Uganda’s president Yoweri Museveni is spending some a few days in the British capital, and he has been unable to escape criticism of his anti-gay law.
Last night (7 May), he showed up at St James’ Court hotel in London to give a speech following the UK-Uganda Business Forum which he participated in earlier that day at the invitation of the UK government.
But from inside, you could hear the many protestors outside chanting, drumming and speaking out against the homophobic law.
Edwin Sesange, a Ugandan gay rights activist and director of the African LGBTI Out and Proud Diamond Group, said:
‘It is hypocritical for the UK government to claim to be promoting LGBTI rights internationally and at the same time rolling out the red carpet for regimes like Uganda that persecute gay people.
‘The UK government should come clean on its progress with promoting gay rights in countries like Uganda that they host and collaborate with.’.
Other protesters included supporters from STOPAIDS, the RMT union and the Peter Tatchell Foundation.
The rally followed Minister for Africa Mark Simmonds who spoke to Museveni earlier at the business forum, telling him the UK opposed Uganda’s anti-gay law.
‘It is two-faced for the UK government to condemn homophobia while hosting President Museveni, whose government has legislated one of the world’s most draconian anti-gay laws,’ Tatchell said.
‘The UK government should not be drumming up business to sustain his autocratic rule.'
A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman told Gay Star News: ‘The UK has a close and strong partnership with Uganda, but where there are issues of concern we will raise them.
‘The UK, along with our international partners, will continue to press the Government of Uganda to defend human rights for all, without discrimination on any grounds.’