News / Africa

Uganda Police Interrupt Training Workshop for Gay Activists

Ugandan police officers stand by the entrance of the Esella Country Hotel after police raided a gay rights workshop which was taking place in the hotel in Kampala, June 18, 2012.Ugandan police officers stand by the entrance of the Esella Country Hotel after police raided a gay rights workshop which was taking place in the hotel in Kampala, June 18, 2012.
x
Ugandan police officers stand by the entrance of the Esella Country Hotel after police raided a gay rights workshop which was taking place in the hotel in Kampala, June 18, 2012.
Ugandan police officers stand by the entrance of the Esella Country Hotel after police raided a gay rights workshop which was taking place in the hotel in Kampala, June 18, 2012.
Andrew Green
KAMPALA - Police in Uganda interrupted a human rights training session Monday, saying it was an illegal assembly.  Advocates say the workshop was legal, but they were targeted because they were training gay rights activists.  

More than two dozen Ugandan police officers, some in riot gear, broke up a meeting of human rights activists at a hotel outside Kampala.  Most of the Ugandan participants fled the hotel in Najjera before the police arrived, but activists from Canada, Kenya and Rwanda were detained for questioning.

The meeting, organized by the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project, was to train local gay activists on how to report human rights abuses.

Sari Naskinen, the deputy director of the organizing group, said the workshop was interrupted because of its focus on Uganda's gay community.

"It was very clear that we were targeted because of that," said Naskinen.

Uganda's gay community has come under fire repeatedly in recent years.  The incident follows a similar episode in February, when Uganda's Minister of Ethics and Integrity Simon Lokodo led the police in a raid of a gay rights meeting in Entebbe.  And members of parliament and other leaders continue to push for the passage of a bill that would make homosexual acts punishable by death or life imprisonment.

Naskinen said the Monday raid began halfway through the first day of the three-day workshop, when members of the local media demanded access.  She said they threatened to call the police if they were not allowed to interview participants.  The police eventually arrived, but it is unclear if members of the media called them.

"Some of our participants were manhandled," said Naskinen.  "The police just came.  They did not identify themselves as police.  They were in civilian clothes.  And they basically just dragged them out to the reception area."

All of the participants were eventually released.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
June 19, 2012 7:07 PM
Poor gays in Uganda. They are seized from all sides, as Uganda is a member of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, based in Saudi Arabia, which refuses the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the American Christian Evangelists, who failed to implement homophobia in the US, so they are lobbying to implement it in the corrupt dictatorships.
Help LGBTQIs of Uganda. Their president must be sued before the International Criminal Court.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid