GAY YOUTH ACTIVISTS ARRESTED IN UGANDA

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There are reports that two young gay activists have been arrested in Uganda on charges relating to homosexuality.

According to activist and blogger Melanie Nathan, Kaweesi Joseph, one of the founders of LGBTI group Youth on Rock Foundation (YRF), was arrested by police officers on Monday.

On Wednesday, while visiting Joseph at Kawempe police station, fellow YRF member Kabuye Najibu was also arrested and also charged with homosexual activities.

A third man, who was with Najibu, was apparently able to escape from police.

The arrests come shortly after a second break-in at the offices of LGBT rights group Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), which has close links to YRF, over the Christmas period.

Computers, possibly with sensitive details about members of the LGBT community, were stolen during the robbery.

Nathan has questioned if the police might have been involved in the robbery in an attempt to secure information about local gays and lesbians.

“…could the Ugandan government be involved in the SMUG break in or could the break in have been committed by an anti-gay proponent of the AHB [Anti-Homosexuality Bill] who is providing the police with information?” she asked.

Same-sex sexual activity is illegal in Uganda, with penalties including life imprisonment. The pending Anti-Homosexuality Bill could add the death penalty as an additional punishment.

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