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Anti Gay Uganda Protest In UK

By Charlotte Robinson, November 19, 2013

Gay activists & allies rallied outside the Ugandan High Commission in London Monday to protest against “Uganda’s witch-hunts & show trials of LGBT people.” The protest was timed to coincide with two high profile gay court cases that took place in Uganda involving Sam Ganafa & Bernard Randall. Ugandan gay rights leader Samuel K Ganafa appeared in court at Nabweru Monday over allegedly trumped up accusations of sodomy & infecting a man with HIV. He was remanded in Kasangati prison until his next court date on Nov. 25th. At least three of his colleagues may also face charges. Ganafa is the executive director of Spectrum Uganda & the Chair of Sexual Minorities Uganda. Also on trial is a retired expatriate British gay man, Bernard Randall & his Ugandan friend, Albert Cheptoyek which was adjourned until Dec. 4th. Bernard faces charges of trafficking obscene publications. This charge relates to private intimate videos. These videos only became public & police knowledge after Bernard's laptop was stolen & his personal videos were leaked to the media. Albert is being charged with gross indecency. Peter Tatchell, Director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation, who attended and spoke at the protest stated, “We are protesting against the homophobic witch-hunts & show trials in Uganda. These prosecutions violate Uganda’s own constitution & the African Charter on Human & People’s Rights, both of which guarantee equal treatment & non-discrimination to all citizens. The criminalization of homosexuality is contrary to these human rights obligations, which Uganda has agreed & pledged to uphold. All charges should be dropped and Uganda’s colonial-era anti-homosexual laws repealed. Uganda is known as one of the worst countries in the world to be gay. The maximum penalty for same-gender relations is life imprisonment & a bill before the parliament in Kampala proposes the death penalty for repeat homosexual offenders. In addition, there are widespread homophobic threats & mob violence - often fuelled by anti-gay Christian fundamentalists who are supported by right-wing evangelical pastors in the US.”
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