OutRight Action International: Prominent Ugandan Activist Victor Juliet Mukasa Joins Staff

OutRight Action International welcomes prominent Ugandan activist Victor Juliet Mukasa as its newest staff member and the Program Associate for the Horn, East, and Central Africa. Victor joins current OutRight Action International staff, Cary Alan Johnson, OutRight Action International’s Senior Specialist for Africa, and Joel Nana, Program Associate for Southern and West Africa, in the OutRight Action International Africa Regional office in Johannesburg, South Africa office. Aside from being the co-founder and the president emeritus of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), Victor is a founding member of several Ugandan rights groups, including East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Network (EHAHRDN) (2005), Freedom and Roam Uganda (FARUG) (2002), and the Pan African group African Solidarity (2006). Victor has also served as a board member of many African and international LGBT groups, including Gender Dynamix (South Africa), Behind the Mask (South Africa), Coalition of African Lesbians (Pan African), and the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA). "We are thrilled that Victor is joining OutRight Action International,” said Paula Ettelbrick, OutRight Action International’s Executive Director. "Victor’s range of experience and leadership will greatly enhance our ability to work closely with African LGBT activists in promoting human rights and responding to the challenges faced by the LGBT and sexual minority communities throughout the region.” A transgender lesbian, Victor was forced to flee Uganda after police illegally raided her home in 2005 and confiscated documents related to human rights and LGBT organizing. Victor recently returned to Uganda and, along with a Kenyan activist, has courageously waged a legal battle with the government over the invasiveness of the police raid. The case is still pending. "Victor is one of the most respected human rights activists in Africa," said Cary Alan Johnson, OutRight Action International’s Senior Specialist for Africa. “Thanks to the strong and growing leadership of SMUG, Victor is able to make this transition to working full-time internationally.” OutRight Action International is particularly thankful to the Arcus Foundation and The Sigrid Rausing Trust for providing the funds to staff its regional office in Africa. OutRight Action International is based in New York and also has a regional office in Buenos Aires, Argentina. ###

OutRight Action International is a leading human rights organization solely devoted to improving the rights of people around the world who are targeted for imprisonment, abuse or death because of their sexuality, gender identity or HIV/AIDS status. OutRight Action International addresses human rights violations by partnering with and supporting activists in countries around the world, monitoring and documenting human rights abuses, engaging offending governments, and educating international human rights officials. A non-profit, non-governmental organization, OutRight Action International is based in New York, with offices in Johannesburg and Buenos Aires. Visit http://www.outrightinternational.org for more information.