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Ugandan Lesbian Activist Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera Awarded Martin Ennals Human Rights Defender

Ugandan Lesbian Activist Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera Awarded Martin Ennals Human Rights Defender

Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera is the 1st lesbian activist to win the Martin Ennals Human Rights Defenders award, second only in prestige to the Nobel Peace Prize.

Ugandan lesbian activist and the leader of the Freedom to Roam, Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera, was awarded the Martin Ennals Human Rights Defenders award on October 13, in Geneva, Switzerland.

Nabagesera is the first gay rights activist and the 20th Laureate to receive the Ennals award. “Second in prestige to that of the Nobel Peace Prize… the prize is awarded by a jury representing 10 human rights organizations, including U.S. based Human Rights First (formerly known as the Lawyers Committee) and Human Rights Watch.”

Her work in her lesbian advocacy group in the dangerously oppressive Uganda led Hans Thoolen, chairman of the Martin Ennals Foundation, to introduce Nabagesera as “a leading light, an exceptional woman of a rare courage, fighting under death threat for human dignity.” Thoolen added, “Let there be no mistake on [what] awaits gay people on the ground, especially for those who openly claim their equal rights…I do hope that the Martin Ennals award of 2011 will contribute to the eradication of homophobia in humans.”

In her acceptance speech, Nabagesera reminded attendees, “the struggle for human rights is one struggle and no human rights defender should be left to do this work alone. Courage is our virtue, and freedom is our goal.”

Martin Ennals Award Ceremony 2011 - Kasha from True Heroes Films on Vimeo.

 

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Lily Shavick