While many of us celebrate New Years Eve, our LGBTI family around the world suffer persecution and are unable to openly celebrate with their loved ones. Reports are coming in from Uganda that one of the founders of LGBTI group Youth on Rock Foundation, (YRF) was arrested by police officers today and charged with crimes relating to homosexuality. The named person is Kaweesi Joseph, who is currently, according to the reports, being held at Kawempe police station.
Frank Mugishu of SMUG has now confirmed that Kaweesi Joseph, one of the founders of LGBTI group Youth on Rock Foundation was arrested by police officers. He is charged with “carnal knowledge (homosexuality)” and “recruiting youth into homosexuality.”
We have received information that attorneys have spoken with the Kaweesi and that plans are being made to try and make bail. We will provide updates as we get them.
In the meantime it would seem to me that the police are preempting the Anti-Homosexuality Bill (AHB) (also known as The Kill the Gays Bill) which has been introduced into this parliament and has yet to pass and the arrest may be political as anti-gay catalysts for the Bill try and drum up more support for its passage. Although there is an existing law which people can be charged under for “carnal knowledge or defilement,” there is currently no law that speaks to the so called “recruitment” of homosexuals. While we all know such is impossible to do, the Ugandan AHB seeks to make the misnomer a crime.
If Kaweesi’s charges are pursued the facts may be difficult to prove and certainly the aspect of “recruitment” could be thrown out by a competent court of law.