LBGTI community. They called on the Ugandan government to drop its draconian Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which is currently being debated by the Ugandan parliament.

Under this proposed law, LGBTI Ugandans will face execution for certain homosexual acts and life imprisonment for all other same-sex acts – even mere caressing and kissing.

The London protesters included LGBTI activists from the UK and of Jamican descent, plus LGBTI campaigners from Uganda, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Cameroon, Nigeria, the Congo and Kenya.

See photos of the protest here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/outrage/sets/72157622975859486/

These photos are free to use. Please credit Brett Lock of OutRage!

The keynote speakers were gay Ugandan John Bosco and straight Ugandan human rights activist, Michael Senyonjo.

John Bosco was recently jailed in Uganda, after he was illegally and forcibly returned to Uganda by the British Home office while seeking asylum in the UK.

He condemned the Anti-Homosexuality Bill as “an attack on the civil liberties of all Ugandans,” denouncing it as “dividing Ugandans against each other and requiring people to report on their own family members who are gay.”

Michael Senyonjo told the crowd:

“In the last five years we have seen Idi Amin return to Uganda and his name is (President) Yoweri Museveni. We cannot allow fascism to return to Uganda. He should leave power and go because he is not taking the country anywhere but to disaster,” he said.

Peter Tatchell of the London LGBTI rights group OutRage! echoed this view:

“President Museveni is fast becoming the Robert Mugabe of Uganda and that’s a threat to the civil rights of every Ugandan person – gay or straight….There’s a huge ground swell of public opinion that this bill goes way too far. Even people who say they’re against homosexuality say this bill is excessive and a threat to the human rights of all Ugandans.

The Ugandan government should drop this law and abide by international human rights legislation.

“The Anti-Homosexuality Bill violates the equality and non-discrimination clauses of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We are merely asking Uganda to uphold international human rights law.

“This homophobic legislation undermines the right to privacy and individual liberty and thereby sets a dangerous legal precedent which threatens the human rights of all Ugandans. It is part of a wider drift towards an authoritarian state,” Mr Tatchell said.

The protest MC was Dennis Hambridge, global coordinator of the Gay Activists Alliance International (GAAI). He said the protest was about sending a message to the Uganda government – that the world is watching and that human rights supporters deplore this repressive bill.

Nigerian gay activists Godwyns Onwuchekwa, Rev Rowland Jide Macaulay and Bisi Alimi declared that gay rights are human rights and expressed pan-African solidarity with Ugandan LGBTI people.

Other speakers condemned the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, including Skye Chirape (a Zimbabwean lesbian activist), Topher Campbell (a Black British gay man of Jamaican descent, who is a lead member of the black arts collective, the Rukus Foundation) and Josh Kutchinsky (a spokesperson for the British Humanist Association).

The London protest was coordinated by the Gay Activists Alliance International, with the support of OutRage! and Ugandan LGBTI exiles (most of whom were too afraid to be photographed or identified in case there are reprisals against their families in Uganda).

Other supporting organisations included Changing Attitudes, Rainbow Church, Queer Youth North, British Humanist Association, Rukus Foundation and the National Union of Students LGBT section.

See full details of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill here:

http://www.ukgaynews.org.uk/Archive/09/Nov/Bill-No-18-Anti-Homosexuality-Bill-2009_Uganda.pdf

“The new Anti-Homosexuality Bill, if passed, proposes the death penalty for ‘aggravated’ and ‘serial’ homosexual acts and extends the existing penalty of life imprisonment for anal sex to all other same-sex behaviour, including the mere touching of another person with the intent to have gay relations. Life imprisonment is also the penalty for contracting a same-sex mariage,” said Peter Tatchell of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) human rights group OutRage!.

“Membership of LGBT organisations and funding for them, advocacy of LGBT human rights and the provision of condoms or safer sex advice to LGBT people will result in a minimum sentence of five years and a maximum of seven years for “promoting” homosexuality. A person in authority who fails to report violators to the police within 24 hours will incur three years behind bars.

“Astonishingly, the new legislation has an extra-territorial jusridiction. It will also apply to Ugandans who commit these ‘crimes’ while living abroad, in countries where such behaviour is not a criminal offence. Violators overseas will be subjected to extradition, trial and punishment in Uganda,” added Mr Tatchell.

According to Dennis Hambridge of GAAI:

“The bill is likely to be detrimental to the fight against HIV/AIDS by denying gay and bisexual men access to condoms and safer sex advice and driving countless numbers of them further underground. It will create even more stigma, discrimination and oppression

“Activists in Uganda have reported to GAAI that there are eight gay people currently awaiting trial or sentencing in Uganda.

“With immense pressure being put on the Ugandan Government to drop the bill, by human rights groups, governments and religious groups worldwide, we call on people in the UK to protest,” he said.

The Anti-Homosexuality Bill has been condemned by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, International Commission of Jurists and the World AIDS Campaign.

It violates the Commonwealth principles of human rights and human dignity. You can email the Commonwealth Secretary-General, Kamalesh Sharma, here:

secretary-general@commonwealth.int

If you were not able to attend Thursday’s protest, please lobby your MP and MEP. Ask them to write to the Ugandan High Commissioner, Joan Rwabyomere, urging that the legislation is dropped. You can email your MP and MEP here: http://www.writetothem.com

You can also email the Ugandan High Commissioner, Joan Rwabyomere, yourself:

info@ugandahighcommission.co.uk

Thank you.

All power to Ugandan LGBTI people! For a free, democratic, secular and humanitarian Uganda!

ENDS

Videos of Uganda protest in London – Human Rights Day – 10 December 2009

Videos of the protest outside the Ugandan Embassy in London to support the Ugandan LBGTI community and oppose the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

The keynote speakers were gay Ugandan John Bosco and straight Ugandan human rights activist, Michael Senyonjo.

John Bosco – Gay Ugandan
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AH4hEbjG5G0

Michael Senyonjo – Ugandan human rights activist
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S54WZHbPbyE

Skye Chirape – Zimbabwean lesbian activist
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkQHe96-GXY

Rev Rowland Jide Macaulay – Nigerian gay pastor
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_F9ZQCAtDs

Godwyns Onwuchekwa – Nigerian LGBT activist
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YoBWgozMKI

Topher Campbell – Black gay activist, Rukus Foundation
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbJ79YTXTmM

Peter Tatchell 1/2 – OutRage! gay activist
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMnTQR2Z8b8

Peter Tatchell 2/2 – OutRage! gay activist
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbMdPT_PT6A

Terry Conway – Lesbian trade union activist
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CZejmcPlSM

See also photos of the protest here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/outrage/sets/72157622975859486/
These photos are free to use. Please credit Brett Lock of OutRage!

Among the protesters were African LGBTI activists from Uganda, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Cameroon, Nigeria, the Congo and Kenya.

The photos and videos omit some of the Ugandan LGBTI exiles who joined the demo. They asked to not be photographed or filmed in case there are reprisals against their families in Uganda. This is proof that homophobia is already – even before the Anti-Homosexuality Bill – wrecking the lives of LGBTI Ugandans and their families and friends.

For more details of the protest, see here:

http://www.petertatchell.net/international/london-uganda-demo.html

Video from Pride London

Uganda Anti Homosexuality Bill Protest London 7th Nov 2009

Protest Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill

Thursday 10th December 2009

12pm- 2pm

Ugandan High Commission

58-59 Trafalgar Square, Charing Cross

London, WC2N 5DX

To coincide with International Human Rights Day, this Thursday 10 December, Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) has called for worldwide protests against the draconian Anti-Homsexuality Bill currently being debated by the Ugandan parliament.

Under this proposed new law, gay Ugandans will face execution for certain homosexual acts.

See details of the legislation here:

https://gayswithoutborders.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/bill-no-18-anti-homosexuality-bill-2009_uganda.pdf

If you can’t attend Thursday’s protest, please lobby your MP and MEP. Ask them to write to the Ugandan High Commissioner, Joan Rwabyomere, urging that the legislation is dropped. You can email your MP and MEP here: http://www.writetothem.com

You can also email the Ugandan High Commissioner, Joan Rwabyomere, yourself:

info@ugandahighcommission.co.uk

“The new Anti-Homosexuality Bill, if passed, proposes the death penalty for ‘aggravated’ and ‘serial’ homosexual acts and extends the existing penalty of life imprisonment for anal sex to all other same-sex behaviour, including the mere touching of another person with the intent to have gay relations. Life imprisonment is also the penalty for contracting a same-sex mariage,” said Peter Tatchell of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) human rights group OutRage!.

Out Rage! is backing the London protest, which is being coordinated by the Gay Activists Alliance International, with the support of Gay Uganda and Ugandan LGBT exiles. Mr Tatchell will speak at the rally, together with Davis Mac-Iyalla (Nigeria and co-founder of GAAI) and Skye Chirape (Zimbabwe)

“Membership of LGBT organisations and funding for them, advocacy of LGBT human rights and the provision of condoms or safer sex advice to LGBT people will result in a minimum sentence of five years and a maximum of seven years for “promoting” homosexuality. A person in authority who fails to report violators to the police within 24 hours will incur three years behind bars,” added Mr Tatchell.

“Astonishingly, the new legislation has an extra-territorial jusridiction. It will also apply to Ugandans who commit these ‘crimes’ while living abroad, in countries where such behaviour is not a criminal offence. Violators overseas will be subjected to extradition, trial and punishment in Uganda,” he said.

According to Dennis Hambridge, GAAI global coordinator:

“The bill is likely to be detrimental to the fight against HIV/AIDS by denying gay and bisexual men access to condoms and safer sex advice and driving countless numbers of them further underground. It will create even more stigma, discrimination and oppression

“Activists in Uganda have reported to GAAI that there are eight gay people currently awaiting trial or sentencing in Uganda.

“With immense pressure being put on the Ugandan Government to drop the bill, by human rights groups, governments and religious groups worldwide, we call on our people in the UK to support this protest,” he said.

GAAI are also hoping that gay Ugandan John Bosco Nyombi will be able to attend Thursday’s protest. Earlier this year, the British courts ordered the return of John Bosco Nyombi to the UK after he was illegally and forcibly returned to Uganda while seeking asylum in the UK.

The Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill violates the equality and non-discrimination provisions of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Uganda is a signatory. These breaches of international humanitarian commitments undermine the right to privacy and individual liberty and thereby set a dangerous legal precedent which threatens the human rights of all Ugandans. They are part of a wider drift towards an authoritarian state. President Museveni is fast turning into another Robert Mugabe.

http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/instree/z1afchar.htm

http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/ccpr.htm

The Anti-Homosexuality Bill has been condemned by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, International Commission of Jurists and the World AIDS Campaign.

It violates the Commonwealth principles of human rights and human dignity. You can email the Commonwealth Secretary-General, Kamalesh Sharma, here:

secretary-general@commonwealth.int

ENDS

www.petertatchell.net

If you want to respond to this email, or at any time to contact Peter, please email him at his NEW email address: peter@petertatchell.net

You can also follow Peter on Twitter at http://twitter.com/PeterTatchell or join the Peter Tatchell Human Rights Campaign Facebook group at http://tinyurl.com/cj9y6s

Peter Tatchell is the Green Party parliamentary candidate for Oxford East
www.greenoxford.com/peter and www.petertatchell.net

bosco

“John Bosco Back in UK” by Paul Canning.

LGBT Asylum News has been informed that Ugandan gay asylum seeker is back in the UK.

Bosco was the Mister X who a judge recently ordered the Home Office to return to the UK.

He returned to the UK on Friday 6 March and was immediately taken to Tinsley House Immigration Removal Centre, which is near Gatwick airport.

The judge had said that the Home Office “deliberately misled” Mr X and effectively deprived him of his right to seek legal advice before his removal.

Their actions were calculated “to avoid any complication that could arise from his removal becoming publicly known”, said the judge.

In a statement seen by the court Mr Bosco said that, last September, he was deceived into thinking he was being taken from Tinsley House immigration removal centre for an interview with an immigration officer.

Instead, without warning, he was taken in a van by four security men to a plane.

He said that when he resisted leaving the van he was handcuffed, punched in his private parts to make him straighten his legs so they could be belted together. Crying, he was lifted on to the plane and flown out of the country.

His mobile phone had been taken from him and he was given no chance to contact friends or lawyers, even though Home Office rules required that he should have 72 hours’ notice of removal to give him a chance to make calls.

The judge said he was also satisfied that the actions of the Border Agency officers were “deliberately calculated to avoid any complication that could arise from Mr Bosco’s removal becoming publicly known.”

The judge said agency officers must have known the 72-hour requirement was designed to provide an opportunity for a person being removed to have access to a lawyer for legal advice and possibly for the courts to become involved in the case.

Mr Bosco first arrived in the UK in September 2001 and worked here for some seven years before being earmarked for removal after the failure of his original asylum claim.

Michael Woolley, the coordinator of the Haslar Visitors’ Group that represents the interests of asylum seekers, said: “The way these arrests are carried out is disgraceful, without any chance to put affairs in order.

“John has signed regularly at a police station for years, and there is no reason to think he would abscond. Yet he was given no notice, no opportunity to pack a bag, to say goodbye to his friends or to sell his car.”

Bosco has been working with mentally ill people in Portsmouth while his application to stay in the UK has been heard.

He fled to the UK from Uganda where homosexuality is illegal and carries a punishment of life in prison.

His case has attracted publicity in Uganda.

Mr Bosco said in a statement seen by the court that, on his return to his homeland, his circumstances had become “quite desperate”.

He had been beaten up during a period in detention and he had now gone into hiding to avoid being interviewed by the police about his homosexuality.

The judge said the evidence before him made it perfectly plain that Mr Bosco had come to the notice of the authorities, and this had added to the risk of his human rights being breached by reason of his homosexuality.

In rejecting the Home Office’s argument that it was safe to return Mr Bosco to Uganda, the judge said: “I find it impossible to conclude, on the basis of the evidence as it now is, that there is not the real possibility that a judge might find that he is at risk if he is returned (to his homeland) by reason of his homosexuality.”

Another Uganda gay asylum seeker Ugandan lesbian asylum seeker Prossy Kakooza recently won her case to stay in the UK.

She was handed over to the police by her own family and was raped and tortured by the police. The Home Office denied her asylum claim on the basis that they were ‘the random action of individuals’.

A supporter of John Bosco said regarding Kazooza and the situation in Uganda:

“This would be a defensible argument if the men in question had been prosecuted by the authorities. They have not.”

LGBT Asylum News Original Article