Jan 032013

Bad news that continue to arrive from Uganda. In recent days there have been two arrests of LGBT activists, while pressure is growing for law to punished more harshly as homosexual people as to which give them support and coverage is approved immediately.

The first was Joseph Kawessi, arrested on December 31 Kampala accused of charges such as "carnal knowledge against the order of nature" and "recruitment of young people for homosexuality". Kawessi is one of the founders of Youth on Rock Foundation, an association in support of LGBT youth, and his arrest was confirmed by Frank Mugisha, Member of Sexual Minorities of Uganda (SMUG), whose headquarters was precisely assaulted a few days ago. According to Melanie Nathan, South African activist based in the United States that has been in contact with the defense of Kawessi, the police is going forward to the approval of the Bill that seeks to toughen the criminal treatment of homosexuality in Uganda. Although the figure of "carnal knowledge against the order of nature" appears in the criminal code in force, not the same thing happens with the of"recruitment of young people for homosexuality"It would be one of the innovations of the future law.

But the repressive escalation has not stopped there. A few hours ago it has been also the arrest of Najibu Kabuye, another young LGBT activist, precisely in the same police station that he had gone to visit his companion Joseph Kawessi. The police has exactly the same charges brought against him. Melanie Nathan does not doubt that the arrests are related to assault the headquarters of above-mentioned SMUG, as that organization is closely linked to Youth on Rock Foundation, the Association founded by Kawessi, and in the assault were stolen computers containing sensitive data of the members of the organization. Nathan also doubts that the arrests have occurred with the aim to accelerate the adoption of Bill homophobic, although it relies on a competent court to dismiss the charges, one by the evidentiary difficulty and another by mere lack of crime.

Religious leaders call for the immediate adoption of the homophobic law

Accelerate the adoption of the law is what they have explicitly requested pastors of different churches. Among them Bishop David Kiganda, Kampala pentecostal Church which has urged the Government to "stop wasting time debating the draft law, should simply approve it, because school-age children are at risk of being recruited" [by homosexuals]”.Even a pastor of the United Kingdom, the Rev. Paul Schimers, would have praised the Ugandan Government for the draft law, saying that "there is no other nation in the world with a plan like this, Uganda will be blessed".

Recall that the adoption of the draft law that will tighten the penalties against homosexuality was postponed until the reopening of the parliamentary sessions, which will take place from February onwards, thwarting the wishes of the President of the Ugandan Parliament offer it to their fellow citizens as Christmas gift”.

Withdrawn charges against David Cecil

However, we ended up with some good news. David Cecil, a British producer of the play The river and mountain (that portrays the harsh reality of homosexual persons in Uganda), was jailed last September 13 by continue with its representation when it had been forbidden by the authorities. He was subsequently released on libertas on bail but remained the accusation, which carried a penalty of up to two years in prison. The Court, however, He finally dismissed the charges for lack of evidence, according to it has informed his lawyer, and taught the released without charge of Cecil.

Envoy Caliban