Mon | Sep 25, 2017

Police stop gay pride parade

Published:Sunday | September 25, 2016 | 9:00 AM
Members of Uganda's gay and transgender community yell "we want peace" after police forced them to leave the gay pride festival in Entebbe, Uganda, yesterday.

ENTEBBE, (AP):

Ugandan police yesterday prevented organisers from holding a gay pride parade on the orders of a government minister who said such an event is illegal.

Police blocked organisers from staging the event at two locations outside the Ugandan capital, Kampala, said Frank Mugisha, a gay-rights leader in Uganda.

More than 100 LGBT people turned up for the event at a beach on Lake Victoria. Most were later ordered into minibuses and escorted by police to Kampala, apparently for questioning, and Mugisha claimed that was the reason one young man jumped off a moving minibus and injured himself, Mugisha said.

"They are traumatised," said Mugisha.

The LGBT people who had travelled in the minibuses were later set free, he said.

Homosexuality is a crime in Uganda, as in many African countries.

In August, Ugandan police briefly arrested about 20 people attending a gay pride event at a nightclub in Kampala.

Following that raid, Mugisha and his colleagues decided to postpone the pride parade until September.

CONDEMNING

PUBLIC ACTIVITIES

Last Wednesday, Simon Lokodo, the Ugandan minister in charge of ethics and integrity, issued a strong statement condemning public activities of homosexuals and urged the police to arrest them if they went ahead with the parade.

In 2009, a Ugandan lawmaker introduced a bill that prescribed the death penalty for some homosexual acts, saying he wanted to protect Ugandan children. The proposed bill prompted international condemnation.

A less severe version of the bill passed by lawmakers was rejected by a Ugandan court as unconstitutional.