Lesbian Student Punished for Sexuality Rumours Kills Herself
December 19, 2003
Gay activists in Uganda are outraged over the apparent
suicide of a student who was harshly punished in front of other students
following accusations that she was a lesbian.
According to a report in the Red Pepper newspaper, Paula
Rwomushana, 18, was found dead in her dormitory on December 8 at St.
Joseph’s Secondary School in Nsambya.
A week earlier, she was suspended from school, but her
parents returned her to the school on December 3. She was reportedly caned
several times in front of the student body because she had received love
letters from other girls.
Red Pepper reported that the student complained of fever
on Friday, December 4. She contacted the school’s health authorities the
following day, but never showed up for treatment. The school has issued no
further comment on the incident.
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance of Uganda (GLAU) expressed
outrage over the incident and criticized the government for being silent about
According to GLAU, Uganda laws against homosexuality
address sexual acts only.
“Paula was accused based on rumours,” the group said.
“No one is guilty until proven so by the court of law. You can’t punish
someone based on accusations and allegations.”
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