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Report of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the situation of human rights defenders, A/HRC/7/28/Add.1, 3 March 2008: Uganda

1907. On 30 November 2007, the Special Representative sent a letter of allegations to the Government concerning Ugandan and Kenyan defenders of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) rights, including Ms Victor Juliet Mukasa, and members of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) as well as Amakula, a renowned non- LGBT (sic!) film organisation based in Kampala which promotes African talent and human diversity. According to the information received, on 23 November 2007, Ugandan and Kenyan  defenders  of  LGBT rights, including Ms Victor Juliet Mukasa and members of SMUG, were prevented from delivering their speeches at the Commonwealth Heads of Governments Meeting (CHOGM) Speaker’s Corner in Kampala during the People’s Space. They were reportedly forcibly removed from the building by police officers and were threatened with sticks not to enter the premises again.

1908. The LGBT defenders waited outside quietly for seven hours to be allowed back in the building, in vain. On 22 November 2007, Amakula showed at CHOGM a film that addressed homosexuality. The following day, two members of Amakula were expelled from the People’s Space. The People’s Space was established “to provide opportunities to share in the diversity and richness of the Commonwealth people”, and was designed to give people “renewed energy to facilitate social change with a clear sense of building the future together”. Concern was expressed that the expulsion of the aforementioned individuals from the People’s Space may be related to their peaceful activities in defence of LGBT rights.

Link to full text of the report: Summary of cases-SR Human Rights Defenders-2008-eng