Undated file photo said to show a mob attacking a Ugandan gay man during an earlier incident
Ugandan police reportedly detained nine gay men who tested for STI’s after they were threatened by an anti-gay mob.
Erasing 76 Crimes reports that the incident took place on 15 January, when the Rainbow Health Foundation (RHF), which assists men who have sex with men, arranged an STI screening and treatment visit to a rural area in western Uganda.
After being tested, some of the young men went to visit a friend in the town. An anti-gay mob soon started gathering outside the friend’s home, with the intention of attacking them.
Police learned about the situation and intervened, initially detaining the nine gay men for their safety and taking them to the local police station. The mob, however, were not deterred.
“The mob kept increasing. They followed the boys to the police station, chanting and saying, ‘Show them no mercy,’” said Dismus Aine Kevin, RHF Director. He added that the “angry mob made it clear they wanted to break down the police doors” to attack the men.
As the mob continued to grow, police called in reinforcements and moved the young men twice to more secure locations, finally locking them in a district police station’s cells.
Police then refused to release the men as they considered bringing them up on homosexuality charges. They were questioned about their sexuality and reportedly subjected to forced anal examinations.
Thanks to intervention by the Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum (HPAPF) and he Defenders Protection Initiative (DFI), the young men were finally released on 20 January after spending five days in jail.
Due to a lack of finances the men had no option but to return home where they face being threatened and possibly attacked once again.
According to 76Crimes.com’s Denis LeBlanc, “The young men are living in fear for their lives. Some are house hopping, others are hiding in fields; these young men are in real danger should they be found.”
There are now efforts to raise funds for the victims in order to place them in a safe house or relocate them to a more secure area. Donations can be made to RHF’s PayPal account using their e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org.