Post submitted by HRC Staff with contributions from Javier Cifuentes
Last month, HRC Global proudly partnered with Uganda Pride 2016 to sponsor Pride’s opening reception for the second year in a row. HRC also sent materials for the Pride celebration, including t-shirts, flags and stickers.
Since 2012, LGBTQ activists and allies have celebrated Uganda Pride despite the severe discrimination, legal restrictions, societal harassment and violence that they continue to face. Due to security concerns, the event is typically low-profile and information on the festivities is primarily spread through word of mouth. Previous events held in honor of Uganda Pride include an annual Pride march, movie screenings, seminars, traditional performances, pageants and events to raise awareness of LGBTQ health services available in Uganda.
Unfortunately, this year’s festivities were interrupted by a police raid of the annual Mr. and Ms. Uganda Pride Pageant on the second night of Uganda Pride 2016. During the raid, police detained attendees for more than an hour, physically assaulted guests and photographed those present without their consent. Sixteen community leaders, including activists Frank Mugisha and Pepe Onziema of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), were taken into custody and later released. The next day, Uganda’s Minister of Ethics Simon Lokodo threatened to mobilize a mob targeting anyone who participating in the Pride march, forcing the organizers of to postpone it until a later date.
HRC immediately condemned the raid and reached out to partners in Uganda to offer continued support. HRC recognizes and admires the resilience of members of Uganda’s LGBTQ community, and stands with them as they courageously move forward in their fight for equality.
To learn more about the HRC’s work to strengthen the LGBTQ equality movement in Uganda and other regions of the world, please visit: www.hrc.org/global.
Earlier today, police raided a peaceful #LGBTQ #pride event in #Kampala, #Uganda. The event marked the second evening of Uganda Pride 2016. HRC and other partners sponsored Uganda Pride’s opening reception last night. HRC is monitoring the situation closely and working with partners in Uganda to help in any way that we can. Pictured: HRC Global Innovator Qwin Mbabazi (R) at the opening night Pride reception.