A court in Kampala, Uganda, today released British citizen David Cecil on bail after he spent the weekend in jail on charges related to his showing of a play about a gay businessman.
Cecil is accused of “disobeying lawful orders” last month from the Uganda Media Council not to produce the play “The River and The Mountain,” which was performed at Cecil’s bar and arts center in Kampala.
Cecil’s lawyer, John Francis Onyango, said Cecil was in good condition, Agence France Presse reported. Bail was set at about $200.
Further court action is scheduled in mid-October, with a prison sentence of up to two years possible if Cecil is convicted.
Cecil, 34, must stay in Uganda unless he gets court permission to leave, Onyango said. He was arrested and jailed last week.
The play depicts church and government officials in Uganda as using the issue of homosexuality for political purposes. The Media Council has banned the play, saying that sections of it “implicitly promote homosexual acts” that “are contrary to the laws, cultural norms and values of Uganda.”
Under current Ugandan law, homosexual activity is punishable by up to seven years in prison. Uganda’s controversial so-called “Kill the Gays Bill” would increase that penalty and, if enacted in its current form, would call for a death sentence for repeat offenders.
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