Appreciation of the Jury - 2013 Human Rights Award
On Sunday, 30 September, 2012, the jury of the Nuremberg International Human Rights Award, chaired by the Lord Mayor of the City of Nuremberg, Dr. Ulrich Maly, met in the Hirsvogel Hall of the Tucher Mansion Museum and made the following decision concerning the tenth award:
The award winner is Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera from Uganda
The Award will be presented in Nuremberg Opera House on Sunday, 29 September, 2013.
Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera is a human rights activist who works for the promotion of the rights for and the improvement of the living situation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people (LSBT) in Uganda. Since the age of 21 she has been fighting for those rights, founding the organisation “Freedom and Roam Uganda“ (FARUG). She has been paying a high price for this: since her appearance at the World Social Forum in Nairobi in 2007, when she demanded respect for people who deviate from the heterosexual norm, she has been the victim of numerous attacks. The climax of harassment was reached in 2010, when a list of homosexuals was published by a Ugandan newspaper which challenged its readers to murder these people. After she successfully fought a court-case against this publication, her fellow-activist, David Kato, fell victim to assassination. Since then she has had to continually change her identity and her residence.
Gay and lesbian people face a climate of hatred and violence in Uganda which permeates all layers of society. Again and again, there are attacks on homosexuals. Just coping with everyday life is an enormous challenge for them. As soon as it is known that somebody is a homosexual, they not only lose the respect of society, but often also their jobs and their family environment and social sphere. Ugandan jurisdiction is also treating homosexuals with increased severity. Today, sexual acts between people of the same gender can already be punished with several years’ imprisonment. In 2009, a draft bill was presented which even demanded the death penalty for homosexuals and inciting people to denunciation. In doing this, Uganda goes against international conventions ratified by its own government.
In the light of worldwide homophobia, though especially in Africa and Uganda, Ms Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera, together with her organisation FARUG, has made an important contribution, struggling, often in peril of her life, for the reduction of prejudices and the decriminalization of homosexuality.