report_five_ugandans_arrested_for_promoting_homosexuality_not_correctRecent reports of the arrests of five Ugandans for the promotion of homosexuality under the country’s new Anti-Homosexuality Act appear to be incorrect.

Last week, the Daily Monitor reported that the arrests took place in the Pader District in Northern Uganda.

It was claimed that the suspects – two businessmen, a teacher, and two students – had been “recruiting” school children into homosexuality.

LGBTI activists travelled to Pader to establish the veracity of the reports and found that there were a number of inaccuracies.

The team spoke to the officer in charge at Pader Police Station, the District Police Commander of Pader, one of the people arrested, and visited the school where the alleged incidents of promotion of homosexuality were said to have taken place.

According to Adrian Jjuuko, Executive Director of Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum Uganda (HRAPF), the arrests took place on 26 and 27 June.

The five suspects are an 18-year-old, a 34-year-old businessman, a 16-year-old student who stays with the businessman, a 21-year-old and a 30-year-old.

The arrests came about following a suicide attempt by the 18-year-old who told police about an alleged “husband and wife” relationship with his employer that had turned sour. The youth’s claims led to the arrest of the four others.

The five have not yet been charged with any offence but their statements were taken and they were subjected to anal medical exams which were inconclusive. They were released on police bond.

The case was forwarded to the Resident State Attorney who declined to prosecute due to a lack of evidence of any homosexuality offences.

Significantly, Jjuuko also confirmed that there were in fact no charges filed on the allegations of promotion of homosexuality and reported that the headmaster of the school concerned denied the claims. These allegations also did not appear in the police’s case.

Jjuuko said that the case, however, remains open and “investigations” are ongoing.

The promotion of homosexuality is punishable with between five and seven years imprisonment. Additionally, the suspects could be jailed for life if they are found guilty of having gay sex.

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