Archive for the ‘SMUG’ Category
Video from Pride London
Uganda Anti Homosexuality Bill Protest London 7th Nov 2009
Protest Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill
Thursday 10th December 2009
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:
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:
“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.
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:
If you want to respond to this email, or at any time to contact Peter, please email him at his NEW email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
URGENT ACTION – Uganda
Please support this appeal on behalf of our arrested and harassed LGBT brothers and sisters in Uganda.
This appeal is being coordinated by the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission.
Below is the latest information on the homophobic witch-hunt in Uganda, and a sample letter you can send to the Ugandan President and others (their email addresses are below).
International solidarity works, as we know from the global campaign against apartheid in South Africa.
Thanks for your support for our Ugandan LGBT friends.
Peter Tatchell, OutRage!, London
September 19, 2008
INTERNATIONAL GAY AND LESBIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
Uganda: Action Alert-Demand An End To Official Harassment of LGBT Activists
In what appears to be an all-out effort to silence the sexual rights movement in Uganda, police have again arrested high profile members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, this time two male-to-female transgender gay men – Georgina (aka) Oundo George and Brenda (aka Kiiza). According to Sexual Minorities of Uganda (SMUG), two men who identified themselves as police officers, but were not in the customary Ugandan Police uniform arrested both men at the home of Georgina on Wednesday September 10, 2008.
Georgina and Brenda were held at Nabweru Police Post for a full week without access to lawyers or to bail. They were never brought before a judge, even though Article 3.9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) states that, “anyone arrested or detained on a criminal charge shall be brought promptly before a judge.”
Article 23 of the Ugandan Constitution requires that an arrested person must appear before a judge within 48 hours of arrest.
Brenda and Georgina report being beaten, kicked and hit with batons round the legs and ankles during their detention as interrogators demanded that they provide information about the names and addresses of other LGBT activists. Brenda and Georgina were finally released on September 17, 2008, but have been required to report regularly to the police station. They have been accused of “spreading homosexuality,” though no such crime exists under Ugandan law. “Carnal knowledge against the order of nature” is punishable by up to life imprisonment in Uganda.
Among the rights violated in this most recent incident are:
The right to liberty and security of person; freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention
The right to freedom from torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment
The right to freedom of expression
IGLHRC requests that its members send appeals to Ugandan authorities as quickly as possible:
Demanding an end to the harassment of Oundo George and Kiiza through the requirement that they report to the police on a regular basis. Calling on the Ugandan government to immediately end illegal arrests and detention of LGBT individuals and human rights defenders.
Asking for a repeal of Section 145 of the Penal Code Act of 1950, which ostensibly criminalizes homosexual acts.
Please feel free to cut and paste from our letter (below) and send faxes and e-mails to the following officials:
PO Box 7168
Fax: + 256 414 346 102
Salutation: Your Excellency
Inspector General of Police
Major Kale Kayihura
PO Box 7055
Fax: + 256 414 255 630
Salutation: Dear Major
Minister of Justice
Hon. Makubuya Kiddu
PO Box 7183
Fax: + 256 414 234 453
Salutation: Dear Minister
Chairperson of the Uganda Human Rights Commission
P.O .Box 4929, Kampala,
Fax: +256 414 255 261
Salutation: Dear Chairperson
COPIES TO: diplomatic representatives of Uganda accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND COPIES OF ALL APPEALS TO IGLHRC SO THAT WE CAN TRACK THE RESPONSE:
Fax: +27.21.462.3024, fax
Your Excellency President Museveni,
I am writing to you to express my concern about the unwarranted arrest and arbitrary detention of two lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) human rights defenders in Uganda on September 10, 2008. George Oundo and Kizza Brenda were held in detention for eight days without going before a judge. Article 23 of the Constitution of Uganda makes it unconstitutional to hold a suspect for over 48 hours. Furthermore, it is my understanding that these two individuals were arrested and detained solely as a result of their sexual orientation and gender identity
The continuous violation of the basic human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people perpetuated by the Ugandan government is of great concern. I understand that Uganda is party to various
regional and international human rights covenants such as the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, both of which condemn arrests based on
arbitrary categories such as race, ethnicity, political belief and sexual orientation, among others.
I would ask that your government ceases and desists from harassing and arresting LGBT people simply because of their sexual orientation and gender identity and end the harassment and intimidation of LGBT human rights defenders. I would also urge you to consider the repeal of Section 145 of the Penal Code Act of 1950, which criminalizes homosexual acts. Such laws have been declared a violation of the rights to privacy and equality by the United Nations and have caused great pain to many of your citizens.
Executive Director International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission
Cc: Major Kale Kayihura, Hon. Makubuya Kiddu, Margret Sekagya
In the past five years, there have been nearly a dozen arrests of LGBT people on charges related to homosexuality in Uganda. Authorities have harassed LGBT human rights defenders in their homes and in public and fined a private radio station that broadcast a program on HIV prevention among men who have sex with men. In July 2005, Uganda’s Parliament passed an amendment to the constitution making Uganda only the second country in the world to use its supreme law to outlaw marriage between people of the same sex. In 2007, a coalition of religious leaders marched through the streets of Kampala demanding the arrests of LGBT people with one cleric even calling for the “starving to death” of homosexuals. Buttressed by the official homophobia of the state, the Ugandan media has published lists of gay men and lesbians, leading to physical violence, loss of employment and the curtailing of educational opportunities for those LGBT people who were named.
On June 4, 2008, Usaam Mukwaaya, Pepe Julian Onziema and Valentine Kalende, were arrested and charged with criminal trespass while peacefully attending the HIV/AIDS Implementers Meeting in Kampala. The arrest of the activists was condemned by local and international organizations, including UNAIDS, as well as by the U.S. government. Usaam Mukwaaya was rearrested on July 25, 2008 on his way from Friday prayers and was detained and tortured for several days.
IGLHRC is deeply concerned that this increasingly clear pattern of abuse – arrest, mistreatment in detention, and then release – is a systematic attempt to silence the Ugandan LGBT, feminist and human rights communities through constant harassment. There have also been reliable reports that authorities have a list of LGBT leaders including addresses, photographs and other personal information. Some activists have fled into neighboring countries to escape arrest.
The Mission of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission is to secure the full enjoyment of human rights of all people and communities subject to discrimination or abuse on the basis of sexual orientation or expression, gender identity or expression and/or HIV status.
Peter Tatchell is the Green Party parliamentary candidate for Oxford East
www.greenoxford.com/peter and www.petertatchell.net