Footnotes from the British Underground

This blog began as venue for my stories as I traveled in Africa. 18 months later, I return to it as I travel to study as a Marshall Scholar in the United Kingdom. My hope is that this blog can be a conduit for you - my family, friends and secret/strange admirers - to track my movements, see a photo or two and get a glimpse of my days in the UK. Apologies once again to Dostoevsky for the blog's name...

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Name:
Location: Bradford, United Kingdom

After graduating from Notre Dame, I'm off to England for graduate study. I'll be studying for a M.A. in International Politics and Security Studies. When not studying, I'm continuing to coordinate Uganda-CAN's efforts to end the 20-year war in northern Uganda!

5.5.05

The Criminalization and Systematic Discrimination against Sexual Minorities in Uganda

I thought I would post this press release that a friend of mine here has been working on for the past few weeks. The criminalization and systematic discrimination against homosexuals in Uganda and most of sub-Saharan Africa remains of the most hidden injustices throughout the world. This suffering deserves attention and substantive legal action to ensure basic human rights.

**For Immediate Release**

Uganda’s HIV/AIDS Policy Systematically Abuses Human Rights

Contact: Sexual Minorities Uganda – Kampala, Uganda
Tel: +256-78-460-642
+256-78-696-823
805-234-6171
Email: sm_ug2004@yahoo.com

Kampala – The plight of Ugandan sexual minorities continues as one of the worst and most hidden human rights abuses in East Africa. Facing this gross injustice, Sexual Minorities in Uganda (SMUG) is filing a human rights complaint to expose abuses in HIV/AIDS policy that intentionally and disproportionately kill Ugandan homosexuals.

The government of Uganda disallows appropriate HIV/AIDS treatment and counseling for gays and lesbians because of their sexual preferences. This denial of health service indisputably harms these people, resulting in unsafe sexual practices and unmitigated HIV rates that may disproportionately exceed those of heterosexuals. This heinous discrimination egregiously violates:

The Constitution of the Republic of Uganda
The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR)
The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)
The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)

The government of Uganda pledged to uphold the principles of each of these documents or agreements, but in the case of HIV/AIDS, it does not.

In addition, the government-sponsored violation and criminalization of homosexuality (Section 145 of the penal code) tie the hands of powerful and effective HIV/AIDS organizations in Uganda who are genuinely interested in protecting and informing all Ugandans of their HIV/AIDS risks.

The Uganda Human Rights Commission, who has previously refused to hear cases concerning homosexuality, may be contacted at:

UHRC Headquarters – Kampala, Uganda
E-mail: uhrc@uhrc.org
Tel: 256-041-348006/8
Fax: 256-041-255261
www.uhrc.org

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