Uganda anti-gay law claims first victims with arrests

According to reports, two men have been arrested under Uganda's new anti-gay law after they were caught having sex in a hotel room

Uganda anti-gay law claims first victims with arrests
16 March 2014

The first arrests are believed to have been made under Uganda’s new gay law which was passed by President Yoweri Museveni last month.

According to reports, two men were arrested in the town of Jinja in south-east Uganda earlier this week after they were heard having sex in a hotel room.

YNaija, a website which describes itself as ‘The Internet Newspaper for Young Nigerians’ ran an article on 10 March headlined ‘BUSTED: 2 gay men caught having SEX in a hotel room’.

The article says a lodging attendant informed the police after hearing ‘sexual moans’ shortly after the men had checked into their hotel room.

Police officers arrived at the scene before handcuffing the men and taking them away.

The new law, which has received widespread criticism from around the world, imposes lifetime imprisonment for homosexuals caught engaging in same-sex activity on multiple occasions.

Trending Newsroom reports these arrests are the first to be made since the anti-gay law was passed on 24 February.

Uganda’s atmosphere of gay intolerance, fuelled by a media witch hunt, has also led to suspected gay people being handed eviction notices.

One eviction letter, published on Twitter, reads: ‘You have been a wonderful woman as well as a tenant who hasn’t given me any trouble over rent whatsoever.

‘But due to what is going on in the country [regarding the anti-gay law] and your way you and your friends behave, I am sorry but I think you are a depraved person who I can no longer tolerate in my house.

‘I also cannot fight against the government. For that reason, I want you out of my house by March 30, 2014, peacefully.’

However, the fightback against the law has already begun with a group of Ugandan gay rights activists, including politicians, petitioning the government and seeking an interim order from the courts to stop police officers from arresting suspected homosexuals.

The group has also filed a permanent injunction to block the media from publishing lists of suspected gay men and women in the future.

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