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Théoneste Bagosora Sentence a Lesson in Accountability

Late last month, Malian officials announced that a former Rwandan army colonel convicted of masterminding the slaughter of at least half a million people during the 1994 genocide had died. Théoneste Bagosora, who was 80, was serving a 35-year sentence…
Théoneste Bagosora reacts as he sits in the court at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, in Arusha, Tanzania on December 18, 2008.
News

Detention, Ill-Treatment of Poor, Gay, and Transgender People

(Nairobi) – Rwandan authorities rounded up and arbitrarily detained over a dozen gay and transgender people, sex workers, street children, and others in the months before a planned June 2021 high-profile international conference, Human Rights…
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson (left), then Foreign Secretary, and Paul Kagame (right), President of Rwanda, meet during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London, April 17, 2018.
News

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.
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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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Remains of Augustin Bizimana Found in Congo-Brazzaville

Just days after the arrest in France of Félicien Kabuga, one of the Rwandan genocide’s alleged masterminds, came the announcement that the remains of another – Augustin Bizimana, the minister of defense at the time of the killings – were identified in a…
Augustin Bizimana.
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

Key Suspect Arrested in France

(Paris) – The arrest of Félicien Kabuga, one of the alleged masterminds behind the Rwandan genocide, in France on May 16, 2020 brings victims and survivors one step closer to justice 26 years later. Kabuga is charged by an international…
Félicien Kabuga on his US Department of State wanted poster.
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,
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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.
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.