Kasha Jacqueline Nabagasera

Amnesty International has described Tuesday’s government raid on an LGBT activists’ workshop in Uganda as “outrageous harassment of people involved in lawful activities”.

The meeting was being held at a hotel in Entebbe when it was raided by the police, led by the Minister for Ethics and Integrity, Simon Lokodo.

He told participants that the workshop was illegal and ordered delegates to leave immediately or be removed by force.

According to Amnesty, the minister attempted to arrest internationally-awarded activist Kasha Jacqueline Nabagasera, who was forced to flee from the hotel.

Other reports say that Nabagasera was in fact arrested but was released soon after.

“This is an outrageous attempt to prevent lawful and peaceful activities of human rights defenders in Uganda,” said Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s Secretary General.

“The Government of Uganda must protect all people against threats, violence and harassment irrespective of their real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.”

The move came just days after the dreaded Anti-Homosexuality Bill was re-tabled in the Ugandan Parliament. The government of Uganda has stated that the bill does not enjoy government support.

“The government’s claimed opposition to the bill needs to be supported through their actions. The Ugandan government must allow legitimate, peaceful gatherings of human rights defenders, including those working on LGBT rights,” commented Shetty.

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