Third arrest in anti-gay Uganda crackdown

Published: January 31, 2013

Police in Uganda have arrested a third youth worker on homosexuality charges,  continuing their crackdown on the Youth on Rock Foundation (YRF), which runs anti-AIDS programs for LGBT youth.

Martin (Morgan) Kanyike, executive director of the foundation, was arrested Tuesday, Jan. 29, on accusations of homosexuality and recruiting people into homosexuality.  He was put into a cell for about two hours, then was released on police bond, he said. He was not required to provide money in exchange for his release, Kanyike said.

His arrest followed the arrest on Dec. 31 of Joseph Kawesi, co-founder of the foundation, and the arrest of Kabuye Najibu, the organization’s finance manager, on Jan. 2. Both were released after intervention by human rights defenders from Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) and  the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project (EHAHRDP).

Kanyike said that, under the terms of his release, Kawesi had to report back to the police station in Kampala on Jan. 29, at which time he was required to call Kanyike.

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Kanyike’s attorney, from Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum – Uganda, had advised him that he needed to respond to police and stop hiding out with his mobile phone turned off, Kanyike said. So he responded to the call, went to the police station and was arrested.

He was released with the proviso that he would return Feb. 7 for further questioning, along with other YRF officials.

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