Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Pro-gay activists arrested at AIDS meet

By Arthur Baguma
and Patrick Ogwang

GAY rights demonstrators beat security and sneaked into the venue of a global HIV/AIDS meeting at the Imperial Royale Hotel yesterday but ended up under Police arrest.

A woman and two men beat the security detail and sneaked with placards and a 67-page document soliciting for funding of their activities in Uganda. The activists, now detained at Jinja Road Police Station, were identified as Pepe Juliana Onzema, a freelance journalist, Usaam Mukwaaya and Valantini Katende.

Police spokesperson Simeo Nsubuga described them as intruders. “We are looking at a case of criminal trespass against them. They are not delegates and were not invited. They did not have accreditation cards.”

The suspects, he said, had placards calling on the participants to consider gays in the planning and prevention of HIV/AIDS.

“Gay Ugandans also need HIV prevention”, read one placard. Another said: “Since 1983 up to 2008 zero shillings to HIV prevention for gay Ugandans”.

Anti-gay campaigner Pastor Martin Sempa termed the incident as unfortunate. “These people are illegal. They are in a wrong place and a wrong forum. In Uganda, we don’t have a place for such people.”

Earlier, the demonstrators managed to distribute their document to some of the delegates, drawn from across the globe.
In the paper, the gays urged the donors and other funding agencies to help reduce the rate of infection and to alleviate the suffering of anyone infected and affected by AIDS.

Homosexuality is illegal in Uganda under the Penal Code and is categorized as an unnatural practice. Ethics minister Dr. Nsaba Buturo has condemned gay activities.

The document said the gays are organized under four organizations namely Freedom and Roam Uganda, Integrity Uganda, Icebreakers Uganda and Spectrum Initiatives Uganda.

The meeting opened on Tuesday and drew over 1,700 participants from over 70 countries. President Yoweri Museveni opened the conference. He called for a

1 comment:

Aaron Timothy said...

Bravo Dr.Ssempa on this issue of Gays, they have no place here and they are illegal in this country. Thanks also to the writers for such an objective story. This is the way to go, Gay, should not even use the word gay, they are homosexuals and they practice the unnatural behavior, they need prayers and deliverance, it is unfortunate, Please right thinking people of the society we need to come out and help these guys out of this confusion. Thanks to the Police, however, the other offense against them is not only Tress pass as simeo Nsubuga the spokesperson for police said, but also against the laws of nature, laws of the land of Uganda and they must be punished for this