News / Africa

Producer of Gay-Themed Play Deported from Uganda

David Cecil, the British producer of the play "The River and the Mountain" concerning the condition of Uganda's gays, stands in a court cell in the capital Kampala, Uganda, September 13, 2012.
David Cecil, the British producer of the play "The River and the Mountain" concerning the condition of Uganda's gays, stands in a court cell in the capital Kampala, Uganda, September 13, 2012.
David Cecil, a British citizen who produced a play last year about the plight of Ugandan gays, was deported from Uganda on Monday.  He had been arrested by Ugandan police Wednesday, and was flown back to Britain after having spent five days in detention at a Kampala police station. 

Cecil had angered Ugandan authorities last year by staging The River and the Mountain, in which a group of employees kills their own boss when they learn he is gay.  Uganda's media council said it had not authorized the production, and Cecil was imprisoned for several days.  A Ugandan court threw the case out in January, citing a lack of evidence.

But authorities detained him again this month, and put him on a plane out of the country Monday evening.

The Ugandan government claims the right to deport immigrants it considers “undesirable.”  But according to human rights lawyer Ladislaus Rwakafuuzi, someone can only be deemed undesirable if he or she has broken the law.

“If there has been a conviction, the executive has the discretion to say that the person is not wanted because of his criminal record.  Without any proof of a crime and without any proof of a breach of immigration laws, the person is protected by our constitution, which strictly says people are free to move within Uganda,” said Rwakafuuzi.

Homosexuality is already illegal in Uganda, and widely condemned.  But Cecil’s deportation comes as the Ugandan parliament prepares to debate a strict new anti-homosexuality bill.

If it passes, the bill would criminalize “promotion” of homosexuality and failure to report it, and it may still include a clause making certain homosexual acts punishable by death.

Rwakafuuzi says an unconstitutional deportation such as Cecil’s amounts to harassment.

“It was done in bad faith, it amounts to harassment of this very person who came here to say something, to invite us to debate.  The government acted outside of the law.  There is no single law government can cite," said Rwakafuuzi.

Cecil’s deportation came suddenly, before his legal team had time to prepare an appeal.  The official reasons for the move have not been made public, and immigration officials were not available for comment.

Cecil was running a cultural center in Kampala, and has two young children with his Ugandan girlfriend.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid