‘Inspirational’ Ugandan lesbian campaigner wins human rights award

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera, the Ugandan gay rights campaigner, has been honoured with a prestigious human rights award.

The activist, who has risked death to speak up for other LGBT people, received the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders in Geneva on Wednesday.

The winner of the annual award is decided by ten human rights groups.

Ms Nabagesera is the founder of Freedom and Roam Uganda and award organisers commended her “rare courage” in a country which punishes homosexuality severely.

She has appeared on national television and radio to call for LGBT rights and an end to homophobia, despite being physically attacked and forced to move house regularly to escape harassment and death threats.

Last year, her name and photo were published by the notorious Ugandan tabloid Rolling Stone, which campaigned for gay people to be hanged.

Amnesty International is one of the award’s ten judging organisations and Michelle Kagari, Amnesty’s deputy Africa Programme director, said: “This award recognises Kasha Jacqueline 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 who face threats, violence and imprisonment on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity.”