Ugandan Minister Defends His Raid of GLBT Conference

UG Pulse reports that the government Minister who raided a GLBT conference yesterday has defended his actions:

The Minister of Ethics and Integrity Fr. Simon Lokodo has defended his decision to raid a workshop being run by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activists in Entebbe.

This follows condemnation of the act by Amnesty International and several LGBT organizations who said the ministers actions were an abuse of freedom of assembly guaranteed to every Ugandan.

But Fr. Lokodo says as the person mandated to maintain good morals in Uganda, it was his duty to ensure people do not meet to discuss “immoral acts” in public places like hotels.

He said he raided the workshop together with police and asked them to stop or go in their private homes and discuss their issues from there.

“This is an outrageous attempt to prevent lawful and peaceful activities of human rights defenders in Uganda,” said Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s Secretary General.

The Minister also attempted to order the arrest of Kasha Jacqueline Nabagasera, a prominent LGBT rights activist and winner of the 2011 Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders, who was forced to flee from the hotel.

The reasons for the attempted arrest were not immediately clear, but were reported to be linked to Kasha Jacqueline’s attempt to challenge the Minister’s actions.

“The Government of Uganda must protect all people against threats, violence and harassment irrespective of their real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.

The move comes days after the Anti-Homosexuality Bill was re-tabled in the Ugandan Parliament.

Big Brother much?

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  • Jim Guinnessey

    Uganda is a sewer run by sewer rats on the take.

  • Richard Willmer

    I’m curious to know under what EXISTING Ugandan law this latest attack on peaceful freedom of expression was carried out. (It sounds rather as if something akin to Clause 13 is being used, even though the AHB has not been enacted.)

  • F Young

    The Minister was clearly insubordinate and in violation of cabinet solidarity in presuming to implement a bill that the government officially opposes. In a normal Parliamentary system, he would surely be sacked.

  • Leonardo Ricardo

    Just imagine if Ugandans filthy despotic ¨politicos¨ actually grew some brains and understanding of reality (instead of constantly/defensively trying to deflect their general stupidity, personal dishonesty/lack of personal accountability and cultural neglect/worse)? It´s the exploiters who are having a run at the kind of society once enjoyed by President for Life Idi Amin! Unfortunately, the innocent will suffer the vile acts of ¨coverup¨ by their corrupt leaders.

  • Lynn David

    But Fr. Lokodo says as the person mandated to maintain good morals in Uganda, it was his duty to ensure people do not meet to discuss “immoral acts” in public places like hotels.

    They actually have a “morality policeman” in Uganda? Where has he been concerning the graft and corruption in Ugandan government?

  • Carol A Ranney

    Ironic that the Minister of Ethics and Integrity shows neither in his actions toward fellow citizens.

  • StraightGrandmother

    I read on Box Turtle Bulletin that he is a de-frocked Catholic Priest. I won’t print here what crossed my mind.

  • StraightGrandmother

    To bad, Uganda used to be a Tourist destination but I dare say with all this bad press of intolerance tourists are not going to want to visit there. Oh well there is always South Africa, a true democracy.