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Ugandan LGBT activist wins top human rights award

By |2018-01-16T02:19:07-05:00May 12th, 2011|News|

Ugandan LGBT activist Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera was selected May 3 as the recipient of this year’s Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders.
The major award is a joint project of 10 human-rights organizations, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the International Commission of Jurists.
Nabagesera is the founder and executive director of Freedom and Roam Uganda, one of the nation’s leading LGBT organizations.
In announcing the award, the Martin Ennals Foundation said: “Kasha has had the courage to appear on national television in Uganda, she has issued press statements on behalf of the gay community, and spoke on several radio stations. Already in 2007 she was harassed at the World Social Forum in Nairobi, and on many occasions afterwards she was heckled, threatened and even attacked by people for appearing in the media. Since then she has been shifting from house to house, afraid to stay long in the same place.”
Nabagesera’s name appeared on the infamous list of alleged Ugandan homosexuals published last year by a local tabloid newspaper. Gay leader David Kato was murdered after appearing on the list, though police have suggested that the two occurrences were unrelated, saying that a man Kato bailed out of jail confessed to killing Kato because Kato offered him a car, house and money in exchange for sex, then didn’t provide the items.
Nabagesera will receive the award later this year at a ceremony in Geneva.
Three days after the announcement of Nabagesera’s award, Uganda’s Parliament resumed active consideration of the notorious Anti-Homosexuality Bill that has been pending since 2009. The final day that the bill could be passed in its current form is May 13.
The measure would imprison for life anyone convicted of “the offense of homosexuality,” punish “aggravated homosexuality” (repeat offenses, or having gay sex while being HIV-positive) with the death penalty, forbid “promotion of homosexuality” and incarcerate gay-rights defenders, and jail individuals in positions of authority for up to three years if they fail to report within 24 hours the existence of all LGBT people or sympathizers known to them.

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Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.