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Harassment: Uganda police arrest fourth AIDS activist

Youth on Rock Foundation logo
Youth on Rock Foundation logo

Police in Uganda have resumed their harassment of gay activists who fight HIV/AIDS among LGBT youths.

Nsubuga Pin, a member and security manager for Youth on Rock Foundation, was arrested this week, accused of homosexuality, and held in police custody in Kampala for a day, the foundation’s executive director reported.

Pin was released on police bond after Youth on Rock members went to the police station to ask for his release.

Police started their probe of the Youth on Rock Foundation on Dec. 31, with the arrest of co-founder Joseph Kawesi, followed by the arrest of Kabuye Najibu, the organization’s finance manager, on Jan. 2 when he went to visit Kawesi.

Martin (Morgan) Kanyike, executive director of the foundation, was detained Jan. 29.

All four have been released without charges being pressed against them in court. Their release on police bond does not require them to make any payment, but the police “ask you to give them some money behind the doors,” Kanyike said.

The previous three arrested Youth on Rock members were repeatedly called in for further questioning by police. Pin was ordered to report back to the police station in Kampala on May 15.

During questioning, foundation members say, police accuse them of promoting homosexuality and violating laws against homosexual activity. Kanyike said they are also asked to explain what Youth on Rock does, who is in charge, and where its funds come from. They also ask to describe their sexual practices.

The foundation continues to serve LGBT youths, most of them HIV-positive, despite harassment by police. They have established a safe house for their own protection and have been seeking financial support to reopen their office.

Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. After his retirement from paid newspaper work in 2011, he launched Erasing 76 Crimes and helped with the Spirit of 76 campaign that assembled a multi-national team of 26 LGBTI rights activists to advocate for change during the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., in July 2012. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, including the Erasing 76 Crimes news site and the African Human Rights Media Network. Contact him via Twitter @76crimes or by email at info@76crimes.com. Mailing address: 21 Marseille, Laguna Niguel CA 92677 USA.

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