had this from Peter....he works very very hard on these campaigns.
anti-asylum sentiment kills....anti-LGBT kills...please take action.
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
Uganda: Action Alert-Demand An End To Official Harassment of LGBT Activists
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
around 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
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
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.
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 International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) is
a leading human rights organization solely devoted to improving the
rights of people around the world who are targeted for imprisonment,
abuse or death because of their sexuality, gender identity or HIV/AIDS
status. IGLHRC addresses human rights violations by partnering with
and supporting activists in countries around the world, monitoring and
documenting human rights abuses, engaging offending governments, and
educating international human rights officials. A non-profit,
non-governmental organization, IGLHRC is based in New York, with
offices in Cape Town and Buenos Aires. Visit http://www.iglhrc.org for
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
PETER TATCHELL HUMAN RIGHTS FUND
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