Thursday, September 21, 2006

Uganda and the persecution of LGBT people - demo this friday .

E-mail re demo :

Uganda! Stop persecuting gays! Protest: 4pm on Friday 22 September 2006Ugandan High Commission, 58-59 Trafalgar Square, London WC2Organised by the NUS LGBT campaign, supported by OutRage! London – 21 September 2006Uganda 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 forairing 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 asOutRage!, is organising an emergency demonstration outside the Ugandan Embassy, 58/59 Trafalgar Square, London at 4pm this Friday 22 September.“We call on individuals and groups, LGBT or otherwise, to protest against the intimidation, arrest and torture of LGBT people in Uganda.We will be handing a letter of protest to the Ugandan Ambassador calling on his Government to respect the provisions enshrined in theUgandan Constitution giving citizens rights to equality and freedom and the clauses of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) monitored by the UN, which allows the right to privacy, free from discrimination,” said Claire Anderson of the NUS LGBTcampaign.OutRage! congratulates the NUS LGBT campaign for organising Friday’sprotest, and urges its friends and supporters to attend.“Uganda's anti-gay laws were imposed by the British colonialists whooccupied the country, stole its wealth and abused its people,” said Peter Tatchell of OutRage!“The time has come to ditch this oppressive, divisive, imperialist legislation.“The Ugandan government should 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 urge the people of Uganda to show understanding and acceptance of their fellow citizens who love people of the same sex.“Ugandans should be judged by the quality of their character, not by their sexual orientation,” said Mr Tatchell.