It is heart breaking, dejecting and saddening looking at the current situation happening in Uganda in regards to the LGBTIQ & Sex-work communities. The incidences that have happened to the LGBTIQ & Sex-work community members in the past months are not only alarming but they raise a lot of concern on the safety of these communities. Despite the constitutional provision on the protection of lives of all citizens of Uganda; fundamental Rights, among others, ensure equality before the law and equal protection of law; prohibits discrimination against any citizen on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth, and guarantee equality of opportunity to all citizens in matters relating to employment. The Ugandan government being responsible to provide this protection, it is disheartening that the same institution in charge of protecting the lives of the citizens of Uganda is the same institution that is violating the rights of the LGBTIQ and Sex-work community members. The cases of loss of lives and human rights violations keep piling up but there have not been any arrests made by the police, the cases have been dragging in courts of laws with no justice at the end of it all.
On the night of the 20th /10/2019, a female sex worker was killed in Mukono district and when fellow sex workers went to police to report the case, they were instead arrested by the police instead of arresting the murders. On the night of the 21st/10/2019, a local grass root organization was attacked by a mob but when the police were called to provide protection, the police instead arrested those that were attacked and 16 members of the grass root organization were arrested, tortured and spent the night in jail. These are some of the few incidences that we can mention though many more have not been mentioned.
These incidents keep occurring since the day the Hon. Minister of Ethics and Integrity; Rev.Fr. Lukodo announced in the media the intention of government to retable the Anti-homosexuality bill in the house of parliament on the 28th /10/2019. Since that day we have witnessed a number of incidences happening.
As Men of the Night Uganda, we have been part of the emergency meetings like the one with Uganda AIDS Commission to lay out strategies on how to mitigate these human rights violations. We also communicated to our member to be vigilant with their own security as security begins with them.
As an organization and a member of the Uganda Network of Sex-workers’ Organization (UNESO), we highly condemn these acts of violence and human rights violation on our brothers and sisters and call upon the right organs of government to step in and do their work. We also call upon the international community to join the LGBTIQ & Sex-work communities in Uganda to condemn these acts of human rights violations and also demand the Ugandan government to bring the perpetrators to book.
FOR MEN OF THE NIGHT UGANDA,