Tag Archives: Uganda

Barclays, Citibank Invest Hundreds of Millions in Country that Wants to “Kill the Gays”

English: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (...

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Citibank and Barclays could save the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Uganda.

The Ugandan legislature could vote any day on its “Kill the Gays” bill that would legalize the death penalty for LGBT persons. Citibank and Barclays have hundreds of millions of dollars invested in Uganda and wield significant influence in the country. If Citibank and Barclays speak out against the “Kill the Gays” bill, Ugandan legislators will take notice in a hurry.

Collin Burton, a Citibank customer, started a petition asking Citibank and Barclays to speak out against the “Kill the Gays” bill.

Citibank and Barclays are supporters of LGBT rights for their employees, yet they invest with a government threatening to execute LGBT people. “I expect Citibank and Barclays to live up to the values of equality and fairness, not just list them on their websites,” Mr. Burton says.

If Citibank and Barclays speak out against the “Kill the Gays” bill, Ugandan legislators will see that they are risking business relationships that keep their government afloat.

Click here to sign Collin’s petition asking Citibank and Barclays to condemn Uganda’s “Kill the Gays” bill. The bill could come up for a vote any day, so swift action is essential.


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“Kill the Gays” Bill Reintroduced in Uganda

English: Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.

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A bill mandating the death sentence for gays who are “repeat offenders” has been reintroduced in Uganda’s parliament.

A small but vocal anti-gay movement, led by several MPs and a group of bishops, was determined to reintroduce the proposed legislation.

The bill was proposed in 2009 by David Bahati, a legislator with the ruling National Resistance Movement party, provoking an international outcry.

It brings in the death penalty for anyone caught engaging in homosexual acts for the second time and for gay sex where one partner is a minor or has HIV. It also criminalizes public discussion of homosexuality and penalizes a person who knowingly rents property to a homosexual.

Barack Obama denounced the bill. Hillary Clinton called on Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni to reject it. Some international donors threatened to cut aid if it became law.

The bill was shelved last May. The cabinet said in August it had decided to drop the bill because existing laws were enough to deal with homosexual crimes.

Via Al Jazeera.

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Bill Gates Speaks with South London School about Philanthropy

Image representing Bill Gates as depicted in C...

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When a south London secondary school asked for an inspiring guest speaker to talk to their pupils, they didn’t expect Bill Gates to turn up.

He did.

Mr. Gates received a rapturous welcome from a hall full of south London teenagers.

His break in computing, he said, was when he was asked to fix the school timetable that baffled the teachers. “I was known as a computer nut. I’d stay on it night and day,” he said.

He told pupils how he’d dropped out of Harvard “still dreaming of a personal computer” and had begun on the road to become the Microsoft mogul.

“If I hadn’t given my money away, I would now have more money than anyone else on the planet,” he said casually. No big deal.

His philanthropy is on an epic scale. He is planning to eradicate diseases in his lifetime that have plagued humanity for thousands of years.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has already given $26 billion to fund health, development and education projects. Mr. Gates is working full-time on donating the income from an endowment worth $33.5 billion.

He told the schoolchildren how his foundation was working to get rid of every case of polio, a scourge which paralyses hundreds and thousands of people each year.

There’s a list of twelve diseases he wants to target, and he said that what had surprised him was that these illnesses had not been stopped already. “I was stunned how little resources had gone into this,” he said.

His foundation’s work is carried out with a “hard-nosed mathematical” approach, he says, calculating the impact in terms of “dollars per year of life saved”.

He is applying the same attention to detail that made him such a business success into the business of saving lives.

Mr. Gates took questions from the students and children who joined via video-link from Libya, Russia, Uganda and Kenya as part of the BBC program World Have Your Say. They asked about discrimination against homosexuals, disability, and, in the case of Uganda, the difficulty of living in a community with HIV/Aids.

“When I was your age, I didn’t know much about poverty,” he told them, describing his school as “super nice” and a place where he was the kid who was good at math.

Now he is immersed in tackling the worst diseases in the poorest communities in the world. “The goal is equity. If we don’t have these diseases, why should people in Africa or Asia?”

One of the girls in the audience, speaking afterwards, was particularly impressed that he had worked hard to earn the money that he had now decided to give.

Unprompted, another pupil described his decision to give his fortune away as “really inspiring”.

Via the BBC.

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Can There Be Justice for Gays in Uganda?

WSF 2007 - Sexual Minorities UgandaIn January, a Ugandan tabloid called The Rolling Stone (not connected to the American magazine) published a list of names, photos, and addresses of Ugandans it claimed were gay. The words “Hang Them” was on the tabloid’s front page, and the paper stated that the accused were infected with a fatal disease and were preying on children.

Soon after the list’s publication, prominent gay rights activist David Kato (who was included on the list) was found dead in his home in a pool of blood. Sidney Nsubuga Enoch, who had cooked Mr. Kato’s last meal, was arrested. Ugandan courts sentenced Enoch to thirty years in prison, but the case still doesn’t seem solved.

The killing represents the apex of a gay-rights struggle in the country. After collaboration between American evangelicals and Ugandan pastors and politicians, the country’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill was born; if enacted, all health programs geared towards gays would end; the government could punish activists “promoting” homosexuality; and homosexuals could be imprisoned for life. After international pressure, the legislation was shelved, but President Yoweri Museveni and the parliament vowed to keep it alive.

Mr. Kato, who was forty-six and described by friends as confidently out, was a co-founder of Uganda’s first gay-rights group, Sexual Minorities Uganda.

The Ugandan prosecutor drew a story of what police say took place that afternoon: Mr. Kato made advances to Mr. Enoch; Mr. Enoch agreed, then rejected Kato; Mr. Enoch returned to kill him. When the murder occurred, police refused to acknowledge the possibility that it was a hate crime. Officers blamed it on a supposed robbery, though no valuables were missing from his home. After an outcry over the killing, police apprehended Mr. Enoch, who pleaded guilty to beating Mr. Kato to death.

Last month, the country’s first gay bar was suddenly shut. Sappho Islands had been a haven for gay Ugandans; its owner arrived to the bar on a weekend to find a padlock on the door. Her landlord told her the bar was too noisy and attracted “strange” people. Weeks later, Ugandan parliamentarians voted to reopen debate on the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, including the provision that would sentence gays to the death penalty.

Read more http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2011/11/justice-for-gay-ugandans.html#ixzz1ddS12EgM

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“Kill the Gays” Bill Back in the Face of Woman Winning Human Rights Award for LGBT Activism

Earlier this month, Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera, a Ugandan woman, won the 2011 Martin Ennas Award for Human Rights Defenders.  The award is given annually by ten of the world’s leading human rights non-governmental organizations and has been referred to as the Nobel prize for human rights.  Nabagesera is the founder and executive director of the LGBT rights organization Freedom and Roam Uganda.

The situation for Uganda’s LGBT community is difficult, with documented cases of discrimination, arbitrary arrests, unlawful detention, torture and other ill-treatment based on sexual orientation and gender identity.  Activists who work to expose such abuses are often targeted.

Ugandan tabloid Rolling Stone publishes a list of the 100 “Top Homos” calling for the people to be hanged. (Photo Courtesy of San Diego Gay and Lesbian News.)

In January, Ugandan gay rights activist David Kato was murdered after the Ugandan tabloid Rolling Stone published a list of Uganda’s 100 “Top Homos” and called for the people in the list to be hanged.  Nabagesera’s name also appeared on the list.

Homosexuality is a criminal offense that carries a life sentence.  On Tuesday, Parliament voted to reopen a debate over a bill that seeks to expand on the criminalization of homosexuality and make it punishable by the death penalty.

The legislation was proposed in October 2009 by Ugandan lawmaker David Bahati.  The Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee suggested that the penalty for “aggravated homosexuality” should be the same as for “defilement,” a crime punishable by death.  The bill could mandate the death penalty or life in prison for people who identify as gay or are caught engaging in homosexual acts.

The bill failed at the end of the legislative session after an international outcry directed at the nation.  U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.K. Foreign Secretary William Hague condemned the bill. More than 1.6 million people around the world signed a petition urging the Parliament to let the bill die.

Bahati said that the bill is aimed at stamping out western-imported immoral behaviors from society, protecting the moral fabric of the nation, saving the traditional family, and buttressing legislation against ‘gayism.’

Uganda is not the only African nation dealing with gay rights.  Ghana and Malawi have passed laws making homosexuality illegal, while some in Zimbabwe are seeking to have gay rights included in the constitution.

Via Impunity Watch.

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Lord’s Resistance Army Commander Granted Amnesty

On Thursday, Uganda‘s highest court ordered amnesty and release for a rebel commander from the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) who was charged with 53 counts of willful murder.

Lord’s Resistance Army Commander Thomas Kwoyelo (Photo Courtesy of usaforicc.org)

Lord’s Resistance Army Commander Thomas Kwoyelo (Photo Courtesy of usaforicc.org)

Uganda’s Constitutional Court ruled that Thomas Kwoyelo, a former colonel in the LRA, is eligible for immunity even though he is charged with 53 counts of murder against civilians, destruction of personal property, hostage taking, kidnapping, and robbery.

Kwoyelo denied all the charges and petitioned the Constitutional Court for amnesty. The decision to grant amnesty was based on a 2000 amnesty law that has been used to pardon more than 10,000 LRA fighters.

Kwoyelo was taken into custody in March 2009 in Garamba forest in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Some of the LRA’s commanders, including Joseph Kony, have eluded capture and continue to commit atrocities in neighboring countries.


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Prominent Ugandan Gay Rights Activist Killed

Kampala Road looking towards the station in ea...

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On Wednesday, David Kato, a prominent Ugandan gay rights activist, was found murdered in his home outside Kampala.

Kato became internationally famous after a Ugandan newspaper published his name and photo and announced his homosexuality. Above the picture was the caption “Hang Them.” After the article was published, Kato received death threats. Kato sued the newspaper and won a victory in court exactly three weeks before his murder. The newspaper was enjoined against publishing any more pictures of homosexuals in Uganda.

It is believed that an intruder entered Kato’s home around noon on January 26 and struck him in the head with a hammer. In Uganda, being killed by an iron instrument is called an “iron-bar killings.”

Ugandan security forces have arrested one suspect and continue to look for others. The police have noted that this crime could be linked to a series of other murders that have taken place in the neighborhood. They also speculate that the murder could have been part of a burglary and not related to his homosexuality.

Homosexuality, however, is illegal in Uganda. The punishment is a term up to 14 years.

Via Impunity Watch.

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