The National Queer Organization of Iceland (i. Samtökin ’78) and Amnesty International have started a joint campaign to help raise awareness and money for LGBT organisations in Uganda, where president Museveni Yoweri has just recently signed into law a bill toughening penalties for gay people. The bill includes life sentences for gay sex and same-sex marriage and closure of LGBT organisations in Uganda.
“After Kasha Jaqueline Nabagesera, a lesbian activist from Uganda, visited Iceland last year a collaboration was established between Samtökin ’78, the Icelandic section of Amnesty International and grassroots organisations in Uganda. Now Samtökin’78, the Icelandic section of Amnesty and students from the University of Iceland have gathered together and want to raise awareness and also money for the LGBT organisations in Uganda,” explains Unnsteinn Jóhannsson, project manager for Samtökin ’78.
Unnsteinn hopes that supporting LGBT activists in Uganda can help the cause “even though things are though at the moment. It is important for us to show support here in Iceland, as even though people in Uganda would like to stand up and show their support for the LGBT community it could have horrible coincidences. Icelanders can stand up and together send the message that we do care and that they are not alone.”
The campaign begins this forthcoming Thursday, 27th of February, with a special screening of the American multi-award winning documentary Call me Kuchu (2012) at Cinema Paradise at 6pm. The film explores the struggles of the LGBT community in Uganda, focusing in part on the 2011 murder of LGBT activist David Kato. Tickets will be sold today at the cinema between 11-14pm. The ticket price is 1.000 ISK.
Afterwards Angel P’ojara, friend of Kasha Jaqueline Nabagesera, will interact with the audience in a Q&A.
A week later (Thursday, 6th of March) some of the biggest names in the Icelandic music industry will perform at Harpa music hall at 8pm – Paul Oscar, Sigga Beinteins, Retro Stefson among them. Tickets will be available online at www.harpa.is and www.midi.is. The ticket price is 2.000 ISK.
The profit will be donated to the LGBT organizations in Uganda.
Uganda: Facts on the new extreme anti-gay law
On Tuesday last week an Ugandan newspaper published a list of what it called the country’s “200 top” gays, outing some Ugandans and raising fears of violence against those named only a day after president Museveni enacted a severe anti-gay law.