Uganda Renews Clampdown on the LGBT Community

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12/04/2019

On November 11, police in Uganda arrested 125 members of the LGBT community. The Kampala police assert that the Ram Bar, which is frequented by the LGBT community, is a hot spot for smoking opium and shisha. Although reports suggest that only a few were smoking, those arrested were charged with violating the Tobacco Control Act, which outlaws smoking with a shisha water pipe, among other things. They face imprisonment for up to six months. Those arrested deny the charges, claiming that they were distributing condoms and anti-retroviral drugs to prevent the spread of HIV. The raid is the second of this month—part of a renewed crackdown on the LGBT community. In February 2014, Uganda’s president, Yoweri Museveni, signed into law the Anti-Homosexuality Act. Under the law, those convicted of “homosexual acts” faced seven years to life in prison.

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