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Ugandan newspaper
outs people alleged to be gay

Ugandan newspaper
outs people alleged to be gay

A Ugandan newspaper's decision to publish the names of men who the paper says are gay is a chilling development in the African country's vilification of gay people, a U.S.-based human rights watchdog group said on Thursday. Human Rights Watch said the publication of the first names, workplaces, and other identifying information of the 45 men could be foreshadowing a government crackdown in the country, where sodomy is a crime punishable by life in prison.

"For years, President Yoweri Museveni's government routinely threatens and vilifies lesbians and gays and subjects sexual rights activists to harassment," Human Rights Watch researcher Jessica Stern said in a statement. "At a moment when sensational publicity has spread fear among a whole community, the authorities must exercise their responsibility to protect, not persecute."

The rights group said the list of names was published in the tabloid newspaper Red Pepper last month and that the paper has since told activists that it plans to publish a similar list of alleged lesbians. Similar allegations by the newspaper have led to police action, Human Rights Watch said. (Reuters)

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