Dira Dawa, Northern Ethiopia, January 2007

Inside emergency shelter camp, following massive flooding which left thousands of villagers homeless.

16 May 2011

Uganda Activist Honored While Protesters Get Spray-Painted

This week, the government of Uganda once again reminded us that even in these 'modern' times, some national governments are no more advanced than the medieval inquisitors or the Salem witch-hunters.

During a peaceful protest by Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender activists, Ugandan police surrounded the protesters (with dogs) and opened fire on them - with pink spray paint.

This bizarre act is reported in this news video from MSNBC: click here: http://www.rawstory.com/rawreplay/2011/05/protesters-of-ugandas-kill-the-gays-bill-sprayed-with-pink-dye/

Unfortunately, this was not the only homophobic event in Uganda this week. With far more sinister implications, a new law was introduced into Parliament (The "Anti-Homosexual Bill of 2009") that would, among other things, create draconian penalties for a range of homosexual related 'offenses': having a homosexual relationship could be punishable by execution, for example. Hiring a gay person or being a landlord to a gay person? Illegal. Knowing someone who IS gay and not reporting it to the police would also be illegal.

International Human Rights groups acknowledged the severity of discrimination in Uganda last week, when they awarded a top prize to Ugandan GLBT activist Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera. The Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders - a joint prize given by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and eight other organizations, recognizes human rights leaders who are in 'immediate need of protection'. http://www.martinennalsaward.org/

Ms. Nabagesera was among 100 Ugandan homosexuals whose photos and names were published on a "Gay List" in a popular Ugandan newspaper in January; subsequent to the publication of this list, one of Nabagesera's colleagues, activist David Kato, was found brutally murdered in a case still unresolved but attributed widely to the hysterical homophobia propagated from within official government circles, including the introduction of the "Anti-Homophobia Bill of 2009".

President Obama called the proposed legislation "Odious" in a speech last year at the National Prayer Breakfast.

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