Ugandan court bans photos, names of gays

Uganda’s High Court has ordered a controversial newspaper to stop publishing the names and photographs of people it says are gay, ruling that the publication is violating their right to privacy.

A gay rights group Sexual Minorities Uganda sought the injunction after the paper on Monday published its second straight edition with names and photos. The first edition, published in early October, sparked attacks against at least four gay Ugandans, Sexual Minorities Uganda said.

Justice Vincent Kibuuka Musoke ordered Rolling Stone on Monday to stop publishing the names and photos of Ugandans they deemed gay, at least until November 23, when Musoke said a final ruling would be made. Musoke said he ordered the injunction because publishing names and photos “is an infringement of the right to privacy of those whose photos appear in it”.

Julian Onziema, the programme coordinator for Sexual Minorities Uganda, said the group was happy with the court’s injunction but that other publications were beginning to print the same kinds of stories.

“We filed a suit against the paper for abuse of our fundamental human rights of privacy, association and security,” Onziema said.

“However my happiness might be short-lived because there are other tabloids in Uganda which are taking over from where Rolling Stone exploded. They are making people hate us,” he said.

Rolling Stone‘s managing editor, Giles Muhame, said that publishing photos of gay Ugandans can help police find them. Homosexuality is illegal in Uganda and anyone in a homosexual relationship may face up to 14 years in prison.

Gay people in Uganda say they have faced a year of attacks and harassment since a lawmaker introduced a Bill in October 2009 that would impose the death penalty for some sexual activities between members of the same sex, and life in prison for others. The Bill has not come up for a vote.

The legislation was drawn up following a visit by leaders of US conservative Christian ministries that promote therapy that they say allows gay people to become heterosexual.

The Bill became political poison after international condemnation and many Christian leaders have denounced it. — Sapa-AP

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.


Sassa disses disability grant applicants

Towards the end of level four of the lockdown, Sassa offices reopened for applications for old age pensions and childcare and foster care grants, but not for disability grants

Gauteng health MEC Bandile Masuku’s first rule: Don’t panic

As Gauteng braces for its Covid-19 peak, the province’s MEC for health, Bandile Masuku, is putting his training to the test as he leads efforts to tackle the impending public health crisis

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday