Uganda police arrest activist as he grieves for his gay hero mom
‘Mama Naomi’ was a popular figure in LGBT Uganda who openly supported her gay son
Police arrested a grieving Ugandan gay activist when he went to the bank to collect money to pay for his mom’s funeral.
Mleuben Maccarthy, an LGBT human rights campaigner from Kampala, Uganda, lost his mother Naomi to illness yesterday (18 October).
Known as ‘Mama Naomi’ in the Ugandan gay community, she was a popular figure who openly supported her gay son and her death has sparked tributes from LGBTI people.
Maccarthy’s partner, Wolter Swaagman, who is based in the Netherlands, sent money to the Western Union Bank in Uganda to pay for the funeral.
But when he went to collect it in the afternoon, he was arrested by the police.
The Uganda Gay on Move group in the Netherlands lobbied for his release, saying: ‘He still undergoes the loss of his mother and therefore this should be put into consideration by those who arrested him on whatever grounds.’
They threatened to protest if he wasn’t let free.
Maccarthy told Gay Star News he has now been released on bail but his passport is being held by police. The reason for his arrest is still not known to us.
Maccarthy is director of St Paul’s Voice Centre which fights LGBTI discrimination in Uganda. His full name is Mukajanga Patrick Leuben Maccarthy.