The Ugandan parliament have enacted a new anti-homosexuality law and with this the Ugandan police yesterday stormed the house of lesbian activist, Victor Julie Mukasa. Victor tried to contact me today but unfortunately I missed her call so the details on her present situation are still sketchy. However there is a report on the raid in Behind the Mask as follows:
On the night of 20 July 2005, Victor Juliet Mukasa, who is the chairperson of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), had her residence raided by the Ugandan government police officials. The officials confiscated all documentations and other materials that had homosexual content.
Unfortunately for the police contingent which was clearly intending to pounce on Mukasa, they didn’t find her at home as she had not yet arrived back home from town.
On the house they found a gay activist from Kenya who works closely with SMUG. She was detained for the night. According to Kasha Jacqueline, a lesbian human rights activist, “They took her [the Kenyan activist] in so Victor and the other LGBT activists [from SMUG] would want to fetch her from the police and then they can arrest Victor specifically and or the other activists
“The police threatened to broadcast the information found in the national media and that can lead to more containment by public at large”, said Jacqueline.
This purported trap to arrest for SMUG officials is suspected to be part of an elaborate plan by the Ugandan government to obliterate gay and lesbian activities in that country.
Victor is an incredible woman who has spent her adult life fighting for gay and lesbian rights in Uganda and Africa against all odds. She has been harassed by government officials, police and homophobic citizens and has paid the price of being “out” in Africa by loosing out to friends and family. Victor was supposed to have met with Amnesty International and her lawyer today who had advised her to report to the police. As for 4pm today she had not done so.
I have just spoken to Victor who has reported to the police. They were unable to detain her since they have nothing on which to charge her. She has a lawyer and the IGLHRC are supporting her case. Meanwhile she cannot go home as people near where she lives planned to attack her. Once the matter comes out in the press she will be in even more danger. She is staying and moving from hotel to hotel. Victor’s human rights have been grossly violated. There was no search warrant on her home and her guest was stripped naked by the police and detained and both their lives are now in danger. All of these issues will be followed through with the support of the international gay and lesbian community and their friends.