Kasha Nabagesera

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Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera (also known as Jacqueline Kasha) is a Ugandan LGBT rights activist. She is the founder and executive director of an LGBT rights organization called Freedom & Roam Uganda (FARUG).[1] and 2011 recipient of the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders.[2]


She has publicly campaigned for an end to homophobia in Uganda, where homosexuality is illegal.[3] In 2010, Ugandan newspaper Rolling Stone published the photographs and names of people it claimed to be gay, under the headline "Hang Them". The names and photographs included those of Nabagesera and her colleague David Kato.[3] The pair eventually sued the tabloid, and in doing so set a benchmark for human rights in Uganda. Nabagesera explains the precedence as an attempt to protect “privacy and the safety we all have against incitements to violence.”[4]

Kato was later killed following the legal battle with the publication.[3] Nabagasera has continued the fight for gay rights in Uganda. Under the auspice of FARUG, she has fought to decriminalize homosexuality in Uganda by circumventing the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill; a bill which mandates stiff sentences ranging from prison sentences to the death penalty.[5] Furthermore the bill mandates that citizens who do not expose gay and lesbians to the authorities, face up to 3 years in jail.[5]

In 2010, Nabagesera opened the only Ugandan bar for LGBT people; named Sappho Islands, the bar was situated in a suburb of Kampala. It closed in 2011.[6][7]


In May 2011, it was announced that Nabagesera would be awarded the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders.[1] She received the award in Geneva on 13 October 2011, she is the first gay rights activist to do so.[8] According to Michelle Kagari of Amnesty International, the award "recognises [Nabagesera's] tremendous courage in the face of discrimination and violence against LGBT people in Uganda. Her passion to promote equality and her tireless work to end a despicable climate of fear is an inspiration to LGBT activists the world over ..."[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera Speaks Out for LGBT Rights", Human Rights Watch Press Release (allAfrica), 3 May 2011, retrieved 15 October 2011 
  2. ^ http://www.martinennalsaward.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=100&Itemid=146&lang=en
  3. ^ a b c "Uganda Gay Activist Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera Hailed", BBC News (BBC), 4 May 2011, retrieved 15 October 2011 
  4. ^ Nabagesera, Kasha. "My Life as a Gay Ugandan". online article. African Activist. Retrieved 2012-01-30. 
  5. ^ a b "Biography". online article. Oslo Freedom forum. Retrieved 2012-01-30. 
  6. ^ Avery, Dan (5 October 2011), "Sappho Islands, The Only Gay Bar In Uganda, Closes", Queerty (Queerty, Inc), retrieved 15 October 2011 
  7. ^ McConnell, Tristan (15 May 2011), "Uganda's Anti-Gay Bill Fails", GlobalPost, retrieved 15 October 2011 
  8. ^ Titi-Fontaine, Sandra (14 October 2011), "Gay Rights Activist Calls for End to Hate", swissinfo (SRG SSR), retrieved 15 October 2011 
  9. ^ Geen, Jessica (14 October 2011), "'Inspirational' Ugandan Lesbian Campaigner Wins Human Rights Award", Pink News, retrieved 15 October 2011 

External links[edit]

  • [1], Appreciation of the Jury - 2013 Human Rights Award