Uganda's ‘200 top homos named’

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IOL pic feb25 uganda anti-gay law

Reuters

Ugandan anti-gay activist Pastor Martin Ssempa (centre) and his supporters celebrate after President Yoweri Museveni's signing of a law imposing harsh penalties for homosexuality in Kampala. Picture: Edward Echwalu

Kampala - A Ugandan newspaper listed on Tuesday 200 people it accused of being gay, a day after the president called homosexuals 'mercenaries' and signing one of the world's toughest anti-gay laws.

“Exposed!” the headline of the Red Pepper tabloid read, beneath photographs of Ugandans it said were gay, as well as reporting on lurid stories of alleged homosexual actions.

“Uganda's 200 top homos named,” the daily newspaper added.

In 2011, prominent Ugandan gay rights campaigner David Kato was bludgeoned to death at his home after a different newspaper splashed photos, names and addresses of gays in Uganda on its front page along with a yellow banner reading “Hang Them”.

On Monday, President Yoweri Museveni signed a bill into law which holds that repeat homosexuals should be jailed for life, outlaws the promotion of homosexuality and requires people to denounce gays.

Museveni said he could not understand how one could “fail to be attracted to all these beautiful women and be attracted to a man” instead and described in graphic details his particular revulsion to oral sex.

The signing of the law came despite fierce criticism from Western nations and key donors, including US President Barack Obama, who has warned that ties between Kampala and Washington would be damaged.

The bill will provide a stiff test for foreign donors, with Museveni warning Western nations not to meddle in the central African nation's affairs, and that he was not afraid of aid being cut.

Last year the Red Pepper published photographs of retired gay British man Bernard Randall, taken from his stolen laptop.

Randall, who was then arrested on charges “trafficking obscene publications”, was deported last month.

Prominent Ugandan gay activist Jacqueline Kasha posted photographs of the newspaper's front page on Twitter, warning that the “media witch hunt is back”.

Homophobia is widespread in Uganda, where American-style evangelical Christianity is on the rise.

Gay men and women in the country face frequent harassment and threats of violence, and rights activists have reported cases of lesbians being subjected to “corrective” rapes. - AFP


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