By Melanie Nathan, April 17, 2023.
The Ugandan Court in Jinja has denied bail to 6 young peer educators working for healthcare organizations, falsely accused, under made-up charges of “forming part of a criminal sexual network.”
The arrests came hours after President Museveni described gay people as "deviants" and called for an investigation into homosexuality, before Members of Parliament passed the new Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023, which includes life in prison and the death penalty for so called "aggravated homosexuality."
At writing, the legislation, otherwise known as THE KILL THE GAYS BILL is in the hands of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, awaiting his assent.
The men were arrested in n Kiira and Jinja City pursuant to what the Ugandan government publicly promised would be a crackdown on organizations providing services to LGBTI people. The orchestrated hunt to shut down all LGBTQI+ Healthcare, and Human Rights related organizations in Uganda, is part of an effort to rid Uganda and Africa “of all homosexuality” and LGBTQI+ people, as called for by President Museveni.
The call to target, attack, raid, shut down and arrest personnel is evidenced by an internal document which African Human Rights obtained, naming organizations under false accusations. The Ministry of Internal Affairs, National Bureau for NGOs set up a list to target these groups, based on this false persecutory report of the Ministry. HERE
The false language used to set up these young men appears directly from police website and Facebook posts. HERE
The Ugandan press has been mischaracterizing the peer educators and healthcare workers as "porn actors," evidencing the fact that Uganda's press is often complicit in the persecution of LGBTI Ugandans, adding to the danger the community faces in the country. This story has spread though many Ugandan publications to include false information, that serves to license the violence and mass panic we are seeing at African Human Rights Coalition.
The Ugandan police have used FACEBOOK as a persecutory tool to OUT the men, even revealing home addresses. This is dramatically impacting families and all their contacts who are now facing harassment, and many of whom have gone into hiding or left the country, forcibly displaced.
The six accused are presently being represented by lawyers from HRAPF, an Ugandan Human Rights NGO.
African Human Rights Coalition has provided food for the detainees and money to transport the food, which is necessary in the Ugandan setting. CAUSING A RISE IN FLIGHT from UGANDA: AFRICAN HUMAN RIGHTS COALITION is on the frontline of this Ugandan emergency. Many are reaching out seeking safe relocations, noting the resulting internal and external forced displacement.
AFRICAN HUMAN RIGHTS COALITION has mapped the migration movements and is maintaining a confidential dossier to try and track those who have reached out to us for emergency assistance. we believe that many more may be detained in the coming weeks, especially if Museveni signs the Bill, thereby licensing and empowering ongoing violence and persecution. PATHWAYS are needed - and the United States, for one, must do more to mend its broken system to accommodate such emergencies. The U.S. should also contemplate this emergency in similar fashion with similar exceptions as it did with Ukrainians fleeing war.
PIC: Twitter account of OBSERVER: Press often complicit in persecution of gays.
I have often asked this question: If Ann Frank applied for a visa to the United States today, while in hiding from Nazi hunters, death certain, would the U.S. deny that visa? However the only option for most is to cross borders to neighboring countries in the hope of receiving protection and possible resettlement through the UNHCR refugee system. Resettlement process is a long arduous process and not available for all. So what we see happening now is people forced to remain in hostile host countries, which also have laws criminalizing LGBTQI, with no available solutions. Conditions are subpar, resources are low. African Human Rights Coalition is the ONLY U.S. and African organization, immigrant and refugee led, providing emergency safe shelter, medical support, and food programs dedicated to Africa's LGBTQI+ community. We have also been providing guidance, mentoring, advocacy, humanitarian services and general resources in the current Ugandan emergency.
POLICE OFFICER IN CHARGE OF FORCED ANAL EXAMS IN UGANDA: MR. JAMES MUBI (Pic Monitor)
PIC: mischaracterization of health care peer educators in Ugandan Press THE OBSERVER