Victory for human rights in Uganda

It is now over three years since Victor Mukassa’s home in Kampala was illegally invaded by the Ugandan police and her guest Oyo Yvonne was detained and abused. Victor and Oyo decided not to take the easy option and walk away but instead chose to sue the Ugandan Attorney General for violating their human rights. The final judgment on the case was delevered at 2.30pm today by
by Justice Stella Arach at Commercial Court, New Building, Nakasero, Kampala.

In what is an amazing victory for human rights and the rule of law, Justice Arach found for the plaintiffs, citing constitutional violations of the rights to privacy, property and the fundamental rights of women. In addition to the sharp rebuke to the state in the wording of the judgment, the court has awarded financial damages.

Congratulations to Victor, Oyo and all the human rights defenders in Uganda and across Africa who gave support and stood in were involved in this landmark case.

From the momentum created by the Ugandan LGBTI Human Rights Court Case, the numbers of people involved in advocating for the protection of the basic human rights of LGBTI people have continued to grow in Uganda. Although the 30-day “Let Us Live In Peace” Ugandan LGBTI Human Rights Media Campaign led by Sexual Minorities Uganda in August and September 2007 was met with great controversy and hostility, greater awareness and understanding of the need for protection of the basic human rights of kuchus was built among large segments of the general population in Uganda. Publicity around one of the key aspects of the case, inhuman treatment and discrimination based on gender identity, has helped to foster openness and courage in many transgender individuals in Uganda.

Since the fifth hearing of the case and the “Let Us Live In Peace” campaign, the Ugandan Human Rights Commission has reopened their cases regarding discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersexed people.

A press statement will follow.

For background posts on the case see here