Ugandan wins prestigious Norway prize / News / The Foreigner

Ugandan wins prestigious Norway prize. Frank Mugisha and Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) have been given this year’s Rafto prize. The Bergen-based foundation says it was awarded for the organisation’s “work to make fundamental human rights apply to everyone, and to eliminate discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.” “Frank Mugisha and his colleagues in SMUG have demonstrated great courage in fronting the fight for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people’s (LGBTI, or as SMUG calls the group, sexual minorities) rights.”

smug, frankmugisha, raftoprize



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Ugandan wins prestigious Norway prize

Published on Thursday, 29th September, 2011 at 12:21 under the news category, by Lyndsey Smith   .

Frank Mugisha and Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) have been given this year’s Rafto prize.

Frank Mugisha, UK  Houses of Parliament, 2009
Frank Mugisha, UK Houses of Parliament, 2009
Photo: Brendan O’Donnell/Rafto


The Bergen-based foundation says it was awarded for the organisation’s “work to make fundamental human rights apply to everyone, and to eliminate discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.”

“Frank Mugisha and his colleagues in SMUG have demonstrated great courage in fronting the fight for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people’s (LGBTI, or as SMUG calls the group, sexual minorities) rights.”

“People who do not conform to society's gender and sexual norms are subject to abuse in today's Uganda. Homosexuality is publicly portrayed as "un-African" and a "contagious" pollutant that destroys society and therefore must be eliminated.4 Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons are often ostracised by their families and local communities and are left without any form of social safety net. Many lose their jobs and place at school and end up having to live in the slum,” Rafto says.

According to the Foundation, 32-year-old Frank Mugisha and SMUG are among the few who will stand up to try and stop the discrimination. David Kato, another SMUG activist, was killed in his home earlier this year after winning a recent court battle against newspaper Rolling Stone. The publication had featured his picture in an article “Uganda’s top 100 Homos. Hang Them!”

One of SMUG’s aims is to prevent the private members’ “Uganda anti-homosexuality bill” from being passed. In some cases, it calls for the death penalty, and making life imprisonment a minimum sentence.

“Rafto wishes to highlight the fact that SMUG and Frank Mugisha’s fight for human dignity of a particularly vulnerable group is a part of a greater fight for democracy and social justice,” they state in a press release.

Foreign Minister and Jonas Gahr Støre and environment and international development Minister Erik Solheim also congratulated the group on being awarded the prize.

“We see this as a tribute to all those who dare to stand up against the discrimination and hate crime sexual minorities are often subjected to. SMUG is working to dispel myths and prejudice so that, in the long term, society will realise that human rights are for all,” says Minister Solheim said in a statement.

SMUG Executive Director Frank Mugisha will be given the prize under the ceremony at the National Venue of Theatre (Den Nationale Scene), in Bergen on Sunday 6th of November at 18:00.



Published on Thursday, 29th September, 2011 at 12:21 under the news category, by Lyndsey Smith   .

This post has the following tags: smug, frankmugisha, raftoprize.





  
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