Now that President Musevini has signed Uganda’s harsh new anti-gay law and put it into effect, the witch hunts have officially begun. A Ugandan newspaper published a list of 200 allegedly gay people. I fully expect that, like Nigeria, they will be rounding up anyone suspected of being gay.
A Ugandan newspaper published a list Tuesday of what it called the country’s “200 top” gays, outing some Ugandans and raising fears of violence against those named just a day after the president enacted a severe anti-gay law.
Many on the list “are scared and they need help,” said Pepe Julian Onziema, a prominent Ugandan gay activist who was named in in the Red Pepper tabloid. “Some want to leave the country and they are asking to be helped.”…Onziema, who has repeatedly warned that Uganda’s new law could spark violence against gays, said the tabloid had provided enough information to identify many people who had not come out publicly.
“Some of the employers have read the paper, and from the descriptions they can tell who these people are,” he said.
Few Ugandans identify themselves publicly as gay, and the tabloid’s actions recalled a similar list published in 2011 by a now-defunct tabloid that called for the execution of gays. A prominent Ugandan gay activist, David Kato, was killed after that list came out.
“The media witch hunt is back,” tweeted Jacqueline Kasha, a well-known Ugandan lesbian activist who is among those listed in the Red Pepper story.
I’d like to see the Obama administration offer asylum to anyone from Uganda and Nigeria who fears arrest or violence.