Well, I know there’s been a rush of protests of late, but allow me to advertise one more – tomorrow at 4pm in Trafalgar Square.
Uganda punishes male homosexuality with life imprisonment. Lesbians and gays are subjected to vigilante violence by homophobic mobs, especially in rural areas where most of the population live. The government has banned same-sex marriage and fined a radio station for airing a debate about gay issues. State-funded HIV campaigns refuse to promote safer sex and condoms to same-sex partners.
The latest outrage is an outing campaign by the Ugandan tabloid newspaper, Red Pepper. It has outed 58 alleged lesbian and gay people in the last two months; and has urged readers to send more names, so they too can be outed. The paper also published a list of underground gay venues, exposing them to the risk of homophobic attack.
Recently, Red Pepper carried an article with the headline ‘Jinja Cops Hunt For Gays, ‘ in which they reported a police manhunt to arrest homosexuals in the Kampala suburb of Jinga.
The NUS LGBT campaign, working with partnership organisations such as OutRage!, is organising an emergency demonstration outside the Ugandan Embassy, 58/59 Trafalgar Square, London at 4pm this Friday 22 September.
There is easy access from Charing Cross mainline and tube stations, as well as from Leicester Square, Picadilly Circus and Embankment tube stations. The Embassy is here.
Human RIghts Watch has more information in their report Uganda: Press Homophobia Raises Fears of Crackdown.