Ugandan officials summoned before court over torture of LGBT+ youth

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08/21/2020

A town mayor and senior prison official in Uganda have been summoned to appear before a criminal court over allegations of torture, inhuman and degrading treatment against a group of LGBT+ youth, the victims’ lawyers said on Friday. The court’s move is seen as a positive step for sexual minorities in the east African nation, where gay sex carries a life sentence and homophobia and the persecution of LGBT+ people is widespread, yet rarely punished. Witnesses and the victims say Hajji Abdul Kiyimba, chairman of Kyengera town council, beat members of the group and bound them with ropes before marching them barefoot to a nearby police station as onlookers jeered and threatened them. Kiyimba told the Thomson Reuters Foundation that he was not involved in any acts of violence or torture against the group. Philemon Woniala, deputy officer in charge at Kitalya Prison, located outside Kampala, is accused of violent acts against members of the group, their lawyers said.

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