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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.
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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News

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.
News

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,
News

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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News

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.
News

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.
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.
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Police Failure to Respond to Attacks on Organizations

  (Nairobi) – Ugandan rights organization Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum (HRAPF) was the target of a violent break-in on the night of February 8, 2018, Human Rights Watch said today. HRAPF works to protect…
Ugandan human rights activists hold a press conference on February 9 to condemn the violent break-in at Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum (HRAPF) and call on police to investigate. HURINET/2018
News

Stop Blocking LGBT Cultural Events

(Nairobi, December 15, 2017) – Ugandan police raided and forcibly closed the Queer Kampala International Film Festival on December 9, 2017, Human Rights Watch said today. The festival featured films and documentaries portraying the…
Audience members watch films screened during the sold-out opening night of the 2017 Queer Kampala International Film Festival. Police raided and forcibly closed the festival on December 9, 2017.
News

Group Sued US Christian Evangelist for Role in Promoting Ugandan Anti-Gay Law

The lawsuit – filed in a US court by a Ugandan LGBTI group against the homophobic Christian evangelist Scott Lively – was a David versus Goliath case. Although a judge dismissed the case this week on jurisdictional grounds, the stone…
An asylum seeker from Uganda covers his face with a paper bag in order to protect his identity as he marches with the LGBT Asylum Support Task Force during the Gay Pride Parade in Boston, Massachusetts June 8, 2013.
News

Court Ruling Allows Equal Opportunities Commission to Hear Broader Range of Cases

Thursday saw good news in the fight against discrimination in Uganda. After pending for nine long years, the Constitutional Court finally handed down a decision in a case brought by Ugandan human rights lawyer and executive director of Human Rights…
A Ugandan transgender woman in a town near Kampala, shortly before she fled the country. She left to escape police harassment and violence.
News

Arrests, Beatings, Assaults on Participants

(Kampala) – Ugandan police unlawfully raided an event late in the evening of August 4, 2016, the third night of a week of Ugandan LGBTI Pride celebrations, brutally assaulting participants, seven human rights groups said today.   The…
The venue for Uganda’s Pride 2016 pageant that police raided on August 4, 2016.
News

2015 Recipient of the Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism

Human Rights Watch's Alison Des Forges Award celebrates the valor of individuals who put their lives on the line to protect the dignity and rights of others. Human Rights Watch collaborates with these courageous activists to create a world in which people…
Nicholas Opiyo
News
Jurist Guest Columnists Anneke Meerkotter of the Southern Africa Litigation Centre and Graeme Reid of Human Rights Watch discuss how recent court rulings in Botswana, Kenya and Zambia illustrate significant progress in human rights in general and in LGBT…