Center for Domestic Violence Prevention (CEDOVIP) condemns the increasing leaking of nude pictures of women (women in key public positions i.e. sporting personalities, celebrities and opinion leaders have fallen victim) in the press (reference is made to similar articles published in the Tabloids of Friday August 30th and Wednesday September 4th 2013) and the lack of empathy shown by the social media users over the breach of privacy of women. The public must know that exposing photographs of a person that injure their right to privacy is an offence. Section 8 of the Computer Act says, ‘Any person who willfully and repeatedly uses electronic communication to disturb or attempt to disturb the peace, quiet or right of privacy of any person with no purpose of legitimate communication whether or not conversation ensues, commits a misdemeanor and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding 24 currency points or imprisonment not exceeding 10 years.
Noted with concern is that such publication of nude pictures has targeted women, the intention is to erode the dignity and respect not only of the victims and their families but also of all women, girls and mothers of this country, this is violence against women because these acts once again are aimed at putting the women under the control of others and keeping them subdued.
Worryingly the perpetrators of these acts have not been prosecuted in any way even though the laws that prohibit these acts are in place. As it is often the case with violence against women, annoyingly the public has continued to blame and ridicule the women (victims of these crimes) as the perpetrators continue to perpetuate these acts of abuse of women with impunity!
Women just like men should be protected from abuse, their dignity and safety respected as defined by the constitution. We would like to call upon the public to condemn these acts in strongest terms, we have been silent for too long and if we continue, we are tolerating injustice against women while the public is being scandalized and abused in the process, we need our dignity to be respected as Ugandans and no one should take that way.
Enough is enough! We would like to bring to the public attention that the discussions about this issue, should be against the person who leaked these pictures and not the victims, because if the public does not condemn these acts and demand that the authorities apprehend the perpetrators, there will be re-occurrence of such incidences in the future, and unfortunately it may be your daughter, sister, mother, auntie or colleague.
Desire Luzinda a renowned musician is the latest victim of these incidences although we note that several other women have also previously fallen victims.
As concerned citizens who deeply care about the dignity of both men and women, boys and girls we are calling for the following:
- We call upon the Minister for Ethics Hon. Simon Lokodo to publicly denounce publication of such materials and further encourage him to issue a directive for the arrest of the estranged lover who is suspected to have leaked these pictures not the victim of the crime and take another step to prohibit the media from publishing such pictures that injure a person’s right to privacy.
- Police should go ahead to arrest and charge all those responsible for distributing, broad casting and publishing such pornographic materials on all media platforms be it social networks or traditional media platforms as mandated in the Penal code Act and the law on ICT.
- We urge all media houses to practice responsible journalism basing on their ethical guidelines and avoid publishing materials that injure the privacy of persons, and violate the dignity of women and girls.
- Both men and women should avoid blaming victims of such crimes, instead should demand the law enforcers to take action against perpetrators of such abuses whenever such incidences happen.
- We call upon all the performing artists (especially female artists) to condemn publication of such materials that injure the privacy of persons, know that this is one way in which to bring you down. Just don’t be silent about acts that directly threaten your dignity, safety and profession
- We encourage all women who have fallen victim to seek justice by reporting the matters to police. Sisters you have directly fallen victims to such crimes you have no problem and we are proud of you, you are protected by the law, those who leaked the pictures are the offenders who should be ashamed of their acts and the public should play a key role in ensuring that they are apprehended!
Today it has happened to Desire Luzinda who knows tomorrow it could be you! Act now and prevent Violence against Women and girls.