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Stolen document highlights homophobia in Uganda

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Washington Blade
|
September 9, 2013
Issues: 

There is a surprising portrait in Uganda’s parliament building. It’s an oil-painted Idi Amin sporting a toothy smile and full military regalia. Amin poses while engaging in his trademark low-down, dual-fisted version of a fist pump.

Normally, it would be no surprise for a tourist to encounter a painting of a country’s former president inside the house of its legislature. But Amin was no ordinary president. He was a brutal dictator. He was allegedly a cannibal who literally ate his opponents and detractors for breakfast. The evidence for Amin’s cannibalism were the corpses of political foes found dangling by their Achilles tendons, after he was deposed, from meat hooks inside of a walk-in refrigerator at his compound.

Earlier this year a British journalist—let’s call him Ian Smith because, as you’ll see, disclosing his identity might preclude him from ever visiting Uganda again—went to the Chamber of Parliament in Kampala and took photos of some of the building’s more interesting features. The place was a ghost town at the time thanks to a special event where members of parliament were then gathered.