THREE pro-gay activists, two of them women, were on Friday charged with criminal trespass.
Pepe Juliana Onziema, Usaam Mukwaya and Val Kalende were charged at Buganda Road Court. They denied the charge before the magistrate hearing the case, Susan Kanyange.
The three were arrested on June 4, while attempting to sneak into an HIV/AIDS conference at Imperial Royale Hotel, holding placards demanding for gay recognition. The meeting was opened on Tuesday by President Yoweri Museveni.
The prosecutor, Emmanuel Ojambo, said the three sneaked into hotel room number 10 with intention to annoy and insult over 2,000 delegates conducting attending an HIV/AIDS conference at the hotel.
The pro-gay activists carried placards emblazoned with, “Gay Ugandans are also Ugandans”, “Gay Ugandans also need HIV prevention and care”, “Health is a fundamental human right, gay inclusive”, “Since 1983 to 2008 zero shillings for HIV prevention for Gays”.
Ojambo said the suspects disrupted the meeting yet they had not been invited to attend it. The suspects called upon the participants to consider the plight of the gays in matters pertaining to HIV/AIDS.
Their colleagues, David Kisule, Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera and Brian Kezera stood surety for them. Kanyange released them on court bond and ordered them to report to Buganda Road Court on June 20 for the hearing of their case.
Foreign minister Sam Kutesa condemned the pro-gay activists, saying they were a threat to security. He said they violated the law and breached peace.
Under the Penal Code, any person who is guilty of the offence is liable to one year imprisonment.
The suspects, who were casually dressed, appeared composed and looked Kanyange straight in the eyes as she read out the charges.