Uganda Pride cancelled last minute after threats from Government Minister

The African country has a poor record when it comes to LGBT+ rights.

The opening event at Uganda Pride was cancelled last minute yesterday following growing pressure on the venue, the Sheraton Hotel, from the Ugandan Minister of Ethics and Integrity, Simon Lokodo.

After weeks of work having gone into organising the LGBT+ event, Lokodo decided to intimidate organisers by surrounding the venue with large numbers of police on the day it was due to start.

This comes despite the Ugandan Pride team having previously liaised with Government authorities about the nature of the event with full transparency.

Up to 300 guests from Uganda and around the world were due to attend the event, showing support and solidarity with the country’s LGBT+ community.

“I’m devastated that this precious moment of community interaction has been unjustly denied to us once again,” said Isaac Mugisha from the Pride Uganda Organising Committee.

“But I am also strong and defiant in the face of this oppression. All my community is asking for is to be treated with dignity and respect by our Government and fellow citizens.

“We won’t give up until this is achieved.”

Matt Beard, Executive Director of All Out added: “I travelled to Kampala today to bring a message of solidarity and love from All Out supporters from over 50 countries who chipped in financially to enable Pride Uganda to happen again in 2017.

“We are shocked and outraged that the opening event could not take place. All Out is so proud to be a partner of the LGBT movement here in Uganda and we will stand with them shoulder to shoulder until they achieve the equality and dignity that they deserve.”

Lats year, gay men in Uganda revealed that the police use the barbaric practice of anal exams to determine whether to arrest them of having had sex with other men.

Related: Providing HIV services to a hidden LGBT network in Uganda – This is Brian’s story

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