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Arrest of LGBTI leader in Uganda

Uganda police have arrested LGBTI leader Joseph Kawesi on charges of homosexual activity and “recruiting youth into homosexuality,” gay rights activists say.

Kawesi is founder of the LGBTI group Youth on Rock Foundation.

His lawyers are seeking his release on bail, Identity Kenya reported.

Under current Ugandan law, sexual intercourse (“carnal knowledge”) between two men or two women is  punishable by a life sentence.  Other “indecent practices” are punishable by prison sentences of up to seven years.

There is no Ugandan law against “recruiting youth into homosexuality,” though that provision would be added if Uganda’s proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill is enacted. That bill, nicknamed the “Kill the Gays” bill, was loudly debated but never voted on in 2009 and 2012.

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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