Ugandan police on Wednesday detained 13 people protesting over discrimination against gays during a global HIV/AIDS conference, a spokesman said.
"We are demonstrating because we are not involved in the HIV/AIDS programme. We are discriminated against," shouted the group leader, 28-year-old Julian Pepe Onziema, who was forcefully led out of the conference hall.
Police said they arrested 13 demonstrators, all members of the Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) group, on charges of promoting homosexuality and "unnatural conduct".
"We have detained them for promoting homosexuality, which is a serious offence in our laws," Kampala police spokesman Simeo Nsubuga told AFP.
"Depending on the investigation and evidence available, these people may be imprisoned for life," Nsubuga added.
"They government does not give us money and other services given to other groups for fighting HIV/AIDS," Onziema shouted at the conference.
The group carried posters denouncing conference organisers for not involving them and asked the meeting to pressure the Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni into accepting them as a minority group.
"Health is our human right," the banners read. Police immediately deployed heavily around the venue to avoid further demonstrations.
The 2008 HIV/AIDS meeting hosts some 1,700 delegates from more than 70 countries.
US President George W. Bush' Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the World Bank and several UN agencies are among the conference co-sponsors.
Maybe Reuters, here, is more factual
Part fact, part fiction.
3 of my colleagues are spending the night at Jinja Road Police Station. Apparently we did something wrong. But it is kind of hard to determine what we did wrong. The police are not very sure. And we are not very sure because they are not sure.
Anyway, they are sleeping in cold police cells, as police ‘continue investigations’. By law they can be held for a maximum of 48 hours before they are produced before a judge. It is the middle of the week, so, hopefully, they should be out soon!
Keeping my fingers crossed.
Hey, have just had a scare.
How secure is this blogging of mine? Of course the servers of Google are in the US, etc, etc. But between me and that exercise of my freedom is a lot of land, and powers, and possibilities. I do not plan to give up my blog. No, and never.
But it can be stolen from me. So, just in case I disappear, or start telling you some very uncharacteristic things, just remember that it might not be me. If I am free when such a thing ever happens, I will try to inform you all as soon as possible.
A sad business, though you were perfectly within your rights to exercise your right to demonstrate.
The police, as usual, are being heavy-handed to frighten off everyone else. Happens in every country under the sun! As long as they know they are being watched, they may behave themselves.
Re the blog: no, you have to get into it using passwords, I'm sure. Remember that you're only one of many who use blogs to advertise HR violations, and the people who run them (Yahoo excepted) make sure they are pretty secure.
The worst they could do is make you misuse your blog by blackmailing or threatning you.
The reasons for the arrests are clear. Trespass is a criminal offence in this country and so is homosexuality. How do you go promoting an illegal practice and then expect police to keep quiet. What is the role of the police then?
I know this "demo" was a trick to seek public sympathy because these people knew very well they would be arrested so that they appear like martyrs.
It is simple, respect and obey the laws of Uganda. They were made by your representatives and they reflect the will of Ugandans.
It is not true that the police are not sure of what charges to prefer against those arrested. I have stated them above. Stop peddling lies as a way of getting asylum in Europe and getting money from homosexual organisations abroad (like HRW)
it indeed is a bad business.
Do you notice the waves of love flowing from David Kimbowa?
I hope I am not suffocated by all this much hate.
David, thanks for your heartfelt comments. Realy, you do love me! Gosh, do I ever need enemies with lovers like you?
Thanks again, David the Christian.
But why do you hate me so much? I am puzzled!
David keeps underlining the existence of laws. Were these laws not writ by men? And does it not follow by extension that they could be flawed?
He shouldn't hide his hate-agenda behind these laws.Who is he trying to convince, that he does not hate you? Himself?
As succinctly and cold-bloodedly observed by kimbowa.... respect and obey the laws... The law is an ass!
I might not be familiar with Ugandan laws, but I'm sure the constitution upholds the right of association/demonstration and that the police were intimidated by a few demonstrators is a sad state of affairs. You gotta wonder, why do we homosexuals inspire such fear? We're harmless...honest!
Anyway I stand in solidarity ( both material and on blogosphere).
WildeY ( gay Kenyan)
David - more rubbish from you. HRW a "homosexual organisation"? You're just plain ignorant - or just plain stupid, not sure which.
And if you think that people get themselves arrested by state thugs just to become martyrs, your conception of martyrdom is centuries out of date. No compassion or consideration from you for their friends or families, I see.
For the record - homosexuality can't be a crime - any more than being black can. Homosexual "acts" are something different. And as elsewhere said, defined in man-made laws means just that, no more. And can be unmade at any time.
Kimbowa's state of mind is something is true when said in church. Especially by Pastor Ssempa. So, he never bothered to find out the HRW is not a 'homosexual' organisation. Ssempa says it is, so Kimbowa believes.
Oh yes, he can check it out on the internet but why bother? Ssempa says HRW is the devil, so the devil is HRW. The gospel according to Pastor Ssempa...
well well well,
I have not quoted much from pastor ssempa and am wondering why you are saying that I believe what I believe because he has said so. I cannot deny the fact that he is my pastor though.
When I say that HRW is a homosexual organisation, am not saying that that is all it does. But we know very well how hard HRW has worked to promote sexual perversion. They say people have a right to practice homosexuality, have a right to kill young children, I guess next time they will tell us that people have a right to have sex with children, animals, their pets, themselves, name it.
That is the path that that organisation is taking.
This is my view not the view of Dr ssempa
you know why I tie you with Ssempa?
It is because you say the things that he says. Parrot them, without a single change. The views he has on homosexuals, the ideas he has, all the untruths he has. For some reason, even if it is your view, they are almost identical!!!
Could there be any reason for that?
Could it be that you believe what Ssempa says, without the need to find out from other sources whether they are realy true? To you they are true because Ssempa said they were. So, like Kibwetere's believers, you do not question the veracity of the statements. They have to be true. Why, because Ssempa said they are true.
I like that logic. So simple, so direct.
But, you are 25 years of age now? [did you light a pink candle?]
Dont you think it is time you started forming opinions for yourself?
Start with HRW. Check out the links Spiralx has given you on comments. Is HRW a homosexual organisation? Sincerely even Kimbowa, who apparently is having a college education can work out something as small as that?
You know, hate is a strange thing. You need a reason that you give your mind to hate. Love is different. One loves because one loves. No reason necessary.
You do have a good store of hate in you.
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