America's Ambassador to the UN gets it wrong on Rachel Maddow Show
By Melanie Nathan, September 14, 2023
In May 2023, President Museveni of Uganda signed the Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2023, other wise known as The Kill the Gays Bill, into law. Since that time a human rights legal defense organization, HRAPF, in Uganda, has been reporting monthly on cases of violations of LGBTI people's rights, as well as arrests, since enactment of the new law. The law carries the death penalty for so called "aggravating homosexuality".
Violations for the period 1st to 31st August 2023. These cases have been handled and verified by the HRAPF legal aid clinic. After reading the report it is note worthy that some cases received at AHRC have not been reported to HRAPF. It is worth mentioning that Ugandans reporting to AHRC have mentioned that they are too fearful to report incidents even to human rights groups such as HRAPF i. the country. This is an indictment on the extent of the terror currently being experienced in Uganda by LGBTI+ people and not a reflection on HRAPF.
In contradiction to a recent statement by the American ambassador to the UN, Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield on the Rachel Maddow show, the HRAPF report indicates that there is active and continuing enforcement of the AHA 2023, and that in the month of August 2023, both the state and private citizens continued to enforce the law as they interpret its strictures. This has been the case since 31st May 2023, when the law first came into force and is unlikely to stop as long as the law continues in force. The Ambassador noted on the show that there had been no implementation of the law. what she also failed to realize is that implementation of the law is only a small factor in the related persecution and violence perpetrated against Uganda's LGBTI community.
From the report: Comparison with July 2023: The data indicates that there is active and continuing enforcement of the AHA 2023, and that in the month of August 2023, both the state and private citizens continued to enforce the law as they interpret its strictures. This holds steady since 31st May 2023, when the law first came into force, and is unlikely to stop as long as the law continues in force.
However, there has been a reduction in the number of cases reported overall as well as the number of cases involving actions that deliberately targeted persons for negative treatment on the basis of their real or presumed SOGIE. In July 2023, a total of 84 cases involving LGBTQ persons were reported across the network as compared to 71 in August, a reduction of 15.5%. In terms of the cases that specifically targeted individuals on the basis of their SOGIE, there was also a reduction from 53 cases affecting 67 people in July 2023 to 47 cases affecting 59 people in August 2023. However, the percentage of the total number of cases per month in which people were deliberately targeted because of their real or presumed SOGIE increased from 63.1% in July to 66.2% in August 2023.
In both months, the biggest number of cases were evictions, with 26 cases of evictions affecting 33 people reported in July 2023, although this number went down to 22 cases affecting 26 people in August 2023. This was followed by cases of violence against persons in both months, with 21 cases reported in July, affecting 24 persons, compared to 19 cases reported in August, affecting 22 persons.
Cases of arrests on sexuality related charges held steady at 6 in July and 6 in August, although the arrests in August affected a slightly higher number of persons, that is, 11 people a compared to 10 in July.
In all the cases involving real or threatened violence, there has remained a continuing reluctance by the affected people to report the matters to the authorities out of fear of further victimization, which has in fact happened in at least one case (where 5 people were arrested by the police and charged with homosexuality after they complained about some individuals brutally assaulting one of their colleagues for allegedly hitting on them). While the majority of the violence and violations are being perpetrated by non-state actors therefore, there is still very little effort by the state in the way of redressing these violations and violence.
The Report concludes: Conclusion: The trends as discussed above indicate a clear connection between the enforcement of the AHA 2023 and the incidence of violence and violations against KGBTQ people. It is worth noting that, while cases of violence against persons on the basis of their real or presumed SOGIE have been steadily decreasing over the past three months (albeit with only minor variations), and cases of evictions appear to also be reducing from July to August, cases of arrest, which is the real enforcement by the state, have continued to increase steadily from 4 in June to 6 in July and August, indicating quite clearly that the AHA’s enforcement is going strong, as is its impact on the lives of LGBTQ persons in Uganda. Anal examinations on arrested persons are the latest worrying development that was not there before.
What this report does not address is that not all cases are reported to HRAPF out of fear of all local reporting and an assumptions that snitches are trading information for money to the Ugandan givernment. What is also not factored in is the fact that many of Uganda's LGBTQI community have already fled the country when the Bill was enacted.
VIEW THE FULL REPORT HERE:
Nathan is a country conditions expert witness in the US Immigration courts for LGBTQI+ people from African countries seeking asylum, to include Uganda. Commissionermnathan@gmail.com
UGANDA'S DEATH SENTENCE IS CARRIED OUT BY HANGING