Hundreds Of Women In Uganda Protest To “End Miniskirt Harassment”

Mobs of men have been publicly harassing and attempting to undress women who are “dressed indecently.”

1. Around 200 women, many dressed in short skirts and shorts, gathered outside the National Theater in Kampala, Uganda, to protest against the continued harassment of women and girls considered to be “dressed indecently,” according to the country’s new laws.

The Star, Kenya @TheStarKenya

#STAR_LEADER: New Ugandan dress code is anti-women #miniskirt #Uganda

3. The legislation to ban “indecent dressing” was proposed last year by Simon Lokodo, the Ethics and Integrity Minister, who said that women who wore “anything above the knee” should be arrested.

The legislation to ban "indecent dressing" was proposed last year by Simon Lokodo, the Ethics and Integrity Minister, who said that women who wore "anything above the knee" should be arrested.

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Facebook: Uganda-Radio-Network

4. The law has sparked increased incidents of mobs of men publicly harassing, assaulting and undressing women for wearing short skirts in public places.

Francis Waithaka @waithash

Women cannot put on miniskirts in Uganda after the #antiporn bill was signed. 10 women have been undressed.

Achiro said the new law would let men “judge women according to what they see as indecent because there are no parameters defined by law.”

7. The “End Mini-Skirt Harassment” Facebook group that has over 4,000 likes, organized a march on Wednesday, Feb. 26, to end the sexual violence against women and to pressure the government to recall the law.

The "End Mini-Skirt Harassment" Facebook group that has over 4,000 likes, organized a march on Wednesday, Feb. 26, to end the sexual violence against women and to pressure the government to recall the law.

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Facebook: ENDminiskirtharassment Agatha Ayebazibwe @agathanewton


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16. One of the event’s organizers, Patience Akumu, said a police officer harassed her for wearing a short skirt when she went to seek permission to hold the demonstration.

BBC News (World) @BBCWorld

Women stopped from protesting over #Uganda miniskirt ban &

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Ugandan President Signs Law Criminalizing HIV Transmission

“It seems that Uganda is not committed to scaling down this pandemic — Uganda has chosen to moralize.” BF_STATIC.timequeue.push(function () { if (BF_STATIC.bf_test_mode) localStorage.setItem(‘posted_date’, 1408469645); }); BF_STATIC.timequeue.push(function () { document.getElementById(“update_posted_time_3422182”).innerHTML = “posted on ” + UI.dateFormat.get_formatted_date(1408469645); });

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Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni (right) receives award from religious leaders in March for enacting anti-LGBT legislation. Stringer / Reuters

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has signed a bill into law to criminalize HIV transmission and impose other measures public health activists say will make it even harder to get Uganda’s severe epidemic under control.

The copy of the signed legislation obtained by public health advocates is dated July 31, but official documents are frequently back-dated by Ugandan officials and so its possible that Museveni only signed the law in the past few days. Parliament voted in favor of the legislation on May 13.

The provisions that are most troubling to public health advocates are those that could result in the imprisonment of HIV-positive people. The law imposes a fine and a ten-year prison sentence for “intentional transmission of HIV” and five years for “attempted transmission of HIV.” The legislation also allows for compulsory testing in some cases, such as when a woman is pregnant, and would enable courts to order the release of individuals’ HIV status without consent.

These are some of the provisions that most worry public health advocates:

These are some of the provisions that most worry public health advocates:

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Museveni’s signature comes just after Uganda’s Constitutional Court struck down the Anti-Homosexuality Act, which public health advocates had also warned would impede Uganda’s HIV response by driving LGBT people away from health services. This new legislation was denounced in May by the United States — which is the largest funder of Uganda’s HIV program — and so could add another complication to the relationship between the two countries. It also could potentially hinder efforts to get a $90 million health loan from the World Bank that was suspended following passage of the Anti-Homosexuality Act back on track.

A White House spokesperson did not offer comment Tuesday on word that the law had been signed. But the U.S. Global AIDS coordinator, Ambassador Deborah Birx, had called for the legislation to be rejected just after Parliament passed the law in May.

“Over the past 30 years, we have witnessed time and again how stigma, discrimination, and fear – and the misguided policies that stem from them – further fuel the epidemic by deterring those most in need from accessing lifesaving HIV prevention, treatment, and care services,” Birx said. “I join with the many health practitioners, HIV/AIDS and human rights activists, multilateral institutions, and individuals everywhere – in Uganda and around the world – in calling for the people and the Government of Uganda to reject this regressive bill.”

The provisions criminalizing HIV transmission resemble some provisions that are on the books in some U.S. states, but there has been a move in recent years to repeal them. Worldwide we’ve seen that “criminalization of HIV doesn’t work. It drives people away from services and fuels discrimination and fear,” said Asia Russell, an advocate with the U.S. organization Health Gap who is based in the Ugandan capital of Kampala.

Kikonyongo Kivumbi of the Uganda Health and Science Press Association said in a phone interview, “It seems that Uganda is not committed to scaling down this pandemic — Uganda has chosen to moralize.” Uganda is one of the only countries in the world that gets a large amount of HIV funding but continues to have a spreading HIV epidemic, he said, in part because ideological approaches have trumped evidence-based approaches including access to condoms.

“Uganda’s performance is incredibly disturbing,” Kivumbi said. “How can you pass such an act which is a danger to public health?”


National Security Council spokesman Ned Price said by email on Wednesday that the Obama administration would not comment because, “We are in the process of reviewing the bill, so any discussion of a response would be premature.” BF_STATIC.timequeue.push(function () { if (BF_STATIC.bf_test_mode) localStorage.setItem(‘update_posted_date’, ‘2014-08-19 14:13:51 -0400’); }); BF_STATIC.timequeue.push(function () { document.getElementById(“update_article_update_time_3626231”).innerHTML = UI.dateFormat.get_formatted_date(‘2014-08-19 14:13:51 -0400’, ‘update’); });

Read the signed legislation:

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Top State Department Official Says Response To Ugandan Anti-LGBT Law Was “Slow”

“I would acknowledge we’re sometimes slow,” Assistant Secretary of State Tom Malinowski said.

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U.S. State Department / Via

WASHINGTON — The State Department’s top human rights official said Wednesday that the U.S. response to Uganda’s anti-LGBT law may have been “slow.”

“I would acknowledge we’re sometimes slow,” said Tom Malinowski, assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights, and labor, said during a briefing on LGBT rights in Africa sponsored by the RFK Center in Washington. He was responding to a question about activists’ complaints that the U.S. took months to take meaningful action in response to a law enacted in February that imposed a lifetime maximum sentence for homosexuality. The Obama administration announced the first major sanctions in response to the law’s passage in June.

“Complicated democracies with complicated bureaucracies are often slow,” said Malinowski, who took office on April 3. But “when we do move … we act with greater legitimacy and greater strength,” he said.

He continued, “Where we are right now is a good place with respect to Uganda … The message has been delivered loud and clear.”

Malinowski appeared on the panel with Richard Lusimbo of the organization Sexual Minorities Uganda, who praised U.S. sanctions, but also said “we are playing kind of double message” by still inviting Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni to participate in the African Leaders Summit being hosted by the Obama administration in Washington next week.

Lusimbo also urged the U.S. to match its engagement with Uganda over the anti-LGBT law with a similar commitment to Nigeria, which enacted similar legislation in January. The U.S. government has been very muted in its criticism, partly in response to signals early on from Nigerian activists that they didn’t want to call attention to the legislation.

“The American government has come out very strongly in Uganda, but let’s not forget about our brothers and sisters in Nigeria,” said Lusimbo. Without a consistent response, he said, “before you know it every African country will be passing legislation discriminating [against] LGBT people.

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Touched by a Wild Mountain Gorilla (Video)

Wild baby gorillas groom explorer in UgandaWild baby gorillas groom explorer in Uganda

A group of researchers encounters a pack of wild mountain gorillas near Uganda’s Bwindi National Park and one lucky human gets groomed by baby gorillas…

via Viral Viral Videos

He Was Only Trying To Take Some Gorilla Pictures, But He Got So Much More Than That. OMG.

Wildlife photographer John King was in Uganda to take pictures of wild mountain gorillas in their natural habitat when he received quite the surprise. In the middle of the photo shoot, King’s fellow primates decided they were done with modeling. What they did next was incredible. Take a look!

1. The first gorillas approach King.

2. It’s grooming time.

3. They get in there pretty good.

4. All of them.

5. Inspecting their work.

6. Looks like he loves the new ‘do.

Watch as a family of gorillas gives this photographer some grooming.

(H/T The Telegraph) Maybe it was the black t-shirt that made the gorillas treat him as if he were one of their own. If not, it had to be the dozen bananas he ate for lunch that day. Share this post using the button below.

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25 Bizarre Things Found In Flags From Around The World

The national flag is one of the most important and respected symbols of a country. Usually, the motif depicted on the flag refers to the country´s history or culture. While most of national flags contain various geometrical figures, colors and common symbols, there are flags with surprisingly bizarre things on them. From a naked man beheading another man to machetes and assault rifles, check out these 25 bizarre things found in flags from around the world.

25. Mozambique

When it comes to national flags bearing weapons, nothing compares to that of Mozambique. Symbolizing the country´s defense and vigilance, the national flag of Mozambique is “decorated” with an AK-47 assault rifle. The open book symbolizes the importance of education and the hoe represents the country’s agriculture.

24. Bhutan

It’s generally known that the dragon is a very important symbol in many Asian countries but Bhutan is one of few that has designed their national flag with the creature. The dragon depicted on the flag is Druk, the legendary Bhutanese thunder dragon holding a jewel called norbu. The yellow part signifies the country´s civil tradition while the red half represents the Buddhist spiritualism.

23. Swaziland

On the national flag of Swaziland, you’ll find a black and white shield (showing that people of various colors can live together) and two spears. The three blue objects are feathers of the widowbird and the lourie. Having the highest importance, the symbol of the feathers can only be used by the country´s king.

22. Kyrgyzstan

What may look like a shining tennis ball is actually the sun crossed by two sets of three lines, a stylized representation of the crown of the traditional Kyrgyz portable dwelling structure called yurt. There are 40 identical rays placed around the sun that – according to a popular legend – signifies 40 Kyrgyz tribes unified against the Mongols by the epic hero Manas.

21. Belize

While most national flags contain a moderate amount of symbols and figures, the design of Belize´s national flag is very complex. The center of the flag features mestizo and black woodcutters armed with cutting tools and surrounded by 50 mahogany leaves, referring to the logging industry which has been a major industrial sector of the country.

20. Libya

Used between 1977 and 2011, the Libyan national flag was the only flag in the world with just one color and no design, insignia, or other details. The purely green design was chosen by then Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to symbolize his political philosophy and Islam. In 2011, after Gaddafi was killed, an earlier version of the flag was re-adopted.

19. Nepal

The national flag of Nepal has one interesting primacy – it’s the world’s only non-quadrilateral national flag. The design consists of the simplified combination of two single pennants featuring symbols of the crescent moon and the sun. Until 1962, the flag was even more bizarre as the sun and moon emblems had human faces, which made them look like modern emoticons.

18. Kenya

Kenya is another African country with spears on its national flag. Along with the dominance of red in the central part of the flag, they symbolize the protection of the country and the blood shed during the fights for independence. The black color in the upper part represents Kenyan people and the green band signifies the country´s landscape.

17. Isle of Man

Located between the islands of Great Britain and Ireland, the Isle of Man is a self-governing British Crown dependency, known for its unusual flag. Three armored legs with golden spurs joined together are juxtaposed against a red background. Officially known as the triskelion, this bizarre symbol was once used by the ancient nations of the Mycenaeans and the Lycians thousands of years ago. The Isle of Man has used this symbol since 1932 but it’s not certain why they adopted it.

16. Cyprus

Since August 1960, Cyprus has used a national flag which features the map of the island with two olive branches underneath. The olive branches as well as the purely white background symbolize peace and the orange color of the map represents its large deposits of copper ore.

15. Uganda

Native to the African savannah, the grey crowned crane takes the center spot in Uganda’s flag. The three colors are representative of the African people (black), Africa’s sunshine (yellow), and African brotherhood (red) and the raised leg of the crane symbolizes the forward movement of the country.

14. Grenada

Used since 1974, the national flag of Grenada is bordered with a thick red frame containing 6 yellow stars that stand for the country’s six parishes. The central star, encircled by a red disk, represents Saint George, Grenada’s capital. The strange little symbol on the left is a nutmeg, one of Grenada staples. As far as the flag’s colors are concerned; red stands for courage and vitality; yellow for wisdom and warmth; and green for vegetation and agriculture.

13. Mongolia

The national flag of Mongolia features 3 vertical bands, one of which holds Mongolia’s national symbol, the soyombo. If you look closely at the symbol, you should be able to recognize representations of fire, sun, moon, earth, water, and the Yin-Yang symbol. The central blue band signifies the sky, while the red bands represent the ability of Mongolia to thrive in its harsh environment.

12. Saudi Arabia

The world´s dominant oil producer, Saudi Arabia, is another country with a weapon on its national flag. Similar to Libya and other countries, the green background represents Islam and the sword is the symbol of the country´s military power and also of the House of Saud, the founding dynasty of the country. The Arabic inscription placed above the sword is the Shahada – Islamic declaration of faith.

11. Ecuador

The national flag of Ecuador consists of three colored bands and an extremely complex and intricate coat of arms in the middle. In it, there’s a mountain (Mt. Chimborazo, the highest mountain in Ecuador), a river, a steamboat, the sun, spears, both laurel and palm leaves and several other objects related to the country. On top of it all resides a condor which symbolizes the power of Ecuador.

10. Angola

If the design of Angola´s national flag reminds you of the communist symbol of the former Soviet Union, you’re not alone. The symbol in the middle of the flag is a crossed cog wheel (representing industry) and a machete (representing the peasantry and the armed struggle). The flag was adopted in 1975 when Angola was ruled by a Marxist government, and thus was supposed to evoke the image of the hammer and sickle found on the flag of the former soviet union.

9. Gibraltar

Gibraltar’s flag features a three-towered red castle and a gold key. The castle refers to the Kingdom of Castile, a large and powerful medieval kingdom and the key signifies the fact that Gibraltar has been considered the entrance to the Mediterranean.

8. Papua New Guinea

Divided diagonally into two identical triangles, the national flag of Papua New Guinea has bizarre objects in both halves. In the hoist part, there are five stars arranged into the shape of the Southern Cross (suggesting that the country is located in the Southern hemisphere), while the right part is designed with the raggiana bird of paradise, an iconic Papua New Guinea bird. What makes the flag even more unusual is the fact the designer of it was a 15-year-old schoolgirl who won a nationwide competition for a new flag design in 1971.

7. Turkmenistan

The national flag of Turkmenistan boasts an impressive primacy – it’s the most detailed national flag in the world. The crescent moon (symbol of Islam), five stars (representing five provinces of the country) and the red stripe containing five incredibly detailed and intricate carpet designs (representing five original major tribes of Turkmenistan) earned the flag the unique title.

6. Sri Lanka

The most dominant symbol of the national flag of Sri Lanka is a large gold lion holding a kastane sword. The lion represents the Sri Lankan nation and its bravery while the sword signifies the country´s ability to protect itself. The four little objects in the corners are bo leaves and stand for the country´s Buddhist tradition and the four virtues: Kindness, Friendliness, Happiness and Equanimity. The two stripes on the left represent the Tamils and Moors, major Sri Lankan ethnic groups.

5. Wales

From a distance, the main symbol of Wale´s national flag looks similar to that of Sri Lanka but in this case, the creature depicted on the flag is not a lion but a red dragon. The dragon, sometimes also known as the Welsh dragon, refers to legendary king Cadwaladr who ruled Wales in the 7th century and was often associated with the dragon.

4. Virgin Islands

An insular area belonging to the United States, the Virgin Islands’ national flag is a simplified version of the US coat of arms. The arrows found in the eagle’s left talon represent three major islands of the archipelago and the letters found under the eagle´s wings are the country´s initials.

3. Barbados

If you think the trident depicted on Barbados’ national flag is a reference to Neptune or Poseidon, you’re wrong. Derived from Britannia, a mythical female patron of then Roman Britain, the trident represents the three principles of democracy.

2. Cambodia

Cambodia is one of the few countries to feature a building as the dominant symbol of their national flag. In the case of this Southeast Asian country, the building depicted on the flag is the Angkor Wat, the iconic structure of Cambodia and the largest religious monument in the world.

1. Benin Empire

The modern national flag of Benin consists of 3 colored bands and includes no other symbols. However, the old flag of the Benin Empire (a pre-colonial empire in today Nigeria) was much more “interesting”. It depicted a naked man holding a sword, beheading another person. The exact origin of the flag is uncertain but it is generally believed the design referred to the Itsekri People, an ethnic group that acted as middle men between the Edo people of Benin and the Europeans on the coast.

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Ugandan Police Spent Weeks Undercover Before Raiding U.S.-Backed HIV Center

The investigation began on March 15 after police “received a report” that the facility was “carrying out recruitment and training of young males in unnatural sexual acts,” Ugandan police say.

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J. Lester Feder/BuzzFeed

Two Ugandan police officers went undercover for almost a month in an investigation that led to last week’s raid on an HIV center run by the U.S. Military HIV Program in partnership with Makerere University in Kampala, according to a statement released by the Ugandan police on Tuesday.

Surveillance of the facility began following a March 15 report “that an NGO based in Nakasero area of Kampala was carrying out recruitment and training of young males in unnatural sexual acts,” said the statement, which was attributed to spokesman Fred Enganga. Crime intelligence officers went to “verify the claims by infiltrating the project,” posing as men seeking safe-sex education.

The officers found that the training “targeted youth between the ages of 18 and 25,” who “were shown videos of men engaging in homosexual activity.”

The police broke their cover, the statement said, after “officers observed a large number of participants being shown a same-sex pornographic film.” (The statement said the action took place on April 4, but the details match reports about the raid that took place on April 3.) After they “identified themselves to the facilitators and asked for an explanation on what was happening,” the participants fled the clinic. The statement seems to dispute the U.S. State Department’s claim that an employee of the project was arrested, saying instead that “one of the facilitators “accompanied the officers to Jinja Road Police Station to assist in investigation, and was later released.”

The statement said that the Ugandan Police Force’s Professional Standards Unit is now investigating the raid following a complaint from the HIV center. But it also suggests that the investigation of the HIV center is continuing.

“We appeal to all persons who may have participated in this training, or have information that could assist the Police in the investigation, to volunteer such information to the Police,” the statement concluded.

A Ugandan police spokesperson initially denied the raid had taken place at all. Human rightslawyer Nicholas Opiyo said police seized materials including condoms, lubricant, and medical manuals concerning HIV and men who have sex with men during the raid, and took pictures of patients who were at the clinic of the time of the raid.

Here’s the full statement:

Here's the full statement:

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LGBT Activists Pin Hopes On Ugandan Legal System As They Challenge Anti-Gay Law

“The rest of the government, frankly speaking, is a dictatorship … The courts of Uganda are kind of independent,” said a party to a new suit challenging the law.

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Victor Mukasa. / Via

A lawsuit filed Tuesday against Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act is not the first time LGBT activists have turned to the country’s courts for protection — and, at least twice, they’ve won.

“The rest of the government, frankly speaking, is a dictatorship,” said Paul Semugoma, a Ugandan HIV advocate now living in South Africa who is one of the parties to the suit filed Tuesday against the law, which provides for jail terms of up to life in prison for those found “guilty” of engaging in gay sex and essentially bans LGBT advocacy. “The paradox is [that] the courts of Uganda are kind of independent,” he said.

The first major LGBT rights suit brought in Uganda was filed by Victor Mukasa, then head of the group Sexual Minorities Uganda, in 2006. He sued the country’s attorney general after security forces broke down his door in 2005 while he was at work, confiscated advocacy materials, and arrested a friend who was staying with him.

He filed suit almost 18 months after the raid because he could not find a lawyer who would represent him. He spent six months of that time living in hiding at an Amnesty International safe house, and then went to South Africa until a date was set for his hearing. He returned with the goal of mobilizing the LGBT community around the process.

“Suing the government was not something I wanted to do, but it was for the community,” he said. “I was not the first to be raided and I would not be the last.”

When the High Court ruled in his favor in 2008, it was transformative, Mukasa said. It inspired another activist with Sexual Minorities Uganda, David Kato, and others to sue the Ugandan newspaper Rolling Stone for publishing the names and photos of people said to be gay.

The courts first ordered Rolling Stone to halt publishing in November of 2010, and then, in January of 2011, the High Court awarded those named hundreds of dollars in damages.

Those victories, however, came at a high cost to those who’ve gone to court. A few weeks after winning the suit against Rolling Stone Kato was bludgeoned to death by an attacker wielding a hammer.

Mukasa left Uganda before the court ruled in his favor, facing a stream of death threats targeting him and his school-aged daughter. He now lives in the United States.

The LGBT activists who have joined with politicians and law professors to bring the new suit — including the current head of Sexual Minorities Uganda, Frank Mugisha, and trans activist Julian Pepe Onziema — are taking a risk, Mukasa said, adding that it was one he thought they have to take.

“I support it 101%. If I were there I would do the same thing,” he said.

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Obama Administration Pressed To Review U.S. Aid To Countries With Anti-LGBT Laws

“Such laws not only violate human rights, they endanger lives and undermine public health efforts,” members of the Congressional Black Caucus write in a letter to the administration.

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CBC Chair Rep. Marcia Fudge with President Barack Obama. / Via

Forty-one members of the Congressional Black Caucus called on the Obama administration to review all aid to countries with laws criminalizing homosexuality in a letter sent on Tuesday.

The letter praises the administration’s “internal review of our relationship with the Government of Uganda” in response to the country’s new law imposing up to a life sentence for homosexuality, but urges the administration to broaden its reassessment to examine relationships with all countries with anti-gay laws. The representatives note that that Nigeria recently enacted legislation similar to Uganda’s and that lawmakers in other African nations are reportedly trying to do the same.

“Such laws not only violate human rights, they endanger lives and undermine public health efforts, most notably programs to address HIV/AIDS, which must be conducted in a non-discriminatory manner in order to be effective,” the group writes.

Obama administration officials have said they are “reviewing” partnerships in Uganda since the law was enacted last month, but they have repeatedly declined to provide any details of what steps have been taken. Congressional sources also say that the administration has left key questions about this process unanswered for lawmakers.

The CBC members also urge the administration to divert aid dollars away from governments and non-governmental organizations that “support discriminatory laws.” This could refer to organizations like the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda, which has received millions of U.S. dollars for their HIV programs while promoting the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

The members also request U.S. embassies to be given the power to protect and assist “individuals endangered by anti-LGBT laws.” They also encourage the United States work with the United Nations, the African Union, and other diplomatic institutions to try to repeal such laws.

The letter from CBC members on anti-LGBT laws:

The letter from CBC members on anti-LGBT laws:

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