KAMPALA, Uganda — A Ugandan newspaper published a list Tuesday of what it called the country's "200 top" gays, raising fears of violence against those named a day after the president enacted a severe antigay law.
Many on the list "are scared and they need help," said Pepe Julian Onziema, a prominent Ugandan gay activist who was named in the Red Pepper tabloid. "Some want to leave the country and they are asking to be helped."
Red Pepper ran its list of names — and some pictures — in a front-page story under the headline "EXPOSED!" News editor Ben Byarabaha said the paper published the full names of only the well-known activists and tried to use nicknames for those not publicly gay. Byarabaha offered no details on how the list was compiled.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday's signing of the bill by President Yoweri Museveni marked "a tragic day for Uganda and for all who care about the cause of human rights." He warned that Washington could cut aid to the East African nation over the new law, which punishes gay sex with up to life in prison.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon demanded the revision or repeal of the law, warning on Tuesday that it could fuel prejudice and harassment against gays.
In signing the bill, Museveni said the measure is needed because the West is promoting homosexuality in Africa, and he rejected international criticism of the law as interference in Uganda's internal affairs.