FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 28, 2014
Contact: Carrie Adams (202) 225-2661
Washington, D.C.— Congresswoman Barbara Lee released the following statement regarding the future of US relations with Uganda in light of discriminatory, anti-LGBT legislation signed into Ugandan law this week:
"I am extremely concerned by the enactment of the Anti-Homosexuality legislation in Uganda. This law is deeply cruel and goes against evidence-based science. As a founding Member and Vice Chair of the United States' Congress LGBT Equality Caucus and the Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus, I have stood in strong opposition to this proposal since 2009, and will continue to do so.
Lusaka, 25 February – After a lengthy legal process, the renowned Zambian human rights and HIV activist, Paul Kasonkomona, was acquitted today by the Lusaka Magistrate's Court on charges relating to comments he made on television in support of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people – a ruling that provides a major boost to freedom of expression in the country.
In a stinging defeat for the authorities, Magistrate Lameck Ng'ambi found that the government had failed to prove its case.
(Nairobi) – Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni's signing of the Anti-Homosexuality bill into law is a deeply worrying infringement on the human rights of all Ugandans. The law, signed by Museveni in Kampala on February 24, 2014, increases penalties for some forms of consensual same-sex conduct between adults; curtails constitutionally protected rights to privacy, family life, and equality; and violates internationally protected rights to freedom of association and expression.
"President Museveni has dealt a dramatic blow to freedom expression and association in Uganda by signing the Anti-Homosexuality bill," said Maria Burnett, senior Africa researcher. "Attacking basic rights and criminalizing the expression of divergent views doesn't bode well for anyone. This is yet another troubling sign of disregard for fundamental human rights in Uganda."
––Uganda’s first court case dealing with criminalization of HIV transmission could have far-reaching consequences––
February 11, 2014 (Kampala, Uganda)––Rosemary Namubiru, a Ugandan nurse, stands accused of exposing a child to HIV during the course of administering an injection. The incident incited a media firestorm, leading to Namubiru’s arrest and trumped-up charges of attempted murder. That these were baseless charges was confirmed at the opening of the trial today when the charge was changed to criminal negligence; charges that could still carry up to seven years in prison. As the trial begins, it is clear that the damage has already been done. Namubiru was tried and convicted in the public eye by the media, violating her rights and presumption of innocence.
The implications of this case are far-reaching: the Namubiru case appears to be the first in Uganda’s courts dealing directly with HIV exposure and transmission. Efforts to criminalize HIV transmission, and the failure of both the media and the prosecutors office to act responsibly, set a dangerous precedent and could have grave consequences for the fundamental rights of people living with HIV and AIDS in Uganda and beyond.
The Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights (YCSRR) is excited to announce the launch of its new website www.youthcoalition.org!
The new website continues to feature insights into our work, including advocacy and trainings, as well as key resources on youth and sexual and reproductive rights.
The new website also includes issue pages focused specifically on young people’s sexual and reproductive rights and our current areas of work: HIV & AIDS, Abortion Rights and Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity as well as UN Processes (Post-2015 and ICPD@20).