A Ugandan tabloid has once again published names and photos of a number of gay people; those it claims are the county’s “top gay recruiters”.
The New Civil Rights Movement reported that the front page of the Sunday edition of the Red Pepper newspaper, dated February 24, features the headline “Top Uganda Gay Recruiters Busted”.
According to Frank Mugisha, Executive Director of Sexual Minorities Uganda, two pages of the tabloid name gay Ugandans – some still in the closet – alongside their photos.
“I feel 4 people’s photos who r not ‘out’ the harassment they will face,” a concerned Mugisha tweeted.
The tabloid’s report perpetuates the widely held-belief in some African countries that homosexuals are ‘recruiting’ heterosexual people into homosexuality.
The notorious Red Pepper has a history of sensationalistic stories that have helped fuel homophobic sentiment in Uganda.
Since 2006, it has dangerously outed gays and lesbian in its pages, often revealing private information that would easily allow them to be found.
In 2009 it named the country’s “top homosexuals”, not only showing photos of some of these men and women, but also including identifying features, places of employment, residences, boyfriends and girlfriends.
In 2010, in an article titled “City tycoons who bankroll Ugandan homos,” it published the names and personal details of people who it claimed were supporting gay rights groups and individuals.
There have been reports that some of the gays and lesbians featured in Red Pepper have been attacked and harassed and at least one, activist David Kato, went on to be murdered in January 2011.
Homosexuality is illegal in Uganda. The country’s parliament is currently considering the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which will further criminalise homosexuality and may introduce the death sentence as a possible penalty.