CSCHRCL Statement: Is Uganda's "Kill the Gays" Bill being used to blind the World?

Published: May 9, 2011

Dear Colleagues,

Find attached the final text of the statement as it will appear in tomorrow’s New Vision and the Monitor newspapers.

Please feel free to quote, reproduce, circulate.

In guiding our international partners, the Coalition guidelines are still as follows;

We call for as many statements of protest as possible, but noted that
it is essential that international statements contextualise a critique
of the Bill and the way it is being brought back at the last possible
moment within a broader critique of the terrible human rights crisis
situation which Uganda is going through.

All partners need to be aware that in recent weeks the opposition
parties have been conducting a Walk to Work campaign in protest at
rampant inflation of basic commodity prices. The Government has
responded in a heavy-handed manner, and there have been instances of
serious human rights abuses, most notoriously the blinding of
opposition leader, Colonel Kizza Besigye, but also including the
rampant use of tear-gas to disperse demonstrators, and the arrest of
over 700 people during country-wide demonstrations on Friday 29th

It is therefore essential that our allies highlight the
re-introduction of the Bill together with the current violations; if
they focus on violations of LGBTI rights to the exclusion of the other
immediate violations against the general population it could have
negative repercussions on the LGBTI communities and activists, and
indeed could play into the hands of stakeholders seeking to distract
international attention away from this critical juncture in the
history of Uganda’s governance.

In addition to making statements, we urge our international partners
to contact media houses to draw their attention to both the general
situation, and the place of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill within that.

with many thanks

Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional law Uganda

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