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Last updateMar, 27 Jan 2015 8pm

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New York: Human rights office condemns Ugandan newspaper

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on Thursday said that the publication by a Ugandan newspaper of the names and photos of people it claims are homosexual violates basic rights to privacy and dignity, and called on media outlets to refrain from actions that fuel hatred and violence.

A Ugandan tabloid on Tuesday named the country’s '200 top homosexuals', a day after President Yoweri Museveni signed the Anti-Homosexuality Act into law, criminalizing and imposing life imprisonment for homosexuality, same-sex marriage and 'aggravated homosexuality'.

UN human rights spokesperson, Ms. Cecile Pouilly, stated: 'The publication by a newspaper in Uganda of the names and photos of people it claims are homosexual not only violates the right to privacy, it also demonstrates the very real danger that the new anti-homosexuality law will encourage acts of violence and harassment against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people'.

She recalled that the High Court of Uganda has previously ruled that publishing such lists amounts to a violation of the rights to dignity and privacy protected by the Ugandan constitution.

'We reiterate that media organisations should refrain from fuelling hatred and attacks on the basis of sexual orientation,' Ms. Pouilly noted.

She also said: 'We further reiterate our call upon the Ugandan authorities to take urgent steps to protect all persons from discrimination and violence regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.'

She also urged the authorities to review the criminal legal provisions targeting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and make sure that attacks against them are investigated, and alleged perpetrators prosecuted.

PANA recalled that both UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, have kicked against the new law and urged Uganda to
repeal it.

Pana 28/02/2014