Uganda Pride cancelled amid threats police arrest and physical harm

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Uganda Pride has been cancelled as LGBT activists face threats of harm and police arrest.

In a statement released in The Kuchu Times, organisers wrote that they could not ensure “extra precaution”.

“It is with very heavy hearts and deep-felt sadness that we announce the cancellation of Pride Uganda 2017.

“Following the Police raid and interruption of the Pride parade last year, extra precaution was taken in organising this year’s festival,” the statement read.

The group went on to add that it was important to recognise the work they had done so far in increasing visibility of :GBT+ issues in the country, even if they could not celebrate at Pride.

“The community realised the need for us to stand together, hold one another’s hands, celebrate our diversity.

“But most importantly acknowledge and pat our selves on the back for the hard work we put into creating visibility and influencing policy change, all year round.”

They went on to explain that they cancelled the Pride after State Minister of Ethics & Integrity Simon Lokodo allegedly threatened the community with arrest and physical harm.

Organisers said: “He has categorically stated, time and again that gender and sexual minorities have no rights in Uganda and today had all the venues of the planned Pride events surrounded by state militia.

“He has abused our very existence by stripping us of even the very basic of our rights, he refuses to acknowledge our humanity or right of association, speech, movement as well as freedom from degrading treatment.”

In spite of the cancellation of Pride, organisers stressed that it did not mean they were giving up on LGBT issues.

“Pride is a time for us to show our gratitude to these people who have taken the time to sit down and listen to us, understand why we are asking for policy revision and respect our humanity.

“It should be clear to all our key partners and the rest of the world that the struggle for equality in Uganda is far from over.

“In fact, it has just begun and we will not stop until every sexual and gender minority is accorded their rights as a human being,” they added.