British gay play producer calls Uganda deportation ‘crazy’
David Cecil is appealing the decision but will likely be months before he sees his Ugandan girlfriend and two children again
The British gay play producer who was deported from Uganda for being ‘undesirable’ has called his situation ‘crazy’.
David Cecil was originally arrested in September last year after the play, which tells the story of a gay businessman murdered by his colleagues, was performed in private theaters. The charges were later dropped.
On 6 February, Cecil was rearrested and locked up for five days before being deported to the UK.
He is appealing the decision, but could be months before he sees his Ugandan girlfriend and two young children who are still in Kampala.
‘I think that the most scary thing for my friends and family in Uganda was they just had no idea where I was,’ he told Channel 4 News.
‘I was immediately led into a car with three plain-clothed officers and an armed guard, and was then driven at high speed to Entebbe airport where I was put into another locked room without being told what was going on. I was then led onto a plane and suddenly found myself in London.
Cecil maintains the play, The River and the Mountain, does not promote gay rights and was not intended to influence the parliamentary policy about to discuss the ‘Kill the Gays’ bill.
Speaking about the gay rights situation in Uganda, he said: ‘People are just talking past each other and there’s very little debate happening on a social level.
‘Even though the play was not politically motivated, what our play tried to do, if anything beyond entertainment, was to open lines of dialogue that left room for both sides to speak, so we didn’t champion gay rights but at the same time we represented homosexuals as human beings.’
If passed, the new bill will toughen the law by punishing gay people with death for ‘aggravated homosexuality’.
Anyone found to be harboring a gay person, or ‘promoting’ homosexuality such as putting on a gay-themed play, will also be punished.