The Ugandan High Court has permanently barred the notorious Rolling Stone tabloid from outing more gays and awarded damages to past victims.

The publication, unrelated to the American pop culture magazine of the same name, was found guilty of infringing the “fundamental rights and freedoms” of the applicants.

In October last year, Rolling Stone published the names and details of allegedly gay men with a headline that read “Hang Them; They Are After Our Kids”. A number of those identified in the article were reportedly attacked and beaten as a result.

In the landmark ruling, Justice Kibuuka Musoke said that “gays are also entitled to their rights”.

He added that while same-sex sexual activity was illegal in Uganda, the newspaper cannot punish people who are believed or known to be gay by publishing their names unless they had actually been found guilty in court of a crime.

He also noted that “the call to hang gays in dozens tends to tremendously threaten their right to human dignity”.

Musoke awarded each of the applicants around R 4,000 in damages and ordered that the newspaper also pay their costs.

A controversial bill that would entrench the criminality of LGBT people and impose the death penalty in certain cases of homosexual conduct is pending in the Ugandan parliament. Existing penalties for gay sex include life imprisonment.

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