Pride Uganda raided by police as LGBT activists arrested

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

A Pride event in Uganda has been broken up by police as at least two LGBT+ activists are arrested.

Pride Uganda tweeted that the small gathering in Kampala had been raided by police, as prominent LGBT+ activist Frank Mugisha also tweeted that he had been arrested. 2016-08-04 21-42-44

The tweet from Pride read: “We have been raided by police. And they are saying our gathering is un lawful.”

An earlier tweet suggested that police had blocked in revellers at a “Mr and Miss competition” was taking place. 2016-08-04 21-50-46

Posts on Twitter from local media claimed that police broke up Pride suggesting it had been an attempt for same-sex couples to marry.

Kuchu Times tweeted that: “Police claims gathering was a gay wedding”.

Patrick Corrigan, the Head of Nations & Regions at Amnesty International’s UK branch tweeted: “Two Ugandan #LGBT activists @frankmugisha & @opimva just been arrested after police break up @Prideuganda2016 event.”

Adamantly homophobic Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni remained in office for a fifth term, as he won a general election earlier this year, amid accusations of corruption.

President Museveni signed the draconian Anti-Homosexuality Bill in February 2014. The law called for repeat offenders to be sentenced to 14 years in prison and to make it a criminal offence not to report someone for being gay.

However, the country’s Constitutional Court later struck down the bill, finding that the speaker of parliament acted illegally by moving ahead with a vote on the law despite at least three lawmakers objecting to a lack of quorum.

Despite this, it still remains illegal to be gay in Uganda.

Uganda later passed a controversial new law, that could result in the closure of NGOs helping the country’s LGBT population.

The country’s parliament passed the controversial Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) bill, in a late-night sitting.

Museveni has previously claimed that Uganda is a “better destination” for tourists than Spain, that “Uganda is so rich, we should be the ones to give aid”, and that oral sex is a Western invention that is “more terrible” than homosexuality.

This year an LGBT+ rights organisations shared photographs of men who broke into its offices and killed a security guard.

Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum Uganda (HRAPF) was broken into in May and a security guard was killed as its offices were ransacked.