Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Uganda LGBT emergency demonstration

In recent weeks, the Ugandan Government has once again launched a campaign to arrest those who 'Recruit Homosexuals'. The Ugandan police autorities currently hold lists of those it suspects of the 'crime' of homosexuality, and just two days ago, Pastor Isaac Kyoobe Kiweweesi has been investigated for alleged homosexuality.

In the UK, those who flee such persecution and seek asylum are subject to further discrimination by the home office. Kizza Musinguzi and Prossy Kakooza are just two of those seeking asylum in UK.

NUS LGBT, in conjunction with Gay Rights Uganda, will be holding a demonstration on Ugandan Independance Day outside the Ugandan Embassy in London, to protest against the persecution of LGBT people in Uganda, and the treatment of those who are lucky enough to escape to the UK.

Thursday, October 9, 2008
12:00pm - 1:00pm
Trafalgar Square
London, United Kingdom

For more information, please email Lucy Brooks

NUS Press release

Students demonstrate against persecution in Uganda

Today, the National Union of Students’ LGBT campaign will be holding a demonstration outside the Ugandan Embassy in protest against a recent campaign of intimidation directed at LGBT people in Uganda.

Over recent weeks the ‘Red Pepper’ magazine (based in Uganda) has reportedly been running a campaign to “out” LGBT people, publishing articles claiming that a number of students as well as several prominent public figures are gay or lesbian. Amnesty International has received reports that a number of those named have since suffered harassment, and have been ostracized by their colleagues and family.

The organisation has also raised concerns that by naming these individuals, the magazine has put them at high risk of violence in a country where homosexuality is currently a criminal offence. This new development adds to an ongoing spate of abuse against the rights of LGBT people who have repeatedly been targeted by the Ugandan authorities.

NUS LGBT Officer, Scott Cuthbertson said:

“Sexuality is not a crime. People around the world should be free to express who they are without fear of intimidation, arrest, or even torture. I call on the Ugandan government to stop persecuting its LGBT citizens and repeal laws criminalising what should be a human right. I stand in solidarity with the LGBT community in Uganda - their struggle is our struggle, and that is why we are demonstrating today.”

NUS LGBT Officer (women’s place) Claire Anderson added:

“Today we are doing something which would be difficult if not impossible in Uganda. We are fortunate to live in a country where we are not classed as criminals because of our sexuality. LGBT people in Uganda are not so lucky, and are forced to hide their true identities for fear of recriminations. I call on the International LGBT community to stand shoulder to shoulder with the LGBT community of Uganda in the face of this cruel intolerance.”

Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen said:

“Discrimination against and persecution of people on the grounds of their sexuality is clearly forbidden in international human rights law. The campaign of intimidation of LGBT people in Uganda must stop. And the criminalization of homosexuality in Uganda’s penal code should be immediately repealed.”

Peter Tatchell, gay and human rights campaigner for OutRage! will also be joining the demonstration on Friday.

He added: “I urge the Ugandan government to accept the diversity of humanity, including the existence of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. One of the hallmarks of an enlightened, democratic society is live-and-let-live. Majorities should respect minorities, even if they don't always agree with them. I call upon the people of Uganda to show understanding and acceptance of their fellow citizens who love people of the same sex.”



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