How Bad Things Are In Uganda [UPDATE]

by david

Sorry, there’s nothing funny about this post.

Uganda Gay Rights Activist is Beaten to Death – NY Times

He was attacked in his home Wednesday afternoon and beaten in the head with a hammer, said Judith Nabakooba, a police spokeswoman. But police officials said they don’t believe this was a hate crime.
“It looks like theft, as some things were stolen,” Mrs. Nabakooba said.

Not a hate crime? This is what the POLICE say. Imagine an oncologist looking at a clearly malignant tumor and saying, “It looks like you’ve got a cold, as your nose is running.” What can a patient do to treat her own cancer?

Sometimes I fall into the trap of thinking that every solution is local, and then I see something like this. If the police are this bad, there’s so little that the victims of crime can do. Outside pressure and attention is necessary. Uganda’s homophobia is malignant. Anybody know who’s doing the best work on this?

[UPDATE] A friend says:

“So internationally, there’s an organization called SMUG (Sexual Minorities of Uganda) that is really brave and wonderful and under constant threat in the country for trying to address LGBT rights. The guy who was murdered was a member of this group.

But on the question of who is doing the best work to pressure the Ugandan government…it’s an open question. The issue has kind of fallen off the radar, since the legislation has been forever stalled in parliament. Human Rights First and Amnesty did some good work, as well as the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission.

At the moment, there’s a group called which is working to save a lesbian in the UK from being deported back to Uganda, for fear that she’ll face prison and/or death. They have a petition up and are urging folks to sign to help get this lesbian woman asylum in the UK”

If you’re interested in finding out more about these organizations, helping, or signing the petition, these are the links: