Two Ugandan women
were awarded $7,000 Monday after a judge ruled their
rights were infringed upon when they were arrested for being
suspected lesbians in 2005.
lesbian and bisexual rights organization Freedom and Roam
Uganda, or FARUG, Yvonne Oyoo and Victor Juliet Mukasa had
been waiting for 17 months for a verdict.
Oyoo was awarded
$5,000 by Uganda High Court justice Stella Arach-Amoko
for "arbitrary torture." Police sexually assaulted Oyoo, who
was a guest in Mukasa's home when police raided it in
2005. Mukasa, a leader in Ugandan human rights
activism, was awarded $2,000.
"It will be the
first case of its kind in Uganda where LGBTs are the
ones suing the government," Mukasa said to New
Internationalist magazine in 2007. "I am suing because
of the constant human rights violations that are
committed against LGBT people by the government and
the public of Uganda without anyone raising a hand."
The case may be
the first time that gays or lesbians took the police to
court, according to BBC News. It is estimated that 500,000
gays live in Uganda, a nation of 31 million. The
country's leaders are outspoken against homosexuality,
and consensual sex between people of the same gender
is illegal. (Michelle Garcia, Advocate.com)