Uganda media urged to refrain from fuelling anti-gay hatred and attacks

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It is against international law to discriminate against people because of their gender identity or sexual orientation. Photo: OHCHR

Media organizations in Uganda are being urged by the UN human rights office to refrain from fuelling hatred and attacks on the basis of sexual orientation.

A newspaper in Uganda recently published the names and photos of people it claims are homosexual under the headline "Exposed".

Cécile Pouilly, Spokesperson for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights warns that the act is a violation of people's right to privacy.

"It also demonstrates the "very real danger" after the adoption of this new Anti-Homosexual law which encourages acts of violence and harassment against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, so it is a very worrying trend. We are really calling on the Ugandan authorities to urgently take action and protect all persons from discrimination and violence regardless of their sexual orientation."

The High Court of Uganda has previously ruled in the Rolling Stone case that publishing such lists amounts to a violation of the rights to dignity and privacy protected by the Ugandan Constitution.

Ms. Pouilly called on the Ugandan authorities to review the criminal legal provisions targeting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people and make sure attacks against them are investigated, and alleged perpetrators prosecuted.

She also recalled how important it is for human rights defenders to be able to carry out their work without fear of attack or prosecution.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’31″

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