Thursday, December 2, 2010

Gay People Should Be Buried Alive: Ugandan Newspaper Editor

This is scary, even by Ugandan standards.
Remember few weeks ago, when a publication in Uganda known as Rolling Stone (no relation to the U.S. magazine) published the names and faces of dozens of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgenders [LGBT] people in the country, under the caption of “Hang Them”? Turns out the editor of that publication, Giles Muhame, isn’t finished with his campaign of terror.
He wants to spend the next few weeks publishing more issues outing suspected LGBT people in the country. And he makes no bones about his position: he wants to see violence done to these people.
“I hope basic justice will be done,” Muhame told Reuters. “Some people are even calling for public hanging and some others even want to see homosexuals buried alive.”
Basic justice for Muhame means burying gay people alive? That’s as cruel as it gets in this country, where a bill in the nation’s legislature could still become law, criminalizing homosexuality with life imprisonment or the death penalty.

For the editor of Rolling Stone to say that he’s going to continue to use his publishing platform to foster violence against LGBT people is particularly troubling, since a Ugandan court has placed a temporary injunction on Muhame’s newspaper preventing it from publishing while a court decides whether the publication is legal or not.

But Muhame argues that the temporary injunction issued on his paper ended on November 26. The court’s ruling on whether the publication is legitimate isn’t expected until December 13, a more than two week window that Muhame says gives him a chance to foment more hatred toward LGBT people.
“The interim order was first passed on November 1st and extended until November 26th while we prepared our case,” Muhame said. “The judge then said on the 26th that he would pass his final verdict on December 13th, which means it expired.”

The last thing that LGBT folks in Uganda need is for Muhame to be whipping up extremely violent hysteria again. Already, his publications have caused LGBT people in Uganda to fear for their lives, with one lesbian having her house attacked before she barely escaped a stoning.

Yet now it appears that Muhame is set to release another issue, this time with a potential call that gay people be publicly hung or buried alive. Will Uganda’s Media Council seriously be willing to stand for that?


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