Monday, March 1, 2010

Pride+Love in Uganda 07: Statement from Edoboozi Human Rights Defenders

EDOBOOZI  HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS STATEMENT
(Voice of the Voiceless)
Kampala, Uganda
22 February 2010

1)  There is concentrated effort by some sections of the population, government, religious organizations to further criminalize, penalize and persecute LGBTI people for what they are.

2)  There is evidence of increased homophobic environment, arrests, harassment, loss of jobs, loss of places of abode, displacement within the country, and many seeking asylum beyond the Uganda borders, black mail, and extortion is on the increase.

3)  Medical facilities that cater to HIV/AIDs treatment which has been difficult and not easy to acquire may be very difficult if the bill passes.  Dissemination of HIV/AIDs information and acquisition of direct services of consumables e.g. condoms and lubricants will be impossible to get under the proposed law. This means that the gay community will suffer more and the AIDS/HIV prevalence rate will rise affecting the entire population in general.

4)  There is deliberate peddling of lies in the anti-homosexuality campaign to the effect of::

  • Homosexuality is un-African/ not Ugandan culture.
  • It is being fueled by western world by use of money
  • It is against the teaching of the bible and those who practice it are rebelling against God.
  • Homosexuality threatens the existence of the African family values.

All of the above is not true and has constantly been thrown around to cause panic and drum up homophobia.

5)  There are increased calls by extremist organizations to harm/kill LGBTI people in Uganda and it passes without strong government condemnation. It is appalling that the head of the Tabliq sect from the Muslim religion has announced and recently reaffirmed the formation of killing squad. This man is known as M. Bukenya Sheik. He is also outing with names and addresses LGBT people.

6)  The continued media outing of LGBTI people in Uganda is a matter that is intended to cause harm to individual activists and should be strongly condemned. Case in point is Red Pepper tabloid/publication has been outing and condemning and is of much concern to many human rights defenders. Individuals have gone through hardship each time they are portrayed negatively in that paper.

We call upon the international LGBT and diplomatic community to pressurize and go into dialogue with the Ugandan government through diplomacy to respect human rights and protect its LGBT citizens. We call for the complete withdrawal of the Anti-Homosexuality bill and decriminalization and protection of the LGBT community.

Signed,
Edoboozi Human Rights Defenders Network

Samuel Kizza Ganafa
Abdallah .J. Wambere
Moses Mulindwa
Stosh Jovan Mugisha
Thomas Mukasa

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