Ugandan police arrest LGBT youth activists
 

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posted Friday, January 4, 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 1

Ugandan police arrest LGBT youth activists
by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Two LGBT youth group activists have been arrested in Uganda, according to various reports.

Ugandan Gay activist Kawesi Joseph was arrested by police on December 31 and is now being held at Kawempe police station just outside the country's capital, Kampala.

'Frank [Mugisha] of SMUG [Sexual Minorities Uganda] has now confirmed that Kawesi Joseph, one of the founders of LGBTI group Youth on Rock Foundation, was arrested by police officers. He is charged with 'carnal knowledge (homosexuality)' and 'recruiting youth into homosexuality,' wrote Melanie Nathan on her blog, O-Blog-Dee-O-Blog-Da.

Youth on Rock Foundation (YRF) is a Kampala-based LGBT youth group focused mainly on 'health and well-being' issues.

New reports coming in on January 2 indicate that a second Ugandan youth activist, Kabuye Najibu, was arrested while visiting Joseph in jail.

Nathan was formerly an editor of Lez Get Real blog, but resigned in 2011 because she suspected that the blog's 'Gay Girl in Damascus' was a fraud. Her suspicions later proved to be true.

On her current blog, Nathan describes herself as 'an activist for equality and a human rights advocate who writes and speaks about ending prejudice and discrimination against sexuality minorities.'

BE CAREFUL WITH FACEBOOK
According to Deniz Nzioka on the Identity Kenya website, 'Local activists confirmed the incident and were looking into ways to secure the release of Kawesi. Additionally, YRF updated their Facebook page on the same [date] and urged members to exercise caution.

'A lawyer was in touch with Kawesi and it was expected that he would post bail to ensure he is released.'

Nzioka also reports a newer Facebook posting saying Joseph is still in custody 'and will be spending his third night in jail.'

Identity Kenya calls itself 'the Kenya gender and sexual minorities news service' on its website.

Mugisha warned Gay Ugandans to use caution in their Facebook posts.

'Today at Police they pulled up one of the ugandan gay facebook pages as evidence, against a ugandan gay guy who has been arrested, please be careful with what you post on fb esp people in the closet,' Mugisha wrote.

According to Jim Burroway, writing at Box Turtle Bulletin blog, there is no Ugandan law banning 'recruiting' youth into Gayness, but since the government considers Gay sex 'against the order of nature,' anyone who has same-sex sexual encounters might be considered to be 'recruiting,' and any such encounters are illegal.



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