World

Ugandan Tabloid Names Gays After Anti-Gay Measure Becomes Law

NPR | Feb. 25, 2014 3 p.m.

Contributed By:

Krishnadev Calamur

A Ugandan reads a copy of the Red Pepper tabloid newspaper in Kampala, Uganda, on Tuesday. The newspaper published a list Tuesday of what it called the country's "200 top" homosexuals, outing some Ugandans who previously had not identified themselves as gay, one day after President Yoweri Museveni enacted a harsh anti-gay law.

A Ugandan reads a copy of the Red Pepper tabloid newspaper in Kampala, Uganda, on Tuesday. The newspaper published a list Tuesday of what it called the country's "200 top" homosexuals, outing some Ugandans who previously had not identified themselves as gay, one day after President Yoweri Museveni enacted a harsh anti-gay law.

Stephen Wandera, AP

We told you Monday about Uganda’s president signing a controversial bill that makes gay sex punishable by terms of up to life in prison. Well, a day later, a Ugandan tabloid has published a list of what it calls the country’s “top” 200 homosexuals.

Red Pepper published its list under the headline “Exposed!” and names some people who’d previously not come out as gay.

NPR’s Gregory Warner, who reported on the story for our Newscast unit, says:

“The list includes prominent gay activists in Uganda as well as people who have not identified themselves publicly as gay, including a Ugandan hip-hop star and a Catholic priest. An accompanying article heaped praised on Uganda’s new Anti-Homosexuality Bill signed yesterday by the president. The bill doesn’t only criminalize gay sex, which was already illegal in Uganda, but it makes it a crime not to report gay people, to do activism around LGBT issues, including HIV counseling.”

The Associated Press is also reporting on the story, and notes that “the tabloid’s publication of alleged homosexuals recalled a similar list published in 2011 by a now-defunct tabloid that called for the execution of gays,” and added:

“A Ugandan judge later condemned the [2011] outing of homosexuals in a country where gays face severe discrimination, saying it amounted to an invasion of privacy. A prominent Ugandan gay activist, David Kato, was killed after that list came out, and activists said at the time that they believed he was targeted because of his work promoting gay rights in Uganda.”

In signing the bill Monday, President Yoweri Musaveni accused Western groups of “coming into our schools and recruiting young children into homosexuality and lesbianism.”

The new law is widely popular in Uganda, and is expected to boost Musaveni ahead of presidential elections. A similar bill was signed into law in Nigeria last month. According to the human rights group Amnesty International, 38 of Africa’s more than 50 nations have anti-gay laws on the books.

The U.S., United Nations and European Union have all criticized the Ugandan law, with the EU saying there could be aid implications for Uganda. In response, Musaveni has said his country doesn’t need aid.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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