News / Africa

    Uganda Deports British Producer of Gay Play

    David Cecil, the British producer of the play "The River and the Mountain" concerning the condition of Uganda's gays, in a court cell in Kampala on September 13, 2012.
    David Cecil, the British producer of the play "The River and the Mountain" concerning the condition of Uganda's gays, in a court cell in Kampala on September 13, 2012.
    Reuters
    Uganda has deported a British theatre producer charged with staging a play about homosexuality, the British High Commission said on Tuesday.
        
    Homosexuality is illegal in Uganda and further legislation on the issue, awaiting debate in parliament, has drawn criticism from donors including the United States.

    Producer David Cecil, 35, was deported from the east African country late on Monday aboard a KLM flight, and arrived in the UK on Tuesday morning, British High Commission spokesperson Chris Ward said.

    A court threw out a case against Cecil last month. He had been charged with disobeying a public official last September after ignoring orders to cancel a theatre production with a gay leading character.

    Cecil, who denied being a gay rights activist, could have faced two to four years in jail in the religiously conservative country if convicted.

    "We are extremely disappointed and obviously concerned that David was being deported without being given an opportunity to challenge the deportation order which would be through the Ugandan courts,'' Ward told Reuters.

    He said he had not arranged a meeting with Ugandan officials yet "but we fully intend to do so. It's obviously key... [for] the UK government to know that due process is being followed,'' he said.

    Immigration officials were not available for comment after the deportation, but have told Reuters there was a direct ministerial order to deport Cecil. A spokesperson said the ministry would issue a statement later.

    Uganda's immigration act enables the deportation of any foreigner declared by the minister of internal affairs to be an ``undesirable immigrant''.

    Fridah Mutesi, one of Cecil's lawyers and a gay rights activist, said they still intended to challenge the validity of the deportation order by filing a case to the high court.
        
    Cecil's partner, Florence Kebirungi, said she last heard from him at about 6pm (0300 GMT) on Monday night.

    "He called me briefly when he was at the airport to say 'Can you call the lawyers' and then before I could reply, he hung up,'' she said.

    Uganda's latest legislative proposals include a charge of "`promotion of homosexuality'' which could mean up to seven years in prison for activists, artists, lawyers and even health workers convicted of "funding and sponsoring... homosexuality and related activities.''

    Uganda's Minister of Ethics and Integrity Simon Lokodo has already been enforcing that clause in recent months to clamp down on gay rights activism, and had promised a "fresh investigation'' into Cecil after he was cleared last month.

    A previous bill, denounced as "odious'' by U.S. President Barack Obama, had proposed the death penalty for gays.

    You May Like

    Post-White House, Obamas to Rent Washington Mansion

    Nine-bedroom home is 3 kilometers from Oval Office, near capital's Embassy Row; rent estimated at around $22,000 a month

    Red Planet? Not so much!

    New research suggest that Mars is in a warm period between cyclical ice ages, and that during Ice Age Maximum over 500,000 years ago, the red planet was decidedly ice, and much whiter to the naked eye.

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora