MEPs concerned over state persecution of gays in Uganda

PinkNews logo on pink background with rainbow corners.

The European Parliament’s Intergroup on Gay and Lesbian Rights has expressed concern over the treatment of gay, lesbian and trans people in Uganda.

New York-based Human Rights Watch claimed the illegal detention of two LGBT activists, George “Georgina” Oundo and “Brenda” Kiiza earliter this month was part of a pattern of police harassment of gay people in Uganda.

They were held seven days without being brought before a judge or having charges laid against them.

“We have to react to the continued state-sponsored persecution of human rights defenders taking place in Uganda,” said Raúl Romeva, Vice-President of the Intergroup.

“Illegal arrests, harassment and torture of LGBT activists are not acceptable and should be halted immediately.”

Sophie In ‘t Veld MEP said that the group intends to raise this issue with the European Commission ask them to follow-up on how Uganda is fulfilling its obligations especially in respect to the rights of LGBT people.

Oundo and Kiiza said the police entered their home on September 10th and confiscated magazines and books on sexual orientation and gender identity.

At the Nabweru station, officers took their cell phones and copied down the names found in them and questioned Oundo and Kiiza about other people the police accused of being homosexuals.

They said the police repeatedly beat them with a baton during interrogation and denied them food.

Oundo and Kiiza were released on September 18th after their lawyer threatened to take the matter to court.

The investigation remains open.

HRW previously reported that on May 20th, “club bouncers in a Kampala bar beat Georgina and another transgender friend and took them to the Kabalagala police station. There, police detained them for four days without charge.”

President of Uganda Kaguta Yoweri Museveni and other officials have spoken out against homosexuals on numerous occasions.