Jemimah Kansiime, a Ugandan pop star known as “Panadol Wa Basajja” (“Medicine to Men”), is the first person in Uganda to be prosecuted for violating the country’s strict anti-pornography act, over a music video deemed too pornographic. The video to her single “Ensolo Yange” was inspired by Nicki Minaj and Rihanna and shows the 21-year old singer covered in soapy bubbles while dancing in a thong. The popular music video released in September 2014 racked up more than 284,000 views on YouTube, but landed her in jail for five weeks after Uganda’s ethics minister, former priest Simon Lokodo, reportedly came across the video. She was released on bail, but is now facing up to 10 years in prison for the racy video. “My rights have been trampled upon, my freedom of expression has been trampled upon,” Kansiime said in an interview with Agence France-Presse. The anti-pornography law, passed in 2014, has been criticized by groups as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International as it curbs expression by leaving the definition of pornography open to wide interpretation. The law has also led to incidents of women being publicly harassed for wearing clothing that is seen as “too revealing,” such as the series of attacks in February in which women wearing miniskirts were forcefully undressed.
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