Statement on the Continued Harassment and Arrest of LGBTIQ Persons in Uganda

14th November 2019  

For immediate Release

On the fateful night of Sunday 10th November, 2019, the Uganda Police raided and arrested over 120 LGBTIQ persons (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex) person who were fraternizing in a bar in Kampala. This particular act of violence is the second time in less than a month that Uganda Police is raiding and arresting LGBTIQ persons on baseless charges.

LGBTIQ persons in Uganda are often stigmatized, and left vulnerable to violent, cruel, degrading and inhumane treatment. Uganda’s laws which continue to criminalize the existence of LGBTIQ persons have always given law enforcement officers leeway to deliberately target LGBTIQ safe spaces without any ramifications by alleging they are acting in the interest of public morality.

To continue to condone these homophobic attacks, often perpetrated with impunity, with the participation, complicity or inaction of state authorities, is a violation of the fundamental freedoms and human rights of LGBTIQ persons guaranteed by the constitution, regional and international human rights instruments such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

We stand in solidarity with the LGBTIQ community to condemn these acts of violence and discrimination and we unequivocally reiterate that LGBTIQ rights are human rights.

We therefore demand:

  1. That the Directorate of Public Prosecutions drop the baseless charges brought against LGBTIQ persons.

  2. That parliament totally decriminalizes same sex relations in the laws of Uganda.

  3. That the government of Uganda enforces the regional and international human rights instruments which prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

  4. That the Uganda Human Rights Commission launches investigations into the acts of the Uganda Police Force.

  5. That the media reports refrain from further perpetuating social biases and compromising the security and safety of LGBTIQ persons.

For more information contact: Akina Mama wa Afrika on +2564141543681 and email: amwa@akinamamawaafrika.org