John M. Becker

Noted Ugandan LGBT Activist Applies for Asylum in U.S.

Filed By John M. Becker | May 07, 2014 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Call Me Kuchu, John Abdallah Wambere, Kill the Gays bill, Uganda, Uganda anti-gay bill, Uganda anti-gay law, Uganda LGBT

john-longjones-wambere-uganda.jpgJohn "Longjones" Abdallah Wambere, a noted Ugandan LGBT activist who features prominently in the award-winning documentary Call Me Kuchu, is applying for asylum in the United States, GLAAD reports:

John "Longjones" Abdallah Wambere, who was presented the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Documentary for his role in Call Me Kuchu, is applying for asylum in the United States. He and his attorneys from Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) filed is application today to the US government.

John joined Allison Wright and Janson Wu of GLAD at a press conference to announce the application and answer questions... Wright noted that John came to the US on February 21 to speak and raise awareness about the plight of LGBT people in Uganda. While he was here, on February 24, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signed the anti-LGBT law. The law imposed up to life in prison for LGBT people, as well as harsh penalties for anyone who supports or speaks openly about LGBT people.

"The situation in Uganda has only gone from bad to worse since John arrived in the United States to raise awareness. With the passage of the anti-homosexuality act, John now runs the risk of life in prison, simply because of who he is and because of his advocacy on behalf of the LGBTI and HIV positive communities," noted Janson Wu, Senior Staff Attorney.

In other Uganda-related news, the first two men charged under the country's new Anti-Homosexuality Law appeared in court today. Via the Associated Press:

A Ugandan court has started hearing the case against two Ugandans accused of engaging in gay sex, the trial since a severe law was enacted in February. They appeared Wednesday before a magistrate's court in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, to apply for bail after prosecutors said they had enough evidence to proceed with the case.

The Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum, a local watchdog group, said that Ugandan police arrested the couple in January as they fled an angry mob. They were charged with engaging in acts "against the order of nature."

Although Uganda has had anti-gay legislation since the colonial era, the country's president enacted a law in February that strengthened penalties against gay sex.

Leave a comment

We want to know your opinion on this issue! While arguing about an opinion or idea is encouraged, personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please be respectful of others.

The editorial team will delete a comment that is off-topic, abusive, exceptionally incoherent, includes a slur or is soliciting and/or advertising. Repeated violations of the policy will result in revocation of your user account. Please keep in mind that this is our online home; ill-mannered house guests will be shown the door.