Having already published the names and photographs of some 29 gays (some with home addresses), with an end goal of 100, Uganda’s Rolling Stone newspaper isn’t going to let a judge’s little order get in the way of its mission. The paper says that until a court reaches a verdict about the legality of publishing the names of known gays — who, by definition, are criminals in Uganda — it’s going to keep up the fun.
Three gay activists — two women and one man — who were featured in the publication secured an interim injunction on Nov. 1 stopping the newspaper from publishing such photos on privacy grounds. The paper, “Rolling Stone”, has published some images under the headline “Hang them”. A High Court judge last week heard from lawyers representing both sides before adjourning the case ahead of a verdict on December 13. A row has now broken out about whether the injunction stands until the judge makes his ruling. “The interim order was first passed on November 1st and extended until November 26th while we prepared our case,” Giles Muhame, the 22-year-old editor of the newspaper, told Reuters. “The judge then said on the 26th that he would pass his final verdict on December 13th, which means it expired.” But Frank Mugisha, director of gay rights group Sexual Minorities Uganda, said his group believed the interim order stood until the day of the ruling.
And with any degree of leeway, it’s like Muhame, a student who believes he is not responsible for any violence aimed at the gays he named, is sure to continue his bout of terror. Until the court issues a final verdict, he wants Rolling Stone to run as many names as possible. “I hope basic justice will be done. Some people are even calling for public hanging and some others even want to see homosexuals buried alive.”