Police in Uganda got sensitivity training to help protect the rights of LGBTI people, even though it is illegal to be gay there. Uganda is one of the worst countries in the world to be LGBTI, with some lawmakers wanting to introduce a ‘Kill the Gays’ bill. Police have often been the worst perpetrators of violence and persecution of Uganda’s LGBTI community. Last year police raided several Pride events and arrested attendees. One person even jumped off a building to escape the police. This year’s Pride event was cancelled for fear of another police raid. But in an authorized message from police headquarters in the capital Kampala, different police precincts were told to send officers to Thursday’s training
The law prohibits discrimination based on race, gender, disability, language, or social status but is silent on sexual orientation and gender identity. The penal code, however, prohibits “unnatural offenses.” The government did not enforce the law in matters of locally or culturally prevalent discrimination against women, children, persons... Expand
The law prohibits discrimination based on race, gender, disability, language, or social status but is silent on sexual orientation and gender identity. The penal code, however, prohibits “unnatural offenses.” The government did not enforce the law in matters of locally or culturally prevalent discrimination against women, children, persons with disabilities, or certain ethnic groups.
Consensual same-sex sexual conduct is illegal, according to a colonial-era law that criminalizes “carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature” and provides for a penalty up to life imprisonment. While authorities did not convict any persons under the law, the government arrested persons for this and related offenses.
On February 24, President Museveni--who called LGBT persons “disgusting”--signed into law the AHA, which the National Assembly passed in 2013. The AHA criminalizes, outlaws, and provides harsh prison terms for same-sex relationships, “promoting” homosexuality, or “aiding and abetting” homosexual acts. On July 29, activists filed a petition in the Constitutional Court seeking to overturn the AHA, claiming the National Assembly passed the law without the necessary quorum and that the law violated the rights of individuals under the constitution. On August 1, the Constitutional Court nullified the law, noting the National Assembly’s speaker had “acted illegally” by not establishing a quorum before its passage.
LGBT persons faced discrimination, legal restrictions, and societal harassment and violence, intimidation, and threats. They were denied access to health services. Several LGBT persons were charged with engaging in “acts against the order of nature” and indecency, and their cases were pending at year’s end. For example, on February 12, police in Masaka District arrested John Sseruwu on charges of performing unnatural acts prohibited under the penal code. Police released Sseruwu on bail, and hearing of the case was pending.
Police arrested several persons following the passage of the AHA, and human rights organizations reported the LGBT community faced increased discrimination.
Authorities targeted several projects suspected of “promoting” homosexuality. For example, on March 14, the minister of relief, disaster preparedness, and refugees, Hilary Onek, suspended the activities of the RLP pending investigation into allegations the project was “promoting” homosexuality. On May 20, the project received a letter from the permanent secretary, signed by the OPM’s commissioner for refugees, extending the suspension of the Kampala office. Despite the nullification of the AHA and the elimination of the basis for any charge, Minister Onek refused to lift the suspension of the RLP.
On April 3, police in Kampala raided a foreign-funded project that offered HIV/AIDS services to patients, including members of the LGBT community, on suspicion the project “promoted” homosexuality. On April 4, the project suspended its activities in the country after authorities arrested a member of its local staff. Police did not produce any information regarding their investigation of the project and in October sent a letter stating they had dropped the case.
In 2013 the Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum (HRAPF) reported that, of the 15 LGBT organizations that submitted applications, eight were registered with the URSB. The HRAPF confirmed in November that the remaining seven organizations were subsequently registered with the URSB.
In November the HRAPF reported that police dropped the case against Patrick Musoke, a member of Kampus Liberty Uganda, who was arrested on suspicion of engaging in illegal “unnatural acts” in February 2013.
Some religious and political leaders delivered church sermons and wrote articles to lobby the public against LGBT persons. On March 31, the Inter-religious Council of Uganda, with substantial support from the government, held a major rally thanking parliamentarians for passing the AHA. At the rally, President Museveni and other major religious leaders pledged to continue efforts to discriminate against LGBT individuals and those who called for LGBT rights.
Unlike in the previous year, the government did not block meetings organized by LGBT groups.
On June 23, the High Court in Kampala dismissed a 2012 petition filed by four LGBT activists accusing the minister of ethics and integrity and the attorney general of illegally closing a workshop organized by Freedom and Roam Uganda in Entebbe in 2012. The court ruled the minister acted in the public interest to protect the moral values of society. The minister reportedly told the court the participants were distributing literature intended to “train and recruit others into homosexuality.” The court ordered the petitioners to compensate the minister. The petitioners have not appealed.
Source: U.S. Department of State's  Human Rights Report
Just 23 years old, L. has survived beatings, torture, and a rape by a man her father hired to harass her. But the U.S. government says she should go back home. On October 23, 2016, a 23-year-old Ugandan woman named L. took her girlfriend to a small hotel. While they were making love there, their lives changed forever, and they nearly died. L. got a visa, and fled to the United States. But Customs and Border Protection officials wouldn’t let her in. Today, they refuse to reexamine her case –– despite the fact that she has survived beatings, torture, and a “corrective” rape ordered by her own father.
A week after their South African and Ugandan colleagues were deported from the country — after being arrested for “the promotion of homosexuality” — Tanzanian human rights activists have yet to hear whether charges will be brought against them. The group of 13 were arrested in Dar es Salaam on October 17, when the police raided a legal consultation meeting convened by the Initiative for Strategic Litigation in Africa (Isla) and Community Health Services and Advocacy (Chesa). A day after the arrest, Lazaro Mambosasa, the head of police, said the “criminals” had violated Tanzanian law. Bail was revoked on October 20, and then granted again on October 26.
Police in Tanzania have re-arrested 12 people, including two South Africans and a Ugandan, for presumed promotion of homosexuality. The 12 individuals were initially arrested at a hotel last week but were released on bail, only to be arrested once again over the weekend. They are currently being held in Dar es Salaam’s central police station as they await legal charges.
Tall and model-thin, Katlego Kolanyane-Kesupile turns heads. She receives constant compliments but in her native Botswana, she is also met with contempt and abuse. It's simply for being who she is: an openly transgender woman. Katlego has an ally in Adong Judith. She's a straight woman in Uganda who has made it her mission to stop the type of discrimination lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer (LGBTQ) people face in African nations, where homophobia runs rampant.
Uganda wants to be a middle-income country by 2020. At least that’s the gospel the current government has been preaching. In 2016, the Google top ‘how to’ searches in Uganda led with “How to achieve your goals for the day” and “How to attract money”. This may not surprise for a country which, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) 2016 report, is the most entrepreneurial country in the world. It’s positive, but the same report found the biggest challenge for Ugandan entrepreneurship was to ensure the growth and survival of entrepreneurial ventures because only 2% of businesses expected to employ more than 20 people in the next five years. The need to run your own business in Uganda is largely driven by the need to survive.
Activists are outraged over the Ugandan government’s decision to cancel a week of gay pride celebrations in the country for a second consecutive year, describing the move as a violation of fundamental human rights of minority groups. On 16 August, the state minister of ethics and integrity, Simon Lokodo, issued a directive shutting down a gala, scheduled to take place at the Sheraton Hotel in the capital, Kampala, accusing the organizers of attempting to stage an illegal gathering aimed at recruitment, exhibition and promotion of homosexuality.
As I waited for my taxi at Entebbe Airport, I was full of hope and expectation about Pride Uganda 2017. Over the next few days, LGBT people were finally going to come together in a series of events to celebrate community, diversity and pride. Such moments are rare and precious in Uganda. There are few, if any, opportunities for LGBT people to feel the strength of common action. Pride is like fuel for activists campaigning against the odds for their rights. As my ride pulled up, my phone started beeping insistently. Isaac Mugisha, coordinator of the Pride Uganda Organising Committee, was sending frantic messages, telling me that the opening gala event – due to start just a few hours later – was under threat.
Since 2012 we have celebrated Pride in Uganda. Our Pride is very different to the Pride parades in London or New York. Rather than hundreds of thousands, we have a few hundred LGBT Ugandans, and our friends who sympathise with our struggle, attending our event. We usually keep away from big public crowds and public places to avoid confrontations. The Ugandan authorities have consistently refused to acknowledge Pride Uganda, and they have always misrepresented it: in 2012, for example, our Pride was raided by the police on the grounds that we were holding a “gay wedding”. In the next few years we held more low-profile events without problems – but last year our Pride week was cut short when police raided one of our events. I and my colleagues were brutally arrested and detained.
The opening event at Uganda Pride was cancelled last minute yesterday following growing pressure on the venue, the Sheraton Hotel, from the Ugandan Minister of Ethics and Integrity, Simon Lokodo. After weeks of work having gone into organising the LGBT+ event, Lokodo decided to intimidate organisers by surrounding the venue with large numbers of police on the day it was due to start. This comes despite the Ugandan Pride team having previously liaised with Government authorities about the nature of the event with full transparency. Up to 300 guests from Uganda and around the world were due to attend the event, showing support and solidarity with the country’s LGBT+ community.
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