Ugandan homosexual rights activist arrested at Rwandan airport


In Uganda, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons have no specific legal protections. Activists estimated in 2007 that the Ugandan LGBT community consisted of 500,000 people. The government has been trying really hard to reduce this figure by creating awareness against the act, stating that it is illegal to practise such in the country.

Uganda authorities have confirmed that both male and female homosexual activity is illegal. Under the Penal Code, “carnal knowledge against the order of nature” between two males carries a potential penalty of life imprisonment. The Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Act, 2014 was passed on 17 December 2013 with a punishment of life in prison for “aggravated homosexuality”. Even at this, Ugandans still get involved in this act which worries the government.

Recently, a prominent Ugandan lesbian rights activist was arrested upon her arrival at the airport of the Rwandan capital Kigali on Friday on suspicion of “drunkenness and gross misconduct”, police said.

The gay right activist, Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera is known for her struggle for gay, lesbian and transgender rights in Uganda, where homosexuality is illegal. She arrived at Kigali’s international airport to meet American filmmakers, according to her Twitter account. It was reported that she has been cautioned severally about her unlawful struggle but still continues to fight for the unacceptable act in the country.

“Jackline N. Kasha is temporarily held at the airport over drunkenness and gross misconduct. Appropriate actions will be taken on her case,” Rwandan police said on an official Twitter account.

Some Ugandans explained that her arrest is possibly not as reported. They felt her arrest is as a result of her struggly for lesbians and gay which in unlawful in the country. They believed it is a way to stop her from continuing her unlawful struggle.

The police however did not give further details. Police were not immediately available for further comments.

The arrest of Kasha, a recipient of the Right Livelihood Award known as Sweden’s alternative Nobel prize, has caused disturbance to the foundation that gives the award.

“We are looking into disturbing reports of Alternative Nobel and Uganda LGBT leader Kasha Jacqueline arrested in Rwanda last night,” the Right Livelihood Award Foundation said on Twitter.

The health sector of the country explained that certain enteric ailments are particularly common among homosexual men and women. They are primarily infectious diseases and include not only such common venereal diseases like gonorrhea and syphilis. Among the latter are shigellosis, salmonellosis, giardiasis, and amebiasis which are highly risky to life.

As a matter of fact, Ugandan government has urged its citizens to abstain from homosexual act as it is unlawful in the country. Also, whoever partakes in such act and as well caught in the act will be sentenced to life imprisonment. Homosexuality is highly unethical and should be stopped.

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