Uganda: British producer of gay play to appeal against deportation from country

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

UK theatre producer David Cecil, who was charged with breaking Uganda’s laws in relation to his play featuring a gay storyline, has said he will appeal against his deportation from the country.

Reports from ITV suggest that Mr Cecil wanted to return to Uganda to raise his two children, and that he believed his deportation was a political, rather than a legal decision.

Mr Cecil appeared in court last September charged with ‘‘disobeying lawful orders’’ of the Uganda Media Council in regards to his play, ‘The River and the Mountain,’ which had been performed without the approval of the council.

The case against him was thrown out by a court at the start of 2013.

However, Mr Cecil was detained by police late last month, and on Tuesday it was confirmed by a British Foreign Office spokesman that he had been deported.

“We are concerned that he was deported without being given an opportunity to challenge the deportation order through the Ugandan courts,” the spokesman said.

Mr Cecil, who has family living in Uganda, is not gay and does not consider himself to be a gay rights activist.

His girlfriend, Florence Kebirungi, told AFP: “He called me from the airport, he didn’t sound OK. It is a big surprise as we did not have a chance to make a legal challenge.”

The Ugandan Parliament reconvened this month following its Christmas break and announced a packed agenda, including picking up its notorious Anti-Homosexuality Bill.