|Ugandan sexual activists win Norwegian prize|
| [29.09.2011, 11:14am, Thu. GMT]|
|A Ugandan umbrella organization that campaigns for the rights of sexual minorities was Thursday named winner of the 2011 Rafto Prize by a Norwegian human rights foundation. Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) - a coalition that works for the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people - and its leader Frank Mugisha were cited for their efforts to 'make fundamental human rights apply to everyone, and to eliminate discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.'The Rafto Foundation said that sexual minorities in Uganda were often 'blamed for social problems and are 'the good enemy' that politicians can attack in order to garner support.'|
Mugisha has told rights group Amnesty International of how he lives in fear: 'I do not know who wants to hang me, I do not know who wants to attack me.'
In January, SMUG activist David Kato was killed after his name and photo was published by a local newspaper. Others who have been open about their sexual identity often risk persecution, and tough prison sentences, the Rafto Foundation said.
The Rafto Prize, worth 10,000 dollars, was created in 1986 in memory of Thorolf Rafto, a Norwegian academic and human rights activist.
The award is due to be presented on November 6 in Bergen, Norway.
Jose Raul Vera Lopez, a Catholic bishop from Saltillo, north-eastern Mexico, was awarded the prize last year.
Previous Rafto Prize winners include Myanmar's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and Iranian human rights activist Shirin Ebadi. The two are among four Rafto winners who later received the Nobel Peace Prize.