Ugandan LGBT rights activist Sam K. Ganafa was released on bail yesterday after two weeks in prison and is scheduled to return to court on Dec. 17, his LGBT rights organizations announced.
Ganafa is executive director of Spectrum Uganda Initiatives, which has used his home as its office for the past eight years. He is also a telecommunications company executive and board chair for the Sexual Minorities Uganda coalition.
Few details were released, other than that the bail was approved in Nabweru Court, where the magistrate said he was too busy to deal with Ganafa’s bail request on Nov. 19, so it was delayed for a week of additional incarceration.
Ganafa and three colleagues were charged with “unnatural offenses,” a crime that is punishable by as much as a life sentence. All four have now been released on bail.
Activists said Ganafa has opened his home to many homeless LGBTI persons over the years and that one of them recently turned on him and filed a complaint against him to police.
Ganafa was subjected to an involuntary HIV test by police.
Homosexuality-related arrests have been on the upswing recently in Uganda.
Bernard Randall, 65, a retired gay British man, and his Ugandan partner, Albert Cheptoyek, 30, are facing trial on charges stemming from the theft of his computer and the subsequent release of a sexually explicit video of them. Images from the video were published in a Ugandan newspaper.
Cheptoyek is charged with “acts of gross indecency,” which is punishable by up to seven years in prison. Randall faces the possibility of two years in prison on a charge of trafficking obscene publications.
- Police arrest Ugandan LGBT leader Sam Ganafa (76crimes.com, Nov. 12, 2013)
- Uganda activists protest arrest of LGBT leader, 4 more (76crimes.com, Nov. 14, 2013))
- Ugandan activist denied bail; potential life sentence (76crimes.com, Nov. 17, 2013)
- Outrage in Ugandan LGBT Community as Activist Faces Possible Life in Prison (oblogdeeoblogda.me)
- Sam Ganafa’s HIV homo-sodomy arrest takes Kafka-esque turn (sebaspace.wordpress.com)
- Uganda: Police arrest leading LGBT rights activist Sam Ganafa (pinknews.co.uk)
- London protests Ugandan witch-hunts and show trials of LGBT people (oblogdeeoblogda.me)
- Uganda: no country for gay men (The Guardian, Nov. 23, 2013)
- Bernard Randall in Uganda court on gay sex video charge (BBC, Nov. 18, 2013)