Attacks reported on Ugandans newspaper 'outed' as gay

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Man holding copy of the Rolling Stone
Image caption,
The Rolling Stone says it will continue to publish the names of homosexuals

Several people have been attacked in Uganda after a local newspaper published their names and photos, saying they were homosexual, an activist has told the BBC.

Frank Mugisha said one woman was almost killed after her neighbours started throwing stones at her house.

He said most of those whose names appeared in Uganda's Rolling Stone paper had been harassed.

Last year, a local MP called for the death penalty for some homosexual acts.

The proposed Anti-homosexuality Bill sparked an international outcry and a year later has not been formally debated by parliament.

Homosexual acts are already illegal in Uganda and activists say the gay community still lives in fear.

"We have got people who have been threatened to be thrown out of work, people who have been threatened by their own family members, who want to throw them out of their own houses," said Mr Mugisha of the Sexual Minorities Uganda.

In the past, the government has accused homosexual groups of using claims of harassment to seek attention and funding, but this was strongly denied by Mr Mugisha.

Moral fabric

Giles Muhame, editor of the two-month-old Rolling Stone paper, denied that he had been inciting violence by publishing the names next to a headline which read "Hang them".

He said he was urging the authorities to investigate and prosecute people "recruiting children to homosexuality", before executing anyone found guilty.

He also said he was acting in the public interest, saying Ugandans did not know to what extent homsexuality was "ravaging the moral fabric of our nation", and he vowed to continue to publish the names and photographs of gay Ugandans.

It has so far identified 15 of the 100 names it said it would reveal.

The BBC's Joshua Mmali in Kampala says a newspaper that was barely known in a country with a poor reading culture, has now grabbed international headlines, while attracting wide condemnation from gay and human rights groups.

Mr Mugisha said he had written to both the Ugandan Media Council and police asking them to take action against the Rolling Stone but had not had any response.

The police said they had not received any formal complaints of any attacks.

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