Sunday, August 17, 2008

Uganda LGBTI HIV/AIDS Activists Acquitted of Trespass Charges

*15th August 2008: Uganda LGBTI HIV/AIDS Activists Acquitted of Trespass Charges*

Today 15th August 2008 at Buganda road court before grade I magistrate Olive Kanyange Mukwaya and a fully packed court room that included LGBTI activists from Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya and around the world.

The prosecution told court that the Director of Public Prosecution – DPP has dropped the charges of trespass against Pepe Juliana Onziema, Valentine Kalende and Usaam Mukwaya.

The magistrate court therefore dismissed the charges against the three and acquitted them.

It was a moment of joy and happiness for the LGBTI community of Uganda who were flocked by the media out side the court room.

On 4th June 2008 , three Human Rights Defenders were arrested during the just concluded HIV/AIDS Implementers meeting in Kampala. They were objecting to the exclusion of Sexual Minorities from the HIV/AIDS Prevention programmes in the country.

After two days and nights of detention in police cells, the three: Pepe Julian Onziema, Valentine Kalende and Usaam Mukwaya were charged with Criminal Trespass, a charge that carries a one year jail term according to section 302 of the Penal Code of Uganda. They were released on bail on the 6th of June 2008. They appeared in court for several hearings, today court acquitted them of the above charges.

SMUG and the entire LGBTI community of Uganda would like to express our gratitude to you all for the love and support.

Thank you,

Frank Mugisha
Human Rights Defender
Sexual Minorities Uganda – SMUG
P.O. Box 70208, Clock Tower
Kampala – Uganda.
Tel: +256 312 294 859
Cell: +256 772 616 062

"Justice and equality".