Archive for the ‘Uganda’ Category

UK Scouts condemn Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill

World scout movement acts on threat to gays, including scouts

Geneva scout HQ refers concerns to Scout Association of Uganda

London – 1 March 2010

The Chief Executive of the Scout Association UK, Derek Twine, has expressed opposition to the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda, describing the legislation as “discriminatory” and “incompatible” with scouting values. The Bill has been tabled by David Bahati MP, who is also Chairman of the Scout Association of Uganda.

Mr Twine’s statement (copy in full below) follows representations to the UK and international scout movement by the London-based LGBT human rights organisation, OutRage!

Mr Twine wrote to Peter Tatchell of OutRage!, as follows:

“We find the Bill not only discriminatory and contrary to the sanctity of life, but also completely incompatible with our interpretation of the values of our worldwide Scouting Movement.”

“We have already drawn our grave concerns on this to the attention of the Secretary General of the World Organisation of the Scout Movement (WOSM), and we are subsequently aware that the issues are now subject both to WOSM’s direct engagement with the Chief Scout of Uganda (Mrs Maggie Kigozi) and to ongoing global consideration by members of the World Scout Committee,” wrote Mr Twine.

This statement from the UK Scout Association follows simultaneous direct representations by OutRage! to the World Organisation of the Scout Movement in Geneva.

“At our request, the world scout headquarters has written to the Chief Scout and the Chief Commissioner of the Uganda Scout Association concerning the Anti-Homosexuality Bill and the sponsorship of this Bill by the Chairman of the Uganda Scout Association, David Bahati MP,” reports Peter Tatchell of OutRage!

“This swift action followed our protests against Mr Bahati to the Scout Association UK.

“Scouting is very big in Uganda and Mr Bahati derives great prestige from his position as Chairman of the Scout Association of Uganda. If we can get him removed from office it will be a significant personal blow to him. He’ll be weakened and his credibility undermined.

“OutRage! is urging the disaffiliation of the Ugandan scout organisation from the world scouting movement, as a way of adding further pressure on the Ugandan government to drop the Bill.

“Our request for disaffiliation was immediately forwarded by the Scout Association UK to the World Organisation of the Scout Movement (WOSM) in Geneva.

“OutRage!’s actions are an attempt to open up a new front in the campaign against the Bill and to graphically expose the full ramifications of the proposed legislation on youth and civic organisations in Uganda, which have received little coverage so far.

“By highlighting the particular threat to LGBT scout members, we are not detracting in any way from the wider issues and consequences of Mr Bahati’s draconian legislation.

“LGBT scouts and scout leaders are, of course, only one section of the Ugandan LGBT community. All Ugandan LGBTs are at risk if this Bill becomes law. We are concerned about the danger to them all – and the threat to their straight families, friends, supporters and allies,” said Mr Tatchell.

OutRage!’s appeal to WOSM for international scout action is being handled by Jim Sharp, Executive Director, General Management, World Scout Bureau, 5 rue du Pré-Jérôme, CH-1205 Geneva, Switzerland.

Tel: (+41.22) 705 10 10 (switchboard)
Fax: (+41.22) 705 10 20

OutRage!’s appeal to the UK Scout Association is being addressed by Derek Twine, Chief Executive
Tel: 07889 130 812 (from within the UK) and +44 (0) 7889 130 812 (from overseas). Or 020 8433 7107 or 7261 (from within the UK)

Full statement by the Scout Association UK

UGANDA

Since the mid-1990s, The Scout Association has been clear and unequivocal in our equal opportunities policy and practice especially regarding sexual orientation, as befitting our role in contemporary society.

We are recently aware that the Ugandan Parliament has received a Bill that calls for the death sentence for repeat practicing of homosexuality. This Bill is presented by a Ugandan MP (David Bahati) who is also currently the National Chairman of the Uganda Scout Association. In terms of our own policies and understandings, we find the Bill not only discriminatory and contrary to the sanctity of life, but also completely incompatible with our interpretation of the values of our worldwide Scouting Movement.

We have already drawn our grave concerns on this to the attention of the Secretary General of the World Organisation of the Scout Movement (WOSM), and we are subsequently aware that the issues are now subject both to WOSM’s direct engagement with the Chief Scout of Uganda (Mrs Maggie Kigozi) and to ongoing global consideration by members of the World Scout Committee.

We hope that the bilateral and very positive educational and solidarity projects that have been fostered for many years between Scout Groups in the UK and Scout Groups in Uganda on such matters as health and community development will not be prejudiced or compromised by this situation; we await the formal and public response from the Scout Association of Uganda and from WOSM, whereupon we will review our position.

Derek Twine Chief Executive
07889 130 812 (from within the UK) and +44 (0) 7889 130 812 (from overseas). Or 020 8433 7107 or 7261 (from within the UK)

Peter Tatchell
peter@petertatchell.net

www.petertatchell.net

See also:

MUST WATCH video on Uganda anti-gay Bill

Death penalty for straights and for non-sex offences too

London – 18 February 2010

Peter Tatchell writes:

I am very grateful to Rob Tisinai for making a masterclass YouTube video that explains the full horrors of the Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill. It shows that this Bill is far more lethal and wide-reaching than most people realise.

Ugandans don’t have to be gay or to have gay sex to be sentenced to death.

Read this summary of these little known aspects of the Bill, then watch the video (the link is below).

Under the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, the crime of “serial offender” is punishable by execution.

A serial offender is a person who has “previous convictions” for “homosexuality OR RELATED OFFENCES.”

In other words, if a Ugandan person has previous convictions for offences in the Bill and then has a subsequent conviction he or she will be classified as a serial offender and face execution.

“Related offences” in the Bill, which can result in a death sentence for serial offenders, include non-sexual acts such as:

· aiding and abetting homosexuality
· advocating same-sex relationships or LGBT rights
· having a same-sex marriage
· publicising or funding pro-LGBT organisations
· using the internet or a mobile phone for the purpose of homosexuality or its promotion
· being a person in authority who fails to report an offender to the police within 24 hours

These related offences are crimes that could be also committed by a heterosexual person. It is not just LGBT Ugandans who are threatened by this legislation.

Under the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, all convicted serial offenders are liable to execution, regardless of their sexuality.

Rob’s brilliant short video explains the FULL and DEADLY clauses of the Bill. Please take a look and send it to your friends. We need to get the word out far and wide.

Watch Rob’s video here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fuEsRJp2nU

See the full text of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill here:

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

Huge thanks to Rob Tisinai for taking the time to make this superb video. It is the clearest, most detailed exposition of the true severity of the proposed new law.

Solidarity! Peter Tatchell

If you would like to contact Peter Tatchell, please email peter@petertatchell.net.

www.petertatchell.net

World scout movement acts on Uganda

Geneva HQ refers concerns to scout movement of Uganda

London – 16 February 2010

“The world scout headquarters in Geneva has written to the Chief Scout and the Chief Commissioner of the Uganda Scout Association concerning the Anti-Homosexuality Bill and the sponsorship of this Bill by the Chairman of the Uganda Scout Board, David Bahati MP,” reports LGBT human rights campaigner, Peter Tatchell of OutRage!

“This swift response came just hours after protests against Mr Bahati to the Scout Association UK by the London-based LGBT human rights group OutRage!.

“OutRage! is urging the disaffiliation of the Ugandan scout organisation from the world scouting movement, as a way of adding further pressure on the Ugandan government to drop the Bill.

“Our request for disaffiliation was immediately forwarded by the Scout Association UK to the World Organisation of the Scout Movement (WOSM) in Geneva.

“OutRage!’s actions are an attempt to open up a new front in the campaign against the Bill and to graphically expose the ramification’s of the proposed legislation on youth and civic organisations in Uganda (which has received little coverage so far).

“By highlighting the particular threat to LGBT scout members, we have not intended to detract in any way from the wider issues and consequences of Mr Bahati’s draconian legislation.

“LGBT scouts and scout leaders are, of course, only one section of the Ugandan LGBT community. All Ugandan LGBTs are at risk if this Bill becomes law. We are concerned about the danger to them all – and the threat to their straight families, friends, supporters and allies,” said Mr Tatchell.

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

For information about Peter Tatchell’s campaigns:

www.petertatchell.net

See Also :

Execute gay scouts, says Uganda chief scout

Scout children to be hanged under proposed law

World scout movement urged to expel Uganda

Call for UK Scout Association to sever links with Uganda scout movement

London, UK – 16 February 2010

“The leader of the scout movement in Uganda is demanding the execution of all scouts and scout leaders who commit repeated homosexual acts,” reports human rights campaigner, Peter Tatchell of OutRage!.

“Chief of the Scout Board of Uganda, David Bahati, is proposing that all serial homosexual offenders, including scouts and scout leaders, should be hanged – even children.

“Mr Bahati is a Ugandan MP. His Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which is currently before the Ugandan Parliament, stipulates the death penalty for repeat same-sex relations and life imprisonment for all other homosexual acts, even for mere kissing, touching or caressing.

“Scout leaders who fail to report gay scouts to the police will face three years in jail. Any scout leader who provides supportive advice to a gay scout will be jailed for five to seven years.

“This Bill is an expression of prejudice, intolerance, discrimination and violence, contrary to scout principles,” said Mr Tatchell.

See a summary and link to the Anti-Homosexuality Bill here:
http://www.petertatchell.net/international/uganda-anti-homosexuality-bill-a-briefing.html

Mr Tatchell has written on behalf of OutRage! to the Chief Executive of the Scout Association UK, Derek Twine.

A copy of this letter follows below.

Mr Twine has already referred OutRage!’s concerns to the General Secretary of the World Organisation of the Scout Movement.

“I have asked the Scout Association UK to press the world scouting movement to disaffiliate the scout organisation of Uganda, on the grounds that its leader has violated scouting values by proposing the execution of gay people, including gay Ugandan scouts and scout leaders,” added Mr Tatchell.

“My letter calls on the British scout organisation to condemn Mr Bahati and his Anti-Homosexuality Bill, and to refuse to host him again in the UK.

“The British and world scouting movement cannot remain silent, given this threat to kill its members in Uganda. They must break all links with the Ugandan scout organisation while it remains under the leadership of David ‘kill the gays’ Bahati.

“The international scout movement has a duty to defend its values of universal respect, equality and brotherhood,” concluded Mr Tatchell.

What you can do – see the end of this email.

Copy of Peter Tatchell’s email to the Scout Association UK:

Derek Twine
Chief Executive
The Scout Association
Gilwell Park
London E4 7QW

11 February 2010

Dear Derek Twine,

Uganda Scout leader David Bahati and the Anti-Homosexuality Bill

Your letter dated 21 January 2010 – Ref: DMT/AEB

Sincere thanks for your reply to the letter of my OutRage! colleague, David Allison.

We are most appreciative of the efforts made by the Scout Association UK to ensure equal opportunity and non-discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.

Unfortunately, such wisdom and fairness is not replicated by the leader of the scouting movement in Uganda, David Bahati MP. As you know, he is head of the Scout Board of Uganda; in effect Chief Scout.

He is calling for the execution of lesbian and gay scouts, and other lesbian and gay Ugandans.

His Anti-Homosexuality Bill, currently before the Parliament of Uganda, proposes that repeat homosexual acts will carry a sentence of death, and that anyone – gay or heterosexual – who advocates gay equality or offers welfare support to homosexuals will be sentenced to five to seven years jail. A person in authority – a parent, teacher or scout leader – who fails to report a gay person to the police within 24 hours will be jailed for three years.

Mr Bahati’s proposals to persecute lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people are a complete contradiction of scouting values and of the fundamental principles of equality and human rights, as enshrined in international humanitarian laws, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

I am most grateful that you have referred our concerns about Mr Bahati’s plan to execute LGBT Ugandans, including lesbian and gay scouts, to the General Secretary of the World Organisation of the Scout Movement (WOSM). Please advise me of the reply you have received.

While we appreciate that every National Scout Organisation (NSO) is independent, we also understand that the WOSM membership of each NSO is conditional on them conforming to the WOSM’s scouting values.

David Bahati, the leader of the Uganda scout movement, is promoting hatred, discrimination and the state-sponsored murder of LGBT Ugandans – some of whom will be scouts and scout leaders. His stance and actions are incompatible with scouting values.

If the leader of a NSO was advocating racism and the execution of black people, I am sure the WOSM would take swift steps to rule that the NSO’s membership of the WOSM could not continue while such a person remained in a position of authority within the NSO.

FIRST: We therefore request that you ask the WOSM to disaffiliate the Ugandan scout organisation from the WOSM, until such time as David Bahati ceases to hold office in the Ugandan scout movement or until he withdraws and renounces his Anti-Homosexuality Bill. This is something that the UK Scout Association and the WOSM can do. It is within your powers.

SECOND: We realise that the Scout Association UK is not in a position to intervene in the internal affairs of the scouting organisation of Uganda. However, we do believe that the British Scout Association can and should issue a public statement deploring David Bahati’s homophobia and his Anti-Homosexuality Bill; making clear that his views and his Bill are incompatible with scouting values and are likely to lead to the persecution of Ugandan LGBT scouts and scouting officials. We respectfully ask you to do this.

THIRD: We reiterate our request that the Scout Association UK announces publicly that it will refuse to host Mr Bahati again in Britain (I believe that you did host him at the time of the 2007 Jamboree), as you would refuse to host an anti-Semitic scout leader who advocated the execution of Jewish people. Again, this is a reasonable and justifiable sanction that is within your powers.

The core of the issue is this: Mr Bahati wants to execute lesbian and gay scouts and scout leaders, as well as other lesbian and gay people. He is Uganda’s head scout, and while he remains head scout his actions reflect badly on the whole international scouting movement. It is imperative that the British and world scouting authorities speak out against him and his bill which, if passed, will have deadly consequences for scout members in Uganda.

The reputation of the scout movement depends on action being taken against those in positions of leadership, like Mr Bahati, who abuse and violate scouting values.

Please advise. Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Peter Tatchell
OutRage! – The LGBT Human Rights Campaign

What you can do

Please ask your MP to sign EDM 575 on Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill

You can email your MP direct via this website:

www.writetothem.com

Just click on the link and enter your postcode. It will tell you who is your MP and you can email him or her direct.

All you need to do is write as follows:

Draft letter to your MP

Dear (insert your MP’s name),

As one of your constituents, I urge you to sign EDM 575, tabled by Harry Cohen MP. It condemns Uganda’s draconian Anti-Homosexuality Bill. This Bill proposes the death penalty for some same-sex acts and life imprisonment for others. The Bill also proposes up to seven years jail for anyone who advocates gay equality and three years jail for parents who fail to report their gay sons or daughters to the police.

See a copy of the Bill here:
http://www.ukgaynews.org.uk/Archive/09/Nov/Bill-No-18-Anti-Homosexuality-Bill-2009_Uganda.pdf

And a summary of the key points of the Bill here:
http://www.petertatchell.net/international/uganda-anti-homosexuality-bill-a-briefing.html

Please also consider writing to the Uganda High Commissioner in London:

Her Excellency, High Commissioner Joan Rwabyomere, Uganda High Commission, Uganda House, 58-59 Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DX. Phone 020-7839-5783, Fax 020-7839-8925 or E-mail: info@ugandahighcommission.co.uk

Thank you.

Insert your name, address and email

ENDS

If you would like to contact Peter Tatchell, email him at peter@petertatchell.net.

www.petertatchell.net

Human Rights Day protest against Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill – Ugandan Embassy, London, 10 December 2009 – Photograph by Brett Lock

Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill – Briefing

Death penalty proposed for consenting same-sex relations

Misreported & unreported aspects of the legislation

By Peter Tatchell, human rights campaigner

London, UK – 11 January 2010

Below is a full and comprehensive briefing on the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which is currently before the Ugandan Parliament and which proposes the death penalty for certain consenting homosexual acts.

Sponsored by the Ugandan MP, David Bahati, the Bill is expected to be debated and voted on in the coming weeks.

This briefing includes details of the already existing extreme homophobic laws in Uganda and their hateful social effects, a link to a full copy of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill and my summary of its key elements.

Although there have been reports that death penalty clauses will be dropped, to date the Bill has not been amended, watered down or scrapped. All the original provisions, including the death penalty, remain.

Indeed, the Bill’s sponsor, MP David Bahati, said late last week that he stands by the Bill and will not withdraw it.

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

Summary of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill

Peter Tatchell of the London-based lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) human rights group OutRage! said:

“The Anti-Homosexuality Bill proposes the death penalty for two classes of same-sex acts.

“First, for ‘aggravated’ homosexuality, which is defined as gay sex with under 18s or disabled persons and gay sex by a person in authority or by a person with HIV, even if they use a condom.

“Second, for ‘serial’ homosexual acts, meaning for persons who have repeated same-sex relations ie. more than once or twice.

“The Bill extends the existing penalty of life imprisonment for same- sex intercourse to all other same-sex behaviour, including the mere touching of another person with the intent to have homosexual relations.

“Life imprisonment is also the penalty for contracting a same-sex marriage.

“Promoting homosexuality and aiding and abetting others to commit homosexual acts will be punishable by five to seven years jail. These new crimes are likely to include membership and funding of LGBT organisations, advocacy of LGBT human rights, supportive counselling of LGBT persons and the provision of condoms or safer sex advice to LGBT people.

“A person in authority – gay or heterosexual – who fails to report violators to the police within 24 hours will be sentenced to three years behind bars.

“Astonishingly, the new legislation has an extra-territorial jurisdiction. It will also apply to Ugandan citizens or foreign residents of Uganda who commit these ‘crimes’ while abroad, in countries where such behaviour is not a criminal offence. Violators overseas will be subjected to extradition, trial and punishment in Uganda.

“This bill is even more draconian than the extreme homophobic laws of countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran.

“It is part of a wide attack on civil society and is symptomatic of Uganda’s drift to Mugabe-style authoritarianism,” added Mr Tatchell.

Read this report by me on the tyranny of President Yoweri Museveni’s Ugandan regime:
http://www.blackstarnews.com/news/135/ARTICLE/6164/2009-12-18.html

Existing anti-gay laws in Uganda – and their consequences

The Uganda Penal Code Act of 1950 (Chapter 120) (as amended)

Section 145. Unnatural offences.
–Any person who– (a) has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature; (b) has carnal knowledge of an animal; or (c) permits a male person to have carnal knowledge of him or her against the order of nature, commits an offence and is liable to imprisonment for life.

Section 146. Attempt to commit unnatural offences.
–Any person who attempts to commit any of the offences specified in section 145 commits a felony and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.

Section 148. Indecent practices.
–Any person who, whether in public or in private, commits any act of gross indecency with another person or procures another person to commit any act of gross indecency with him or her or attempts to procure the commission of any such act by any person with himself or herself or with another person, whether in public or in private, commits an offence and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.

“The current anti-homosexual laws were originally imposed on Uganda by the British colonial administration in the nineteenth century, during the period of imperial subjugation. They are not authentic Ugandan or African laws,” added Peter Tatchell of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) human rights group OutRage!

“The consequences of this already existing legislation can include long terms of imprisonment for homosexual relations between consenting adults in private.

“Criminalisation also often results in the failure of police to protect the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) victims of mob violence. It gives a green light to blackmailers and to the police harassment of LGBT people, including the framing of LGBT Ugandans on false charges.

“The outing of LGBT people by the Kampala tabloid newspaper, Red Pepper, has resulted in some victims losing their jobs and homes. Others have been disowned by their families and forced to go into hiding.

“The Anti-Homosexuality Bill is just the latest of many attacks on the LGBT community of Uganda.

“In recent years, the Ugandan government of President Yoweri Museveni has passed a law banning same-sex civil marriage, fined Radio Simba for broadcasting a discussion of LGBT issues, and expelled a UN AIDS agency director for meeting with LGBT campaigners.

“Some years ago, a heterosexual Anglican bishop of the West Buganda diocese of Uganda, Christopher Senyonjo, was denied the right to preach and denied his pension by the Church of Uganda after he defended the human rights of LGBT people,” said Mr Tatchell.

See photos of the London protest against the Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill on 10 December 2009:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/outrage/sets/72157622975859486/
These photos are free to use. Please credit Brett Lock of OutRage!

See videos of this London protest:
http://www.petertatchell.net/international/videos-of-uganda-protest-in-london.html
These videos are free to use.

More information:

peter@petertatchell.net

www.petertatchell.net

BBC debate: Should homosexuals face execution?

Have Your Say team criticised, but debate encouraged

London – 17 December 2009

A storm of controversy has erupted after the BBC News Channel hosted an online debate – “Should homosexuals face execution?” – on its website on Wednesday 16 December 2009.

See the BBC Have Your Say Africa website here:

http://newsforums.bbc.co.uk/nol/thread.jspa?forumID=7347&edition=1&ttl=20091217021326

Following protests, the title of the debate “Should homosexuals face execution?” was changed to “Should Uganda debate gay execution?” But opening sentence of the text below still read: “Should homosexuals face execution?”

The debate was about legislation before the Ugandan parliament that would introduce the death penalty for people who commit repeated homosexual acts.

See the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill here:

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

“I think it perfectly reasonable for the BBC to host a debate about the current Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill, but not in the terms that it was framed,” said Peter Tatchell, human rights campaigner and spokesperson for the LGBT equality group, OutRage!

“The BBC would not hold online debates such as: Should Jews be exterminated? Was the Rwandan genocide justified? Should the people of Darfur be massacred? Is it right to stone women to death in Somalia?” added Mr Tatchell.

“Moreover, the BBC’s commentary announcing the debate put a very weak case against the execution of lesbian and gay Ugandans. It read like an open invitation for homophobic endorsements of the state-sponsored killing of gay people.

“It is a good thing to promote awareness and debate about this vile legislation, even if it means giving homophobes an opportunity to air their prejudice and hatred.

“We have to acknowledge that violently homophobic views still exist in many parts of the world, even in Britain. Bringing this homophobia into the open is a wake up call. It usefully jolts liberal-minded people out of their complacency.

“Engaging bigoted views in debate is the best way to change them, or at least to change some of them. Challenging and refuting homophobic ignorance is the key to overcoming it.

“Closing down debates and censoring people is dangerous. It threatens free speech and drives hatred underground, where it cannot be countered,” said Mr Tatchell.

Peter Tatchell

www.petertatchell.net

Breaking: Rwandan Parliament to Vote on Criminalizing Homosexuality

The lower house of the Rwandan Parliament will vote on a draft revision of the penal code that will, for the first time, make homosexuality a crime in Rwanda. The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) has learned that the proposed Article 217 of the draft Penal Code Act will criminalize “[a]ny person who practices, encourages or sensitizes people of the same sex, to sexual relation or any sexual practice.” Rwanda’s Chamber of Deputies will vote on the draft code December 16, 2009. If the Chamber of Deputies approves, the draft code will likely go before the Rwandan Senate in early 2010.

Article 217 violates Rwandans’ basic human rights and is contradictory to the Rwandan Constitution as well as various regional and international conventions. IGLHRC, the Coalition of African Lesbians (CAL), and Rwanda’s Horizon Community Association (HOCA) will shortly issue a call to action to demand that the Rwandan Parliament withdraw this article. We urge the international community to act against this proposed law and support the equality, dignity, and privacy of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in Rwanda.

This draft provision targeting LGBT people closely follows the introduction of a similar measure in neighboring Uganda, where the nation’s parliament is currently debating an Anti-Homosexuality Bill. The proposed Ugandan law would prohibit all LGBT activism and organizing, would further criminalize consensual same-sex conduct between adults, which is already illegal in Uganda, and in some cases apply the death penalty.

Find out more information about LGBT Human Rights in Rwanda

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