AN INTERNATIONAL DAY AGAINST HOMOPHOBIA SPECIAL, By Melanie Nathan- May 17, 2022
“Please Sir, do not apologize to me alone, I am not on the run because of you – I was not beaten because of you, I did not lose my job or home or country because of you – BUT OTHERS DID!” Melanie Nathan.
Well – in truth I am much less important in this picture than those who actually suffered assault, rape, death and all the persecution that caused and continues to cause the forcible displacement of LGBTQI people from Uganda (lest we forget surrounding countries in the EAST and rest of Africa). Yet Red Pepper Deputy editor did apologize to me – just today!
In 2013 at the height of the promotion of Uganda’s notorious KILL THE GAYS BILL, Red Pepper Magazine and its staff of editors and journalists unconscionably and with malice outed hundreds of LGBTQI people, or those perceived as such – ultimately capitalizing on their persecution and resulting harms.
One must understand just how egregious this was at the time, given the climate of heightened anti-gay sentiment. In December 2013 the Ugandan Parliament passed the Anti-Homosexuality ACT of 2014, otherwise known as the “KILL THE GAYS BILL,” and it was signed into law by dictator President Yoweri Museveni, who participated in this scapegoating of gays as a mechanism to achieve votes, by honing the popular notion that it was gays causing all of Uganda’s problems. Museveni signed the Bill in February 2014 and after a challenge by Ugandan’s Human rights Defender community, its passage was voided in August of that same year, not on its merits of constitutionality, but rather because Parliament failed to vote it in with the requisite quorum.
When RED PEPPER published the OUTING Article – hundreds of LGBTQI people were hurt, to the point of untold violence and a disruption of every aspect of their lives, from schooling to tenancy, to familial banishment, to assault, to rape, to extortion and the list goes on …
Ultimately forcible displacement – where to this day – 7 years later some still languish in foreign second countries, often hostile host countries, as refugees, still awaiting resettlement and solutions to get their lives back on track. Others have remained in Uganda, still living under constant threat, often marginalized in their own communities, as they continue to fight for their rights.
I wrote an article in response to OUT the RED PEPPER Editors, wanting to place on Google Record, for eternity, their participation in their crime against human rights! Imagine calling yourself a journalist and then publishing an article with such malicious intent – where you know – it can cause death.
One of those journalists – Gazzaman Gaza Kodili , a 2013 Deputy Editor of Red Pepper– sent me this threatening Tweet – shortly after I wrote my expose article:
FAST FORWARD 2013- 2022 – And now the United States has legislated the THE GLOBAL RESPECT ACT. This sent me back to my old articles of 2013-2014, where I noted this:
We will also ensure that anyone who has participated in these despicable outings are not welcome anywhere else in the world; and that if they do travel to international countries, that they are detained for their crimes against humanity. These names will be provided to the U.S. State department and the U.K. Foreign office following publication of this article.
I wanted to be sure the U.S. State department receives the names of those who have harmed and abused LGBTQI people abroad with human rights infractions as serious as those committed by the journalists of RED PEPPER and let us not forget another culprit Giles Muhame of Rolling Stone.
The U.S. House of Representatives in 2022, has now approved the Global Respect Act, which takes a hardline stance in condemning human rights abuses against LGBTQ+ people abroad.
I decided almost ten years later to send Gazzaman Gaza Kodili this tweet to see if he still stsands by wanting to see me and ALL SODOMITES hanged?
APPARENTLY @Ggazzaman has apologized to me and changed his stance…..
NOW SURELY THAT warrants a much larger and more public apology by Mr. Kodili Gazzaman and his co-conspirators and the magazine – to ALL of Uganda’s LGBTQI+ community – as he now says “NO NONE deserves death for their orientation – Apologies.”
Please Sir, do not apologize to me alone, I am not on the run because of you – I was not beaten because of you, I did not lose my job or home or country because of you – BUT OTHERS DID!
Here is a list of the participants in RED PEPPER at the time – all hence complicit: I wrote “OUTING the following Ugandan persecutors, who should all apologize and be denied entry in the U.S.A:
1.Richard Tusiime, Managing Director and Executive Chairman,
2. Arinaitwe Rugyendo, Director in charge of marketing,
3. Patrick Mugumya, the Operations Director.
4. Gazzaman Kodili – Deputy News Editor
5. Medard Aryatuha, from the entertainment desk and has been trasfered to the news section as a sub-editor.
6. Bob Tumwesigye, Entertainment
7. Stanley Ndawula , Crime and Investigations desk.
8. Claude Muhigirwa, from Wtf, also a celebrity gossip section, to the Sports wing as the editor
9. Dalton Kaweesa, one of the newspaper’s best political and security news reporters.
10. Edrinnah Mbote, Business Editor, now promoted to “Regional News Editor.”
11. Johnson Musinguzi
12. James Mujuni, business development”
The 2014 ARTICLE:
AFRICAN HUMAN RIGHTS COALITION
PRIVATE COURTS INC.
Melanie Nathan, Speaker Bookings