In an article by Grace Natabaalo it is revealed that Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has revealed that he is under pressure to ban local tabloids such as Red Pepper for exposing nudity. “We could have closed it but because of the pressure by western powers about the free press, we relaxed,” the president said. How ironic of an admission – that because of our Western values (pertaining to freedom of speech,) the President of Ugandan would bow to pressure on the issue of freedom of speech for the sake of unacceptable nudity, yet the East African country has complained vehemently about being expected to bow to the West when it comes to tolerating homosexuality as a non-crime, by scrapping the idea of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.
And the irony gets more interesting when apparently:
“Mr Museveni was responding to a delegation of American human rights activists who expressed concern about the publication of pictures of gay and lesbian Ugandans in some tabloids.
The Red Pepper last month published names of what it called “gay recruiters” in Uganda. In 2010, another Ugandan tabloid, Rolling Stone, published pictures of alleged homosexuals and called for their hanging. The Media Council later banned the paper following a complaint from human rights activists, although the regulator insisted the action was in response to the tabloid’s failure to register as required by the law, not its content. The High Court also ordered the paper to stop publishing names of alleged homosexuals.
The delegation of human rights activists led by Ms Kerry Kennedy, the president of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights who also is the niece of assassinated U.S. President John F. Kennedy, was concerned about the harassment of homosexuals in Uganda. Ms Kennedy said the outing of homosexuals in newspapers was a violation of their rights.”
We reported on this earlier this week, noting that Mr Museveni said the issue of homosexuality had been distorted, but that he acknowledged the concerns about media coverage.
However let us reflect back on Red Pepper and my even earlier article, where I called upon the ownership to be held accountable for their part in the persecution of Uganda’s gays and it seems that Kerry Kennedy is in agreement, and took the matter seriously enough to bring it up to President Museveni.
The story by Ugandan journalist Natabaalo says:
“The president said although the government had relaxed its stance towards the Red Pepper, he was now under pressure to ban the tabloid for “exposing heterosexual nudity” “This is an affront on our culture,” a statement from State House quoted him as saying. “Now, if you add homosexuality (it is too much)… Heterosexuality is enough provocation. With both of these, it is too much.”
Red Pepper’s Chief Marketing Officer Arinaitwe Rugyendo told ACME in response to the president’s statement: “Banning is not a solution. Otherwise if banning was the order of the day, this country would run out of investors. Calling for improvement is the most wise and strategic undertaking by anybody in authority.”
Mr Rugyendo said the tabloid does not discriminate against homosexuals.”
However what Rugyendo fails to acknowledge, is the fact while he may equally expose straight people and gay people, gay people are being exposed BECAUSE they are GAY! His tabloid exposure of specific targeted alleged gays has resulted in direct harm to those Ugandans, and that is because gays are criminalized in Uganda, and considered persona non grata for simply being gay, whereas straight people are not. Mr.Rugyendo also fails to admit that he has purposely exposed some people who may not even be gay.
The article goes on to quote my article exposing Red Pepper as persecutors:
“Just like the heterosexuals are exposed, the homosexuals are not special,” said Arinaitwe Rugyendo. “Their activities should be discussed just as we discuss rape, defilement and illicit sex amongst heterosexuals. Besides, I feel we have also inadvertently helped the debate about homosexuality. They should appreciate us for raising the debate about their condition and their sexual orientation.”
Renowned gay rights activist Melanie Nathan last month attacked the tabloid on her blog following its publication of alleged “gay recruiters” in Uganda. She published the names and pictures of Red Pepper managers, editors and reporters and labelled them persecutors of gays in Uganda.
“The Tabloid, fearless in its expose, has gone a little too far in outing Uganda’s gays, given the context of Uganda’s hate of homosexuality and the known consequences of such outings for gay people, which includes persecution, eviction, firings, assaults, arrests, expulsion from villages and in some cases torture,” Ms Nathan wrote.
In a response on his website, Rugyendo defended the actions of his publication saying they were “simply reporting what is obvious in our country; that the act is real and it has names and funders to it”.
Uganda has been in the international spotlight in the last few years over a proposed law that provides for an array of criminal offences related to homosexuality. The Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which was pushed by Member of Parliament David Bahati, has thus far been shelved in parliament.”
It seems fine to me to call upon Red Pepper to note that indeed in this context, homosexuals are special, as straight people are not subject to persecution for their orientation whereas gay people are. Hence like it or not, Red Pepper cannot compare its outing of named Gays to talking about other issues such as rape etc as it pertains to everyone.
Lest we forget that from my exposure of Red Pepper my life was threatened -!
- Ugandan Red Pepper journalist threatens life of U.S. Lesbian Blogger | O-blog-dee-o-blog-da
– March 2, 2013[…] After I published an article at http://oblogdeeoblogda.me/2013/02/26/outing-red-pepper-owners-and-staff-for-persecution-of-gays-in-uganda/ outing the journalists, owners, management, and editors from the Ugandan Tabloid RED PEPPER, for their persecution of LGBTI Ugandans, through outing gays in their Tabloid print magazine, members of the group, numbered 1 through 12, below, launched into the obvious and expected attack on me. […]
- Ugandan President Museveni seems to make case against Anti-Homosexuality Bill in visit with Kerry Kennedy (oblogdeeoblogda.me)
- Ugandan Red Pepper journalist threatens life of U.S. Lesbian Blogger (oblogdeeoblogda.me)
- OUTING Red Pepper owners and staff for persecution of Gays in Uganda (oblogdeeoblogda.me)