Update from Spectrum Uganda on the latest police harassment in Kampala:
Steven, a Belgian national, and a Kenyan friend who had come for a short weekend visit heard a knock at the door at 12 a.m. Sunday night [the night of Jan. 26-27] as they were watching a movie while in indoor boxers and vest. As Steven opened the door, he [found] armed policemen from Ntinda police station who ordered him and the friend to immediately get out the way. They were dressed.
They quickly responded and the police removed the movie they were watching, “Sex in the City” and shut the door behind them and told them to board the van to the police station, without any word or letter of arrest.
While at the Ntinda police station, the police recorded statements and decided to transfer the duo to Kiira Road police station. …
As a way of gathering more evidence, the police decided to subject the duo to a medical check to investigate if there was any anal penetration done.
Today 28th January, the duo was paraded before the media houses pictured them for publication which we anticipate today or other national news to come up.
While in the hospital, Steven declined a medical test, claiming lack of trust from police, since his lawyer was not around, not even his embassy, and the police recorded it as a sabotage of evidence and investigations.
On arrival of the lawyer, Mr. Francis Onyango, the police CID [Criminal Investigations Directorate] ordered an immediate search of Evan’s house in order to acquire more information that could help them in the case.
That’s the case as per this afternoon, but the lawyer and team from Spectrum Uganda Initiatives and SMUG [Sexual Minorities Uganda] are in negotiations with the police to get the case solved as soon as possible.
The Ugandan tabloid Chimp Reports claimed that the men were a couple and reportedly were “caught in the act by police detectives.” It added, “The couple is expected in court on Tuesday to answer charges of engaging in sexual acts which are against the order of nature.”
The O-blog-dee advocacy blog commented:
All said and done, no matter the outcome, by virtue of the police parade and how the Ugandan press reports so subjectively and judgmentally, these men’s lives are now forever ruined in Uganda.
What makes this even worse is that given this behavior by authorities, no one is safe from witch hunts. This fate could befall anyone – as long as someone has a grudge or as long as a politician wants to oppress an opponent, this tirade against homosexuality will be the weapon of choice.
- Even if Uganda’s anti-gay bill dies, more worries ahead (76crimes.com)
- Uganda police make arrest, then seek evidence (76crimes.com)
- Briton held over gay sex video to be deported from Uganda (theguardian.com)
- Ugandan faces death threats after partner deported over gay sex video (theguardian.com)
This article was revised in April 2014 to remove the last name of the Belgian man who was arrested, because he remains in Africa and his safety is jeopardized by having his full name included with the details of the incident accessible online.