Uganda tabloid prints list of 'top 200 gays'

Feb 26, 2014, 09:12 IST | Agencies

A day after the president enacted harsh anti-gay legislation, a newspaper publishes names of 200 people under headline ‘Exposed’, causing outrage

Kampala: A Ugandan newspaper published a list on 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 the president enacted a harsh anti-gay law.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday’s signing of the bill by President Yoweri Museveni marked ‘a tragic day for Uganda and for all who care about the cause of human rights’ and warned that Washington could cut aid to Uganda.

The Red Pepper tabloid published the names — and some pictures — of the alleged homosexuals in a front-page story under the headline: ‘EXPOSED!’ The list included prominent Ugandan gay activists such as Pepe Julian Onziema, who has repeatedly warned that Uganda’s new anti-gay law could spark violence against homosexuals.

A popular Ugandan hip-hop star as well as a Catholic priest are also on the list.

“The media witch hunt is back,” tweeted Jacqueline Kasha, a well-known Ugandan lesbian activist who is among those in the list.

The new law

Uganda’s new-anti-gay law punishes gay sex with up to life in jail.

Uganda President Yoweri Museveni signs the law. Pic/AFP

The bill originally proposed the death penalty for ‘aggravated homosexuality,’ defined as repeated gay sex between consenting adults and acts involving a minor, a disabled person or where one partner is infected with HIV.

The law also calls for first-time offenders to be sentenced to 14 years in jail.

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