“Hang Them”: Another Wave of Anti-Gay Vigilantism Strikes Uganda

Jim Burroway

October 4th, 2010

Ugandan tabloid Rolling Stone cover: "100 pictures of Uganda's Top Homos Lean -- Hang Them"

October 2, 2010 edition of the Ugandan tabloid Rolling Stone (Click to enlarge)

A new tabloid appeared on the streets of Kampala, Uganda about a month ago, and they appear intent on displacing the notorious Red Pepper as the leader of vigilante mobs against the country’s beleaguered gay community. The latest tabloid, Rolling Stone (no relation to the American publication of the same name), has published several photos and names along with other identifying information in outing private LGBT citizens and others who are accused of homosexuality.

Rolling Stone has upped the ante considerably over previous vigilante campaigns by attaching the tagline “Hang them” on the front cover. Previous Red Pepper campaigns typically revealed first names and general descriptions of their residences and places of employment. Rolling Stone goes further by including surnames for many of those who are being forcibly outed, as well as numerous photos. The article also promises that their list is “to be continued in the next issue.”

One of the two photos on the cover is that of retired Anglican Bishop Christopher Senyonjo, who is married and a father and grandfather. He has been a tireless advocate for LGBT people since his retirement, and has suffered tremendously for it. In 2001, Bishop Senyonjo received numerous death threats because of his advocacy, requiring him to remain in exile in the United States for about six months.

The anonymous blogger GayUganda was the first to note this latest round of anti-gay outings in a post this morning. Since then, we have received photos of other pages of the paper from other sources, but because of the danger they pose to those exposed, we cannot post them at this time.

I will have much more on this later this evening.

F Young

October 4th, 2010

I would like to advise the legal department of the genuine Rolling Stone magazine about this tabloid, in connection with brand name infringement.

Does someone know who would be the best contact there, and how to reach them?

I would not be able to make a legal argument. I don’t think that this is a problem, since Rolling Stone has its own lawyers, but if there is a lawyer, e.g. an intellectual property attorney, out there who would be in a better position to contact the genuine Rolling Sone about its legal options, by all means do so.

Lofn G

October 4th, 2010

I wrote to the editors at Rolling Stone to let them know the situation in case they want to do something about it. Will comment here if they respond.

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