A Radio Show has been fined in Uganda for hosting a show in which three gay men were interviwed on the 26th August. The Uganda Broadcasting Council is said to have fined Radio Simba, a sum of UG.SHS.1.8m as penalty for hosting homosexuals on the show. The papers also reported that the Council ordered the radio station to make a public apology regretting having offended a wide section of the public ‘by hosting homosexuals.
In response SMUG (Sexual Minorities Uganda) have made the following statement:
We at SMUG feel this was and is very unjust and a violation of freedom of speech. Indeed it is a human rights violation that needs to be acted upon. Uganda is a democracy and what happened is contrary to the principles of democracy. Uganda also ratified to international conventions that put in place human rights, freedom of speech and expression inclusive. Whatever our concerns are in our struggle to liberation, we still need the media to reach out to the public. This will not affect only homosexuals but it is very clear that once not dealt with, other groups and individuals will be affected and perhaps further violation of even more of the fundamental human rights of people in this country.
In further developments along the same line, a Ugandan weekly newspaper, Xtreme, has released the names of Ugandan homosexuals and is threatening to continue doing so every week. It is claiming that many of the names include high profile Ugandans including business men and religious leaders.
The newspaper describes the homosexuals as “PEOPLE WHO HAVE INVADED UGANDA” when it is obvious that the named are themselves Ugandans. None the less the action of Xtreme is extremely reckless as it threatens the livelihood and lives of those named persons who are now in serious danger of a homophobic attack which could lead to loss of lives.
The full text of the Xtreme publication and the response of G&L in Uganda can be found at Behind the Mask