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Uganda Human Rights Activists Violated By Police

Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) Press Release

On July 20th, an LC1 Chairman (local
government official) and another man forcibly entered the home of J.M. at Kireka, who is a human rights activist and
chairperson of SMUG (Sexual Minorities Uganda).  They proceeded to  search her home without a warrant and to
mishandle her friend, a visiting  Kenyan
activist who they found at the home.

The two men confiscated items from her house and detained the Kenyan  activist, reating her in a degrading and
humiliating way.  She was taken  to  the police where she was even made to undress.
The action of these officials violated Articles 24 and 27 of the  Constitution which prohibit inhuman and
degrading treatment, guarantee the  right
to privacy, and prohibit unlawful searches, respectively.  Most importantly,
the police action violated J.M.’s basic civil right under  Article 29 to freedom of thought, conscience
and association and the right  to
advocate for what she believes in.   

Uganda
is bound to respect the International Covenant of Civil and Political  Rights which protects against
all forms of discrimination.

SMUG condemns this state-sanctioned police
harassment and calls upon all organizations invested in the well-being of all
Ugandans to put pressure on  the
government to respect its own laws respecting human dignity. A strong  alliance of Ugandan and international health
and human rights  organizations  have been voicing their commitment to ensure
the rights of individuals  regardless of
their sexual orientation.

Sexual Minorities Uganda  (SMUG).

 

Uganda Human Rights  Activists Violated By Police and LC1

V.M. explains,
"The police knew this gentleman did not have a police  warrant.  But they did not respect us and
that is why they went ahead.  Yet  they knew she was unlawfully arrested.
Whatever they had they knew was  unlawfully obtained.  The Ugandan police
broke its own laws, the laws that  it was
supposed to keep."

Most importantly, "They did not see us as human beings so they did not see
the need to go through the normal
procedures for searching houses and dealing
with  people.  Because of what they
suspected to be our sexual orientation they  treated us very badly.  That is not the
normal procedure."

How come
Ugandan activists who are, for example, challenging the death  sentence are not harassed in this manner?  V.M. continues, "Even at the police
station we were treated very badly.  For   them it was like a comedy and we felt
humiliated because we are not kids.  This
is  not how a human should be
treated."

 

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3 Comments

  1. Thank you for posting this information. Is there anything your readers can do help stop police harassment of lesbian and gay activists in Uganda?

  2. Keep posting about this! We need to raise awareness for these human rights violations and government-sanctioned homophobic violence.

  3. I will keep people posted on this one and let people know if there is anything they can do to help. Thank you both for your concern which I will pass on.