Ugandan police charge 16 LGBTIQ activists with ‘crime’ of gay sex


uganda president Yoweri Museveni kill the gays death penalty bill legislation
Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni. Photo: YouTube

Sixteen men in Uganda have been arrested and charged on suspicion of gay sex, punishable with life in prison.

The men were taken into custody on Monday at a meeting of a local NGO and later subjected them to “degrading and inhumane” forced anal exams, local activists said.

Advertisements

Local group Let’s Walk Uganda claimed a homophobic mob surrounded and attacked the premises. The activists then called police for help.

But police instead arrested the activists themselves.

Speaking to Reuters, Ugandan police claimed they found condoms, lubricants and HIV medication at the location.

As a result, police took the men into custody where they then conducted the forced anal exams.

“Based on the medical examination report, it was established that the suspects were involved in sexual acts punishable under the penal code,” police spokesperson Patrick Onyango told Reuters.

Let’s Walk Uganda claimed the men were charged with homosexual acts “against the order of nature” and human trafficking offences.

Police said all 16 men had been charged and released on bond.

“They will keep reporting to the police on selected dates pending further guidance from the state attorney’s office,” a spokesperson said.

Homophobic violence increases after Uganda MPs back gay death penalty

Uganda’s penal code currently punishes the “crime” of gay sex with a maximum of life sentence in prison.

On October 10, Uganda’s ethics and integrity minister Simon Lokodo said the government was planning to reintroduce the death penalty for gay sex.

Lokodo said the existing law was not sufficient to fight “recruitment by gay people.”

However the government later backtracked after international outcry.

Advertisements

But LGBTIQ activists in Uganda report a rise in homophobic attacks since the minister’s remarks.

OutRight International executive director Jessica Stern said even “rumours” of the gay death penalty bill were enough to “stoke hatred” of LGBTIQ Ugandans.

The likelihood of “arbitrary arrest and violence” had increased as a result, she said.

“The 16 people who police arrested and subjected to forced anal exams are victims of this mounting hate,” Stern said.

Read more: Ugandan LGBTIQ activist murdered days before gay death penalty outrage

For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.