Police in Uganda arrested about two
dozen people attending the Mr. and Miss Pride Uganda pageant at
Kampala's Venom nightclub on Thursday.
According to BuzzFeed News, police
detained several well-known LGBT activists for about three hours. No
charges were filed. Most of the 200 people attending the pageant,
part of Uganda Pride, were allowed to leave.
Last year's winner of Mr. Pride,
Adebayo Katiiti Phiona, told BuzzFeed that police “were beating
people … mostly the trans women.”
“A police person even stepped on a
trans woman,” Phiona
Police claimed that the event was being
held without proper permission, a claim organizers deny.
“As soon as [the word homosexuality]
is mentioned, everything else ceases and [police feel they] have to
act,” Pepe Julian Onziema of Sexual Minorities Uganda said.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC)
condemned the police raid.
“The violent raid and arrest of LGBTQ
leaders attending a Uganda Pride event is an affront to the universal
freedom to peaceably assemble and to the basic dignity of LGBTQ
Ugandans,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Ugandan authorities
must stop targeting and persecuting LGBTQ people. The victims of the
raid deserve an apology from their government and police force. The
world is watching.”