Police clampdown on LGBT activists in Uganda

Civil Rights Defenders strongly condemns the Ugandan police’s raid of a workshop for LGBT activists (working for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender person’s rights) in Kampala last Monday, June 18, and the harassment and intimidation of LGBT activists in general.

”Monday’s raid is a violation of the right to peaceful assembly as well as the right to liberty and security. Uganda is legally obliged to observe the protection of these rights since it became a party to the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) in 1995.” says Erik Esbjörnson, Programme Director at Civil Rights Defenders.

The East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project (EHAHRDP) organised the workshop for about 20 human rights activists working with LGBT people’s rights in different East and Horn of Africa countries. Five participants and staff members of the EHAHRDP were arbitrarily arrested and later released without any charges.

This is not the first incident of its kind in Uganda. In February 2012, the Minister of State for Ethics and Integrity arbitrarily shut down another LGBT workshop.

”We urge the Ugandan government to fulfil its responsibility to protect human rights defenders against any intimidation because of their human rights work, in accordance with the 1998 UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.” says Erik Esbjörnson.

Human rights organisations in Uganda are under additional pressure at the moment, as the Minister of State for Ethics and Integrity and the Minister for Internal Affairs are working on the deregistration of nearly 40 organisations in Uganda without any grounds. The list includes organisations supporting LGBT people’s rights. Moreover, a draconian law on homosexuality has been on and off the Ugandan Parliament’s table for consideration since 2009.

For more information contact: Erik Esbjörnson +46-709-89 60 13

Categories: Statements.
Tags: LGBT and The East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project.
Regions: East Africa.