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Summary: The Rosemary Namubiru Case

Update: Rosemary Namubiru released from jail
On November 28, 2014, a Ugandan judge commuted the draconian sentence meted out earlier this year to an HIV-positive nurse for a workplace accident. The High Court in Kampala reduced Rosemary Namubiru’s three-year prison sentence to time served and allowed her to go free.  Read our full statement here.

Rosemary Namubiru, a licensed and experienced 65-year-old Ugandan nurse, was arrested on January 7, 2014, after a mother of a young patient raised the possibility that a needle was re-used following an accidental needle-prick. A media frenzy ensued after it was revealed that Rosemary is living with HIV, with headlines of “Killer Nurse” spread across the front pages of major newspapers. The police responded with a trumped-up charge of attempted murder, which only fueled the public outcry. 

On the opening day of Rosemary's trial, the charges were downgraded to negligence, and she was denied bail. Her trial began on February 11, 2014, and she was subsequently convicted on May 20th, 2014. She was issued a harsh three-year prison sentence for what would, in most jurisdictions, be dealt with in the workplace rather than in the courts.

Uganda's High Court commuted Namubiru's sentence and released her from jail on November 28, 2014. 

View our statements on the Namubiru case:

Court Sets Ugandan Nurse Free, Ending Harsh Sentence (November 28, 2014)

Bitter Injustice: Ugandan Nurse Imprisoned (May 20, 2014)

Ugandan Nurse's Saga Gets More and More Outrageous (February 21, 2014)

HIV-Positive Nurse Tried by Media (February 11, 2014)

Related articles:

Global Commission on HIV and the Law statement
on Namubiru case (February 16, 2014)

Q&A: The Rosemary Namubiru Case

The Demonization of HIV: Ugandan Nurse Tried and Convicted by the Media