As we are into the first week of Pride month, the stories of why it is so important are coming in thick and fast.
Last week a queer shelter in Kampala in Uganda was raided on the pretence that it was due to Covid-19 violations when in reality it was a suspected same-sex wedding. After days of alleged torture (including 17 of the detainees claiming anal examinations had been performed on them) 39 of the 44 were released on bail.
Frank Mugisha, the director of Sexual Minorities Organisation Uganda, tweeted the news of their release and said that the police ‘had assured them that they would not perform the type of examination’.
Mugisha continued: ‘Our colleagues are accused of negligent acts that could spread COVID-19,
but we are sure that the authorities are in fact trying to use the global pandemic as an excuse to punish our friends for their sexual orientation’.
A trial is due to take place on July 8. A video from the arrest was obtained by Rainbow Railroad and tweeted (below) but WARNING it may be TRIGGERING for some readers.
Yesterday, we were alarmed to learn that 44 LGBTQI+ people have been arrested in Uganda. Through our partner @SMUG2004 and @frankmugisha we obtained this footage of the arrests and their aftermath, which is incredibly disturbing. CW: homophobic language and abuse. #ReleaseThe44 pic.twitter.com/uBzx3Ls668— Rainbow Railroad (@RainbowRailroad) June 2, 2021