Gay Uganda talks to CNN. Roll the tape:
It was an eventful day in Uganda. The Rolling Stone distributed part 2 of their “hang the gays” tabloid, and a Ugandan judge ordered the tabloid to cease outing gays. Just a bit ago, Sexual Minorities Uganda made the following comments and press release.
Uganda: Court issues an interim order restraining the “ROLLING STONE”
In two of its publication issue No 5 and Issue no 6. The Rolling Stone a Ugandan weekly Tabloid., “outed” Uganda LGBTI People. These outings increased hostility and harassment for LGBTI Ugandans.
In response Sexual Minorities Uganda – SMUG, the Ugandan LGBTI community and the civil society coalition on human rights and constitutional law sued the Rolling Stone.
Before His Lordship Justice V.F Musoke Kibuka in the presence of Ms. Sengendo Rose Counsel for the applicant at the high court of Uganda.
The Court issued an interim order restraining the respondents, their servants and agents, from any further publication in the publication called ROLLING STONE or any other publications by the respondents , their agents or servants, the identities by name or pictures or any relevant implication of the person or person perceived by the respondents to be gay, lesbian or homosexual in general.
The Interim Order is to remain in place till the hearing and disposal of Misc Cause No. 163 of 2010
Costs on the cause.
The Rolling Stone editorial team was not in court; hearing for the case has been scheduled for 23rd .11 . 2010.
And then the press release…
KAMPALA – November 01, 2010
GAY ACTIVISTS SUE THE ROLLONG STONE TABLOID
The Ugandan Rolling Stone tabloid published an article entitled “100 Pictures of Uganda’s Top Homos Leak” calling for “the hanging of homos” in Uganda in its issue of Vol.1, No. 5, 2 – 9 October, 2010. This article shows pictures of some of the 100 alleged homosexuals and other Human Rights Activists, alongside their names and a description of their professional jobs and private life, including where they live or work.
The publication has affected the day to day lives of the individuals mentioned and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender [LGBTI] community as a whole. Therefore Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender human rights activists have taken the tabloid to the High court.
Through this litigation the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community is seeking to bring to an end the violations. They will also educate and raise awareness that everyone in this society deserves and should be protected by the government and the law irrespective of race, age, color, tribe, creed, sexual orientation and gender identity.
We call on;
1. The MEDIA to immediately desist from using press freedom to incite violence against any person.
2. The Government of Uganda to intervene immediately and take all appropriate measures to put an end to this blatant incitement to public violence against a particular group of citizens.
3. The Government of Uganda should recognize and seize the opportunity to ensure the protection of human rights, which is entrusted to its authority, and uphold the Ugandan Constitution as well as the international and regional Human Rights Instruments to which Uganda is a signatory.
For further information please contact:
Frank Mugisha –
Update: According to the BBC, a Ugandan judge has ordered the Rolling Stone to stop outing gays.
Giles Muhame, editor of the two-month-old Rolling Stone paper, told the AFP news agency that he would defy the ban.
“We will publish more pictures but in a diplomatic way, so that we can dodge the law,” he said.
On his Facebook page, editor Giles Muhame said this about the court ruling:
I have heard on grapevine that Kampala high court today afternoon issued an injunction barring the mighty Rolling Stone from publishing information that could lead to the identification of homosexuals…..the newspaper has already achieved its objective….By the way this means we can write about homosexuality but not …identify them….ok, understood…we are law abiding citizens….
I have obtained some screen shots of the Rolling Stone which continues the “hang the gays” campaign in Uganda. I am going to publish them first and then add commentary through the morning. Some cannot be published without heavy editing since they include pictures and names.
Click the next image to read an interview done by Oral Roberts University Board of Reference member, Martin Ssempa, with a young girl he continues to promote as an ex-lesbian. Ssempa told his former benefactor Canyon Ridge Christian Church that he disapproved of the “hang the gays” campaign but now he appears in the Rolling Stone again. I asked Rolling Stone editor Giles Muhame about his pastor’s (Ssempa) stated diapproval of the first “hang the gays” issue, and he did declined to answer. He did however, say that Ssempa had given them an interview. Two credible sources in Uganda have told me that both Giles Muhame and Cliff Abenaitwe attend Ssempa’s Makerere Community Church.
The next image is a lead article which looks like it could come from the Family Research Institute. In fact, the article titled, “More Homos Faces Exposed” quotes Paul Cameron’s lifespan articles. It also cites a “reliable source” saying that the stalled Anti-Homosexuality Bill will be passed when Uganda becomes an oil producer.
Human rights groups in Uganda are trying to limit or halt the paper’s activities. Today or tomorrow a Uganda court is expected to hear an application for the paper to cease publishing. Managing editor Cliff Abenaitwe told me in an email that he expects to prevail, saying
As regards the pending court case, its an application by a human rights group requesting court to order this People’s favourite political news paper from publishing more pictures of homosexuals in Uganda but as i stated above it is an application but court is yet to decide. nevertheless, its a matter of time till court decides in our favour because there is nothing wrong with what we are writing.
Click the image above to read Managing Editor Giles Muhame’s defense for this outing campaign. I have blocked out most of the pictures and descriptions of the men outed here. The remainder of the images I have are similar to these.
While I haven’t seen it, I have independent verification that the Rolling Stone has hit the street in Uganda. According to Giles Muhame (seen in this CNN interview), and the Rolling Stone Facebook page, the paper became available today. According to Muhame:
The Rolling Stone has again published 20 more pictures of homosexuals in Uganda. The early edition for monday is already on the street. Our kampala readers can pick copies from Petro (jinja road) and “sell-out” point -Bugolobi stage,” said Circulation chief Nicholas. There we roll….
Also, according to Muhame and other sources in Uganda, a complaint has been filed against the editors and will be heard early this week. I hope to have screen captures of the paper soon. Watch for updates…
Giles Muhame, the managing editor of the Uganda tabloid, Rolling Stone, announced on his Facebook page that the paper would resume publication on Friday. Sounding defiant, Muhame said
An extraordinary meeting of The Rolling Stone management last nyt resolved we hit the streets this Friday irrespective of media council’s refusal to reconsider it’s decision of blocking our publication. We registered editor’s particulars on October15 but up to now they are “still consulting!!!” Our lawyers have given us a green light. Any attempts of confiscating the Stone will land someone in jail…YOU HAVE MY WORD..
Elsewhere, Muhame has promised that this issue will have more revelations. For instance, here in an exchange with Red Pepper publisher, Arinaitwe Rugyendo, Muhame promises that the outing campaign will continue:
Arinaitwe Rugyendo Eee Giles, the homos will shaft you one of these days…i saw Rolling stone rolling all over the world Sunday at 8:26amMuhame Giles General…they are panicking…we have shaken their dark world…wait for this week’s issue…unveiling all the dirty secrets and faces behind a new wave of homosexuality that is spreading like wild fire….Sunday at 8:29am
For Uganda’s LGBT community, this is an ominous development. According to Frank Mugisha, people suspected of being gay were attacked after the first issue in the Hang Them campaign hit the street.
This Friday, uganda’s leading investigative news paper Rolling stone will hit the streets. look out for HOMOZ part 2, latest in politics, sports, investigations,entertainment, business and much more, only in the rolling stone- LEAVING NO STONE UNTURNED.
The world is noticing Uganda again, this time due to the outing campaign conducted with deadly intent by the tabloid, Rolling Stone. This CNN report quotes Ethics and Integrity Minister Nsaba Buturo on the subject:
Uganda’s ethics and integrity minister Nsaba Buturo dismissed the activists’ accusations.
“They [the activists] are always lying,” Buturo said. “It’s their way of mobilizing support from outside, they are trying to get sympathy from outside. It’s part of the campaign.”
Buturo said the anti-gay measure will be addressed and passed “in due course.”
“Of course I hope it passes,” he said.
Buturo is referring to the Anti-Homosexuality Bill and provides another evidence that the bill has not been withdrawn and at least in the minds of the supporters is very much alive.
According to a comment on editor Giles Muhame’s Facebook page, he believes the standoff between the government and the paper is soon to end:
The deliberations between Rolling Stone, Uganda’s leading investigative newspaper and the Media council are now ‘apetising’. The standoff is soon coming to an end.
According to the CNN piece, the government is not pursuing the paper due to the outing campaign, but because all of the necessary paperwork needed to operate a paper has not been completed.
After the list was published, the federal Media Council sent a warning to Muhame and ordered the newspaper to cease operating.
But the warning was “not related to the list at all,” said Paul Mukasa, secretary of the Media Council. Rather, he said, the letter warned the paper that it was publishing without required permits.
“Until they fill in the required paperwork, they are breaking the law,” Mukasa said.
The secretary said the newspaper has initiated the process “to put their house in order.”
On October 4, BoxTurtleBulletin and I reported (with more here) that a Ugandan tabloid – Rolling Stone – started a campaign of outing gay people with the caption “Hang Them” on the front cover of the rag.
Today, the Associated Press published a story covering the same issue with some new details of the worsening conditions for gays in Uganda. Check this out and compare it to Martin Ssempa’s contention that gays are not in danger in his country.
The AP story did obscure one important point:
KAMPALA, Uganda — The front-page newspaper story featured a list of Uganda’s 100 “top” homosexuals, with a bright yellow banner across it that read: “Hang Them.” Alongside their photos were the men’s names and addresses.
In the days since it was published, at least four gay Ugandans on the list have been attacked and many others are in hiding, according to rights activist Julian Onziema. One person named in the story had stones thrown at his house by neighbors.
A lawmaker in this conservative African country introduced a bill a year ago that would have imposed the death penalty for some homosexual acts and life in prison for others. An international uproar ensued, and the bill was quietly shelved.
As I noted on the 14th, the anniversary of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill’s introduction, the bill remains in committee. If by shelved, these reporters mean the bill has been withdrawn, they provide no direct confirmation of this. To my knowledge, the only source close to the bill who has provided a comment is Charles Tuhaise who told me recently that the bill remains in committee and awaits hearings and a second reading.
On September 13, Peter Boyer of The New Yorker reported without source that the Fellowship was involved in the withdrawal of the bill, writing:
Hunter brought Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the former African rebel who became Uganda’s President, and other key Ugandan leaders into prayer groups. When Uganda’s Parliament took up a bill last year that would have punished some homosexual acts with death, Hunter and his friends in the Fellowship felt they had the standing to urge the proposed measure’s defeat. Museveni appointed a commission that studied the matter and then recommended that the bill be withdrawn.
Since this is the extent of Boyer’s reporting on the bill, it misleads the reader into thinking that the bill was, in fact, withdrawn. Not so, according to the Parliamentary Research Services’ Charles Tuhaise.
The AP article does not source their contention about the bill. Instead, the writers reveal that they were not able to get anyone in Parliament to talk about the bill:
Four members of parliament contacted by The Associated Press for this article declined to comment, and instead referred queries to David Bahati, the parliamentarian who introduced the bill. Bahati did not answer repeated calls Tuesday.
While I do not know what the future holds for the AHB, I am aware that, as recently as the beginning of this month, supporters were still calling for the passage of the measure. As reported here on October 11, Martin Ssempa was still promoting the bill’s passage in a private talk given several days before. If anyone would know about the bill’s status, it would be Ssempa who emerged as the bill’s chief pastoral supporter in Uganda.