High Court of Uganda Rules that All Ugandans Have a Right to Privacy and Dignity


High Court of Uganda Rules that All Ugandans Have a Right to Privacy and Dignity

January 4, 2011

Last fall, members of the LGBTI community in Uganda filed a legal complaint against Rolling Stone, a Ugandan newspaper tabloid publishing stories and photos of alleged LGBTI people and insisting that they be put to death by hanging.

Over a year later, on January 3, 2011, the High Court of Uganda made a landmark ruling that all Ugandans, regardless of sexual orientation, are entitled to rights to privacy, human dignity and protection from inhuman treatment. The Court also ruled that the Ugandan penal code cannot be used to punish homosexuals—or those perceived to be homosexuals—unless they have actually committed a crime. A court injunction was also issued to prevent Rolling Stone from further publications that violate the right to privacy—a measure that provides broad protection to all Ugandans and preempts forthcoming media attacks on the LGBTI community.

Adrian Jjuuko, coordinator of the Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law and executive director of AJWS’s grantee Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum Uganda (HRAPF), led the fight to push the case forward.

AJWS’s Ugandan partners have played a critical role in protecting and advancing rights for LGBTI people. They view this ruling as “a landmark in the struggle for the protection of human dignity and the right to privacy irrespective of one’s sexual orientation.”

As the Civil Society Coalition continues to advocate for human rights and constitutional law, AJWS’s partners are celebrating the High Court’s decision to support LGBTI people and to strengthen legal protections for all Ugandans.