Human rights defender
Najib is a human rights defender from Uganda who is standing up for the rights of the LGBTI community and sex workers in his country. He works as the Emergency Response Person for a human rights organisation. The organisation gives relocation support to LGBTI persons at risk, provides legal services, refers LGBTI persons to health facilities and has a free security helpline. Najib gives members of the LGBTI community security and safety tips and informs them about their rights. Together with legal experts he assists prosecuted victims in court. Previously, Najib was part of the inception of an organization that focuses on (unemployed) LGBTI persons and sex workers who come from a lower class and face economic challenges. Najib and his colleagues worked on the promotion of the economic, social and medical position of LGBTI persons and sex workers. Furthermore, he has sat on different committees in the sex worker movements in order to give a voice to the male sex workers in Uganda.
Human rights violations in Uganda
In 2014, the Ugandan president signed the contentious Anti-Homosexuality Act. The Act defines some homosexual acts as crimes punishable by life in prison and at first included a provision for the death penalty. It was declared unconstitutional in Uganda’s court but homophobic violence had been legitimised. Persecution based on sexual orientation and gender identity increased after the Ugandan president signed the Act in 2014. Consensual same-sex sexual relations remain criminalized in Uganda. The police sometimes conducts forced anal exams on arrested LGBT persons in order to find ‘proof’ of homosexual conduct. Moreover, LGBT persons have to deal with loss of employment and property, media outings, mob attacks and other forms of intimidation because of their sexual orientation.
Threats and harassment
Since 2011, Najib has been the victim of serious security incidents. He has been arrested multiple times and has been detained. In April 2016, while Najib was on his way home, he was attacked by a mob of 8 men which resulted in a broken jaw. The men accused him of recruiting people into homosexuality.