August 4, 2012
Freedom and Roam Uganda (FARUG) under the strongest terms condemns the raiding and disbursement of the Uganda Beach Pride Parade and arrest of Human and gay rights activists, who included the Director of FARUG and the coordinator of Pride Uganda; Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera, Jay Abang; the programs manager of FARUG; Ms. Stella Nyanzi; a Human Rights Defender; Sandra Ntebi and Julie; Lerato a South African on media team, Rachael Adams and visitors from other counties.
Police stormed the venue where people had gathered after the match and ordered the party to stop and that no one should leave the area. Police is believed to have been tipped off by either a small group of Christians who were for baptism a few yards away or by the local of the area who had gathered to witness the pride match. Police alleged that there was a gay marriage taking place and that two gay men were seen kissing. They then declared that the gathering was unlawful and wanted to arrest the whole group. Kasha and group then volunteered to go to the police station to give a statement. Upon arrival, they found another group that was part of the pride team that had prior been arrested.
By press time, they had been all been released. In an interview with Jay Abang, she said “…I feel like our rights have been trampled upon. It is becoming a habit of police to interrupt our gatherings. It is as if a section of Ugandans do not deserve certain rights. The laws and bills have not been passed but police is already enforcing them”
It should be noted that police has so far raided and closed down two workshops that have been organized and attended by members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) community in Uganda, one being a capacity building workshop which was organized by FARUG in February and another which was organized by the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders in June.
We urge the entire LGBTI community to remain steadfast and strong and continue with all the remaining activities planned for Pride parade and film festival Uganda. this should not derail us form our objective of pride.
We call upon the judicial system of Uganda to order an injunction against interruption of any activities organized and participated in by the LGBTI community in Uganda.
We call upon human rights activist, civil society, the nation and the international community to condemn police rampant and unlawful arrests of gay rights activists.