Left Menu
Development News Edition

Uganda charges 67 after raid on gay bar


Uganda charges 67 after raid on gay bar
Image Credit: Flickr

A Ugandan court charged 67 people with causing a nuisance on Tuesday after they were arrested in a gay-friendly bar, in a move condemned by activists as the latest "homophobic" attack.

The 67 - who were among 127 arrested at Ram Bar, in the capital, Kampala, on Sunday - could face up to one year in jail if found guilty, said Patricia Kimera, a lawyer for the group. "This is just a homophobic attack," LGBT+ activist Raymond Karuhanga told the Thomson Reuters Foundation outside the court.

"These were people in a club, not even on the streets. They were having fun, listening to music. Then you arrest almost 130 and charge them with being a public nuisance ... They just want to silence us as a community." LGBT+ rights campaigners in Uganda have expressed concerns about a spate of attacks after a minister proposed introducing the death penalty for gay sex last month, a threat retracted by the government after international donors condemned the move.

The Uganda police denied the raid targeted LGBT+ people and said they were enforcing the Tobacco Control Act, which outlaws smoking with a shisha water pipe. "We are not targeting them and we will not," said police spokesman Patrick Onyango, adding that it is state prosecutors who decide what crimes to prosecute suspects with.

"We have done these raids in many shisha smoking places ... Yesterday, we were holding them under the Tobacco Control Act. What you heard in court are the charges (of common nuisance) that the state attorney proffered." Uganda is one of the most difficult countries in Africa to be a sexual minority. Under the penal code, any person who has "carnal knowledge against the order of nature" - gay sex - is liable to life imprisonment.

Campaigners have reported a spate of attacks this year, including four murders. The latest was on Oct. 4 when a gay rights activist was bludgeoned to death. Earlier this month, 16 LGBT+ activists were detained and charged for having gay sex after police raided their charity office and residence, forcing them to undergo anal examinations.

A gay Rwandan refugee was also beaten outside his office in Kampala in the same month and a lesbian woman physically assaulted by her doctor, say activists. "Over the past two months, there have been a number of arrests among people who identify as LGBTI and also a number of homophobic attacks," said Kimera.

"The charges are about being a public nuisance so we can't assume it was a targeted attack but ... many LGBTI people fell victim and are among the accused."

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


TRENDING

OPINION/BLOG/INTERVIEW

What happens to your outstanding loans if the bank falls?

... ...

Time for a change! Innovations to stop the growing plastic pollution

As the planet is drowning in plastic pollution, many new innovative approaches and solutions have emerged to effectively deal with the menace....

How to avoid fake universities and fishing bait like Farmington

As education sharks are roaming around to prey, we present a guide on how to mitigate hunters and reach to a genuine universityinstitute. In this era of commercialization of education, the fake universities and economic frauds in educationa...

How India is being pushed towards commercialization of higher education

The reluctance of the present dispensation in pushing the higher education towards commercialization is not just limited to the fees hike in Jawaharlal Nehru University JNU. It seems the government is gradually implementing a plan which is ...

Videos

Latest News

U.S. says Iran may have killed more than 1,000 in recent protests

Iranian security forces may have killed more than 1,000 people since protests over gasoline price hikes began in mid-November, U.S. special representative for Iran Brian Hook said on Thursday.As the truth is trickling out of Iran, it appear...

5 Chinese firms seek land in Gr Noida; look to invest Rs 800 cr

Five Chinese firms intend to get land in Uttar Pradeshs Greater Noida for setting up their manufacturing units with an investment of Rs 800 crore, officials said on Thursday. The development comes within three months of a delegation of stat...

CPCB task force asks agencies to intensify enforcement as air quality turns 'severe' in NCR

As the hazardous haze returned to the National Capital Region again, a CPCB-led task force on Thursday asked all agencies in Delhi-NCR to remain on high alert and to take stringent measures to control air pollution.It asked them to intensif...

CPCB task force asks agencies to intensify enforcement as air quality turns 'severe' in NCR

As the hazardous haze returned to the National Capital Region again, a CPCB-led task force on Thursday asked all agencies in Delhi-NCR to remain on high alert and to take stringent measures to control air pollution. It asked them to intensi...

Give Feedback