AP Notices Ugandan “Hang Them” Tabloid — Two Weeks Later

Jim Burroway

October 19th, 2010

Front cover of the Oct 2, 2010 edition of Rolling Stone. Chances are you saw it here first. (Click to enlarge.)

If you’re a BTB regular, you might be forgiven if you thought you experienced a bit of déjà vu while reading this morning’s paper. The Associated Press today published a pretty good account of the Ugandan tabloid, Rolling Stone(no relation to the U.S. magazine by the same name), which outed several dozen private LGBT citzens as part of their “Hang Them!” campaign. 

That hint of recognition you experienced may have come about becuase we were on this story two weeks ago, as we reported on the Rolling Stone’s unfolding anti-gay campaign with its October 2 issue. The front cover of the tabloid promised “100 pictures of Uganda’s Top Homos,” but the story beginning on page two only included eight photos gleaned from Facebook and Gaydar profiles along with personally-identifiable information — names (sometimes including full names), residences and employers — of about a couple dozen LGBT individuals. The article also said that it was to be the first of a four part series. It’s widely believed that a well-known anti-gay activist may be connected to the campaign, although he denies any involvment

The Associated Press fills in a few extra details

In the days since it was published, at least four gay Ugandans on the list have been attacked and many others are in hiding, according to rights activist Julian Onziema. One person named in the story had stones thrown at his house by neighbors. 

"Hang Them; They Are After Our Kids", published in the October 2, 2010 edition of the Ugandan tabloid Rolling Stone (Names, places and photo obscured by BTB. Click to enlarge)

"Hang Them; They Are After Our Kids", published in the October 2, 2010 edition of the Ugandan tabloid Rolling Stone (Names, places and photo obscured by BTB. Click to enlarge)

 

That single article alone was damage enough, but Rolling Stone threatened three more installments and everyone wondered what would come with the expected appearance of the October 9 edition. Fortunately the government stepped in to shut down Rolling Stone before the second installment of their “Hang Them” campaign could hit the streets. It turns out that Rolling Stone failed to properly register itself with the authorities. In a country where heavy governmental interference with the press is commonplace, that was a big no-no. 

The AP article confirms our suspicions that Rolling Stone may start publishing again once they get their registration issues resolved. However, that, too, is only conjecture, since the lack of official registration probably wasn’t the only problem. I’m told that the October 2 issue, which was the fifth edition since Rolling Stone’s late August debut, carried only two advertisements in its entire 24-page edition. One was a quarter-page ad for Uganda Telecom and the other was a small front-page ad for Blue Magic, Inc,. the printing house which printed Rolling Stone. Five weeks on, that’s not much of an advertising base. The AP puts their circulation at 2,000 issues, but at only 1,500 Uganda Shillings a pop (US$0.65), this paper was not destined to last — unless there are some very deep pockets backing it. 

Update: I missed it, but Warren Throckmorton caught something that the AP story got wrong. The AP said

A lawmaker in this conservative African country introduced a bill a year ago that would have imposed the death penalty for some homosexual acts and life in prison for others. An international uproar ensued, and the bill was quietly shelved. 

In fact, the bill has not been shelved. It was referred by Parliament to two committees: the Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and the Committee on Presidential Affairs. As far as I know, neither committee has returned a report back to Parliament. Warren’s sources confirm to him that it is still in committee as well. After the committee(s) report back to Parliament, the bill would then have to undergo a second and third reading before a final vote. 

Parliamentary elections are slated for February and March of 2011, and in anticipation of breaking for campaigning, Parliament issued what they said was its agenda for the final session. The Anti-Homosexuality Bill did not make it to that agenda, and it has not appeared on the daily order papers.

Joe in California

October 19th, 2010

I truly believe that these people are terrorists. Whoever is financially backing this anti-gay campaign should be brought to court! It smells like dirty politics. I would think that, even in Uganda, there are lines that shouldn’t be crossed. This is an International Human Rights issue at this point.
Tell your government representative to stop all aid to Uganda! The pressure on the Ugandan government must continue.

Leonardo Ricardo

October 19th, 2010

IT IS DIRTY POLITICS…President Museveni loves this ¨morality¨ explosive junk and he and his wife, Janet, are constantly popping up to save Uganda…of course Museveni is running for re-election in 2011 (after altering the constitution to run again)…he´s Anglican and so is Archbishop Orombi who excommunicated Bishop Christopher (straight, right front box) for ministering to distraught/suicidal Gays…the whole mess is corrupt and Archbishop Orombi is active trying to thieve U.S. Episcopal Church parishes (California and Georgia Supreme courts have thrown him out but they are now hearing appeals). BTW, strong rumor has it that Rolling Stones sister vile Tabloid, Red Pepper which also outs enemies/Gays is owned by family of Museveni…President Obama really needs to cut off the military aid.

Franck

October 20th, 2010

Really, being targeted by murderous extremists both Christian and Muslim, Uganda should know better than to concentrate on persecuting a helpless part of its own population instead.

Don

October 20th, 2010

Christians and Muslims in Uganda should know the facts about homosexuality.
Here are the true facts, from the modern scholarship of authors like the late (gay) historian-linguist John Boswell in his monumental tome “Christianity, Social Tolerance and Homosexuality” (1980) where he examined the original Hebrew text of the Book of Leviticus, and found the word “toevah” used to describe same-sex physical association in Levitius 18:22(“Man shall not lie with mankind as he does a woman”). The word that the writer of Leviticus could have used- “zimah”- was not used. Zimah was used in Lev.19:29 to denote prostitution and adultery, which is condemned as one of the Ten Commandments allegedly received by Moses from God. Note that homosexuality is NOT one of the Ten Commandments!

Don

October 20th, 2010

See correced email address. Sorry.

MIhangel apYrs

October 20th, 2010

Don

all the scholastic study in the world will not undo religiously-based prejudice: they use their texts to validate their hatred, it isn’t the cause of it.

Moreover, Christist fundies will say that the King James bible is authoritive and divinely inspired (at least until the Conservapadia version comes out anfter Andy has rewritten things to suit his mummy’s mind set). so it can’t be wrong, nor can the inspired interpretations of it by god’s chosen pastors.

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