Police in Uganda forcefully disrupted Pride activities last week, reports multiple human rights activists.
“Again and again, Ugandan authorities show that they have no regard for basic human rights of LGBTIQ people and that they will even violate the Ugandan constitution in order to stop LGBTIQ people from exercising those basic rights,” said Maria Sjodin, Deputy Executive Director of OutRight Action International, in a news release.
On August 4, police raided a Pride sanctioned event on the rooftop of a pub in the capital city of Kampala. There are reports as many as 20 people were arrested, including noted gay Uganda activist Frank Mugisha.
“After a few hours of detention, I have been set free, every one is safe. Thank you all my friends for the support & solidarity,” Mugisha tweeted.
Police targeted men they perceived were together as well as transgender individuals, reports the African human rights blog, Kuchu Times.
“It was a heartbreaking site as they searched and sexually assaulted transgender persons by touching their genitals and breasts all in an attempt to determine whether they were male or female,” Kuchu Times reported.
Observers reported transgender people removing wigs and braids to avoid further inspection. One young gay man, reportedly, jumped from the four-story roof to evade police, barely escaping with his life.
The raid forced several Pride events to be cancelled, but Mugisha is vowing to continue the fight.
“The police raid from last evening won’t break us but make us strong,” Mugisha tweeted.