Notorious Ugandan gay activist driven into asylum

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John Abadallah Wambere, a prominent Ugandan gay activist aka Long Jones, who was featured in the documentaries Call Me Kuchu and “Missionaries of Hate,” filed for asylum today in the United States.

John -AKA Long Jones - WambereWambere has been an activist for 14 years, as a co-founder of Spectrum Uganda Initiatives, through which he has worked to ensure the safety of the LGBTI community, reduce stigma, assist LGBTI Ugandans under arrest, and educate about HIV. He has continuously advocated for tolerance and equality, his exile became inevitebaly.

On his journey around the globe to seek support for the Ugandan LGBT community,  he came to Belgium september 2013 and march 2014 to meet with different NGO’s and politicians.  Uganda’s LGBTI community has been under escalating public, political, and physical attack in recent years, culminating in the passage of the Anti-Homosexuality Act and its signing into law on February 24, 2014 by President Yoweri Museveni. Long Jones, is one of the people that inspired hundreds of people to protest against this evolution. He has been a role model for many.

“This has been a very, very difficult decision for me,” Wambere said. “I have devoted my life to working for LGBTI people in Uganda, and it gives me great pain not to be with my community, allies, and friends while they are under increasing attack. But in my heart, I know it is my only option, and that I would be of no use to my community in jail.”

John was outed as gay by newspapers, harassed by strangers, received death threats from anonymous phone calls, evicted from his home, and beaten up.  Now,  under the new law,  he also faces life imprisonment should he return.

WISH2.be who welcomed other activists in exile under its members is convinced that John made an adult and mature decision in very difficult circumstances. We urge people not to judge the person for the simple reason that he searched protection when under extreme threat, and we hope that he can still be an inspiring father for the community in Uganda. Knowing Long Jones we know this is not the end of a journey, neither an opportunistic choice, this is a broken life saved.

Read the article by Colin Stewart here:

Prominent Ugandan gay activist seeks U.S. asylum

Read more about his file for asylum here.

 

 

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