Ugandan Situation Worsens

Fresh info from Uganda this morning highlights a desperate situation. Scroll to the end for contact details to pressure Australian MPs and Ministers to speak out.

As I reported yesterday, the Ugandan government has launched a major drive to arrest and jail all LGBTI activists in the country. Police sources say the crackdown will target LGBTI nationwide and run until the New Year.

This may be related to yet another attempt to pass the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which mandates the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality”. Supporters are once again trying to pass the Bill as a “Christmas present” to the Ugandan people. A rash of ‘show trials’ of prominent gay advocates could create a climate in which pressure to pass the measure would become overwhelming.

A chilling message this morning from Andrew Waiswa of GEHO in Jinja highlights the desperate situation there. He writes:

The brutality of last night with a clear intentions of hate and homophobia….leaves us with very limited options. As a frontliner human rights defender, am between a rock and a hard place! Whatever happens to me…I wish the world to know that I died for a cause, I may not see equality in my life time, its so sad the state sponsored homophobia may not allow…but I wanted to be remembered as a person who never gave up against all odds! Winning this will be a miracle, why so much hate! Why are we treated like rats, why do we suffer so much! All we are asking for is basic, just to be allowed to be human! Why us always, why are we judged, denied to justice, judged in the public court as criminals,…goosh…no where to hide or run, why do people have double standards, …am lost, hated, denied, unwanted, un respected! Lovely friends…my fate is in balance but am not running away let me be killed for what I believe in!!!!!!!

Scroll down for contact details of Ministers and MPs to contact. To keep abreast of the situation, like the FB pages for GEHO Uganda,  Spectrum Uganda, and Sexual Minorities Uganda.

The atmosphere in the country is already toxic. A prominent local recording artist recently went out of his way to condemn homosexuality during a fundraising concert.

Bobi Wine also advocated keeping the Ugandan culture and encouraged all the ghetto youth to preserve culture. “Recently it was reported wrongly in the newspapers that I am violent. When I stand tall against all odds to support my culture, does not mean I am violent. I am Ugandan and my culture doesn’t support homosexuality, period! If they want us to respect homosexuals, let them also respect our culture, it all comes back to respect for one another’s culture,” he said prompting an applause from the crowd.

There is also a Facebook hate page Kick Sodomy Out Of Uganda, although this seems to have been dormant most of this year, with the last post made in January. It will be instructive to see if it is revived.

We can pressure the Australian government to act, though under the present administration, action seems unlikely. Links below:-

Foreign Minister Julie BishopEmail, twitter <@JulieBishopMP> , Facebook 

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison: Email, Contact form,  twitter <@ScottMorrisonMP>, Facebook

Prime Minister Tony Abbott: Email, twitter <@TonyAbbottMHR>  Facebook

Click on the following links for contact lists of MPs and Senators on the parliament website.

This is only the beginning. If you can spare some dollars to help during this crisis, please, click here to donate.

About the author

Veteran gay writer and speaker, Doug was one of the founders of the UKs pioneering GLBTI newspaper Gay News (1972) , and of the second, Gay Week, and is a former Features Editor of Him International. He presented news and current affairs on JOY 94.9 FM Melbourne for more than ten years. "Doug is revered, feared and reviled in equal quantities, at times dividing people with his journalistic wrath. Yet there is no doubt this grandpa-esque bear keeps everyone abreast of anything and everything LGBT across the globe." (Daniel Witthaus, "Beyond Priscilla", Clouds of Magellan, Melbourne, 2014)