LGBT activsts protest against Uganda’s anti-gay laws outside London commission

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A protest has taken place outside Uganda’s High Commission in central London opposite Trafalgar Square over the plight of gay men facing potential imprisonment for breaking the country’s anti-gay laws.

The protest was timed to coincide with two separate court cases in Uganda on Monday.

Ugandan LGBT rights leader Samuel K Ganafa has been charged with sodomy and infecting a man with HIV – charges which campaigners in London have cast doubt on as being correct.

Three other LGBT rights advocates in Uganda also face charges.

Mr Ganafa is due in court today.

Meanwhile it’s been announced the trial of Bernard Randell, a gay retired British banker living in Uganda charged with “trafficking obscene publications”, has been postponed until early next month.

The charge relates to a gay pornographic film leaked to the media after his laptop was stolen.

The 65-year-old, who has pleaded not guilty, spoke of his “terror” at going on trial in an interview last week.

Mr Randell’s Ugandan partner, Albert Cheptoyek, has also been charged with committing “acts of gross indecency” – he denies the charges.

Today, Mr Randall’s lawyer, Annette Bada, told a Ugandan court that she needed access to prosecution evidence in order to mount a defence. A judge granted the request and set a new court date of 4 December.

Richard Banadda, from the African LGBT Out & Proud Diamond Group, is the organiser of Monday’s London protest. He said the group had organised the demonstration to demand the immediate release of Samuel K Ganafa and others, plus the release of Bernard Randall and Albert Cheptoyek. He also wants the “British Government to intervene immediately in case of Bernard Randall to secure the safe return of him and his partner to the UK.”

He added: “Britain and the EU should declare Uganda as unsafe for LGBTI people and issue warnings to LGBTI people travelling to Uganda as tourists or living there as expatriates.”

Mr Banadda has also called on Uganda to decriminalise homosexuality and legislate protection against discrimination for LGBTI people.