Gay African Human Rights Defender honored with world human rights award in Geneva

October 11, 2011

On Thursday 13 October Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera will be presented with the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders (MEA) during a ceremony in Victoria Hall in Geneva, starting at 18h00.  Kasha is the 20th Laureate of this prestigious award.

Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera is the founding director of Freedom and Roam Uganda, a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights organization. The situation of LGBT community is extremely difficult and dangerous in many countries like Uganda where LGBT people are threatened, imprisoned, attacked and even murdered on the simple ground of their sexual orientation. On 26 January one of her colleagues, gay activist David Kato, was murdered following the publication of a “gay list” by the Ugandan tabloid Rolling Stone calling for their hanging; on this list Kasha Jacqueline’s name also appears. Kasha continues to find the courage to appear on national and international media at the risk of her life. The Chairman of the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders, Hans Thoolen, described Kasha as “an exceptional woman of rare courage, fighting under death threat against homophobia”. During the one-hour ceremony, exclusive and penetrating images shot in Uganda will demonstrate the work of the Laureate. Djenka Flow will perform African music in her honour. The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights will present the award. The event is co-organised with the City of Geneva, the human rights capital of the world, and the Geneva City Vice Mayor, Sandrine Salerno, will conclude the evening.

The MEA, a unique collaboration among 10 of the world’s leading human rights organizations, is the award of the whole human rights movement and sometimes referred to as the Nobel prize for human rights. The JURY is composed of the following NGOs: Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Human Rights First, International Federation for Human Rights, World Organization Against Torture, International Commission of Jurists, German Diakonie, International Service for Human Rights, Front Line and HURIDOCS.

A press conference will take place on 13 October 2011 at 11h00 a.m. at Palais Eynard in Geneva

For further information please contact:  Luis Marreiros, Coordinator MEA
Tel. +41 22 809 4925,

For use of the film images : please contact the True Heroes Foundation