Uganda Tabloid Prints Dangerous List Of Nation's 'Top Homosexuals'
A Ugandan tabloid newspaper is endangering gays in the nation after publishing a list of Uganda's "200 Top homosexuals" on Tuesday. The list outs some individuals that have not previously identified as gay. This all follows Uganda President Yoweri Museveni's signing of an anti-gay law on Monday, which could see gays sentenced to life in prison.
The Red Pepper tabloid published the names — and some pictures — of alleged homosexuals in a front-page story under the headline: "EXPOSED!"
The list included prominent Ugandan gay activists such as Pepe Julian Onziema, who has repeatedly warned that Uganda's new anti-gay law could spark violence against homosexuals. A popular Ugandan hip-hop star and a Catholic priest are also on the list.
Few Ugandans identify themselves publicly as gay, and the tabloid's publication of alleged homosexuals recalled a similar list published in 2011 by a now-defunct tabloid that called for the execution of gays. A Ugandan judge later condemned the outing of homosexuals in a country where gays face severe discrimination, saying it amounted to an invasion of privacy. A prominent Ugandan gay activist, David Kato, was killed after that list came out, and activists said at the time that they believed he was targeted because of his work promoting gay rights in Uganda.
"The media witch hunt is back," tweeted Jacqueline Kasha, a well-known Ugandan lesbian activist who is among those listed in the Red Pepper story.
We continue to wish for the safety of gays and lesbians in Uganda. Hopefully international pressure will encourage repeal of the dangerous anti-gay legislation.