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16 LGBT Activists Released In Uganda, Condemn Police Conduct and Anal Exams

16 LGBT Activists Released In Uganda, Condemn Police Conduct and Anal Exams

16 Ugandan LGBT activists were released from jail Thursday on bond in Kampala after six days in detention. They are charged with carnal knowledge against the order of nature (homosexuality) and human trafficking.

This follows the arrest of the 16 activists from Let’s Walk Uganda, on Friday after their office in Kyengera, about an hour’s drive from Uganda’s Capital City, Kampala. came under attack from a mob that was trying to break into their office,  chanting anti-gay obscenities  and threatening  to lynch them. The activist called on police for protection. The police indicated that the activists would be given protective custody.

However,  while at the police station, police instead placed them under arrest on charges of carnal knowledge against order of nature and human trafficking after searching their office and finding water-based sex lubricants satchets, antiretroviral drugs and condoms Police officers told the activists that there was enough evidence to prove they were indulging in homosexual practices.

The activists were later subjected to forced anal examinations, despite protests by the LGBT+ community.

Dr. Jane Aceng. and former Ugandan Inspector General of Police IGP, Kale Kayihura, criticized the use of forced anal exams,

Frank Mugisha, Executive Director of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG).  released the following statements:.

The Government is not only failing to protect us—they are also violating our rights as Ugandans with sham criminal charges designed to silence us and forced anal exams to humiliate and torture us,” said Frank Mugisha, Executive Director of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG). “Our communities are demanding that the charges against these 16 defendants be immediately dropped.”

Two Ugandan cabinet minister on Friday evening issued public statements condemning the attacks on LGBT+ community in Uganda.

The Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Act, 2014 was passed in December 2013 with a punishment of life in prison for “aggravated homosexuality. In August 2014, the Uganda Constitutional Court annulled the law. Nonetheless, LGBT people continue to face major discrimination in Uganda, actively encouraged by political and religious leaders. Violent and brutal attacks against LGBT people are common, often performed by state officials. Households headed by same-sex couples are not eligible for the same legal protections available to opposite-sex couples. Same-sex marriage has been constitutionally banned since 2005.