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Dominic Ongwen’s Status as Child Victim Factors into Punishment

The International Criminal Court (ICC) today imposed a 25-year-sentence on Dominic Ongwen, a former leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). The sentence marks an important milestone in the search for justice for victims of the grave international…
Dominic Ongwen at his confirmation of charges hearing in ICC courtroom I on 21 January 2016 © ICC-CPI.
News

Draft Law Criminalizes Consensual Sex, Lets Down Assault Survivors

Update: On August 3, 2021, President Museveni rejected the Sexual Offenses Bill and returned it to Parliament, stating that it covered offenses already provided for in the Penal Code. (Kampala) – Uganda’s Sexual Offenses Bill, 2019 both…
Brenda, a Ugandan transgender woman, was arrested and assaulted by police in the wake of the passage of Uganda’s 2014 Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Activists fear that the passage of the Sexual Offences Bill will similarly lead to anti-LGBT violence.
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Eighteen years ago, in February 2003, Human Rights Watch interviewed Angela P, who was 10 years old when the brutal armed group Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) kidnapped her in northern Uganda. At age 15,  she was forced to become a “wife” to an LRA…
Dominic Ongwen at his confirmation of charges hearing in ICC courtroom I on 21 January 2016 © ICC-CPI.
News

Dominic Ongwen Guilty of War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity

(The Hague) – The conviction of Dominic Ongwen on February 4, 2021 is a major step for justice for widespread atrocities committed by the brutal Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in northern Uganda, Human Rights Watch said today. The guilty verdict at the…
Dominic Ongwen at his confirmation of charges hearing in ICC courtroom I on 21 January 2016 © ICC-CPI.
News

Verdict in Dominic Ongwen Case Set for February 4

(The Hague) – The International Criminal Court’s trial of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) leader Dominic Ongwen, in which a verdict is due on February 4, 2021, has been a significant step toward justice for atrocities committed by the group in…
Dominic Ongwen, a Ugandan commander in the Lord’s Resistance Army, waits for the judge to arrive as he made his first appearance at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, Monday, Jan. 26, 2015.
News
Who is Dominic Ongwen? What is the Lord’s Resistance Army? How did the ICC come to bring charges against Ongwen? What are the charges against Ongwen? How does Ongwen’s experience as a child soldier affect judicial proceedings against…
Dominic Ongwen, a Ugandan commander in the Lord’s Resistance Army, waits for the judge to arrive as he made his first appearance at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, Monday, Jan. 26, 2015.
News

Dominic Ongwen, Kidnapped by the LRA at Age 10, to Face ICC Judgment

After a four-year trial, in February the International Criminal Court will deliver its judgment in the case of Dominic Ongwen, a senior commander of the brutal rebel group the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). He is charged with 70 counts of war crimes and…
Dominic Ongwen, a senior commander in the Lord's Resistance Army, sits in the court room of the International Court in The Hague, Netherlands
News

Homeless Shelter Residents to Be Compensated After Arbitrary Detention

The High Court of Uganda awarded damages of UGX 5,000,000 (about US$1,340) to 20 homeless gay, bisexual, and transgender people who had been arbitrarily detained and held without access to their lawyers. Their arrests had occurred in response to…
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AfroQueer Podcast Explores Varied Experiences of Coping with Covid-19

AfroQueer podcast recently launched a special episode in advance of its upcoming third season. Checking in with queer Africans on how they are faring during the Covid-19 pandemic, the episode was aptly titled “How are you doing?” The wide…
A Ugandan transgender woman in a town near Kampala, shortly before she fled the country. She left to escape police harassment and violence.
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Gay and Transgender People Still Detained Under Bogus Covid-19 Pretext

  UPDATE: On May 18, the Nsangi Magistrate’s Court ordered the release of the 19 shelter residents after the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions withdrew charges against them, and they were released from Kitalya Prison the next day.…
Ugandan police and other security forces chase people off the streets, after police cleared a stand of motorcycle taxis which are no longer permitted to operate after all public transport was banned for two weeks to halt the spread of the new coronavirus,
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Release 20 Detainees, End Arbitrary Arrests

Living in a shelter for homeless people shouldn’t be illegal. But according to Ugandan police, 23 people arrested on March 29 living at a shelter serving lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in Kampala are guilty of “a…
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Ensure Security Forces Refrain From Violence, Abuse

(Kampala, Uganda) – The Ugandan government should ensure that its security forces refrain from using excessive force or committing other abuses when enforcing measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Security forces have been using…
Ugandan police and other security forces chase people off the streets, after police cleared a stand of motorcycle taxis which are no longer permitted to operate after all public transport was banned for two weeks to halt the spread of the new coronavirus,
News

Drop Charges Against Dozens Detained in Recent Roundups

  (Nairobi) – The Ugandan authorities should drop charges against dozens of people arrested over the last month in Kampala, the capital, on the basis of their presumed sexual orientation or gender identity, Human…
A medical report filled out by a doctor in Kampala, Uganda, after conducting a forced anal examination on a man suspected of consensual same-sex conduct.
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Amid Attacks, Officials Threaten Death Penalty for LGBT People

  Update: On October 12, a government spokesperson, Ofwono Opondo, tweeted that the government "does not intend to introduce any new law with regards to regulation of LGBT activities in Uganda because the current…
Relatives of Brian Wasswa carry his coffin during his funeral on October 6, 2019.
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Nairobi Conference Commits to Greater Efforts to Fight Impunity, Defend Rights

Last week, the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region met in Nairobi, Kenya, to discuss “combating impunity and upholding human rights as key contributors to peace and security.” Representatives from the organization’s 12…
Jean Baptiste Nguondija, a resident of Ngbada, Central African Republic, by the grave of his 10 year-old daughter Nathana Poura. Nguondija has lost 5 children since the conflict began in 2013.
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Rights Champion Wrote Definitive Account of Rwandan Genocide

Ten years ago today, our beloved colleague Alison Des Forges died in the crash of Flight 3407 traveling from Newark to her home in Buffalo. Alison had recently been in Uganda to meet with her research team that, to my great fortune,…
News
  In January, a colleague of mine at Human Rights Watch predicted that 2018 would be the “year of the courts” for LGBT people’s rights. Seven months into the year, courts around the world have indeed come down with important rulings that…
The Indian Supreme Court building in New Delhi, India.
News

Repeal Colonial-Era Laws

(Bridgetown, Barbados, March 21, 2018) – Discriminatory laws in Eastern Caribbean countries make lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people targets for discrimination, violence and abuse, Human Rights Watch said in a report…
Jason (pseudonym), a 40-year-old gay man from Barbados.