A Ugandan HIV/Aids clinic has been raided over claims that it was “recruiting” homosexuals.
The Makerere University Walter Reed Project (MUWRP), a US-funded health clinic and medical research facility in Kampala, was raided by the authorities on Thursday last week (April 3).
According to Erasing 76 Crimes, activists said that plain clothes officers burst into the facility leading some LGBTI clients to flee out the back door.
Others who remained in the clinic, said to be one of the few in the city that will treat openly LGBTI patients, were photographed by the police.
Officers accused staff of “promoting” homosexuality and arrested a Ugandan citizen employed by the clinic.
In a statement, the MUWRP clinic confirmed that the staff member was released without charge the same day. “We are working with police to understand the circumstances under which this person was detained,” it said.
The clinic also announced that it would suspend its operations “until we have greater clarity as to the legal basis for the police action.”
Government spokesman Ofwono Opondo accused the clinic on Twitter of “training youths in homosexuality.” He added: “Top diplomat allegedly involved #paying one hundred thousand Ug shillings each masturbation.”
In a statement, the US Department of State commented that it was “deeply concerned” by the raid.
Deputy Department Spokesperson Marie Harf said that the incident “significantly heightens our concerns about respect for civil society and the rule of law in Uganda, and for the safety of LGBT individuals.”
“The Ugandan government is responsible for protecting all of its people, and attacks and intimidation of health care workers are unacceptable. The safety of health workers must be respected,” she added.
The raid on the clinic took place just says after President Museveni participated in a mass anti-gay rally in Kampala celebrating his signature of the oppressive Anti-Homosexuality Act.