Ugandan LGBTI Youth Group Founder Arrested for Homosexuality

By Melanie Nathan, Dec 31, 2012.

Screen Shot 2012-12-16 at 5.58.38 PMWhile many of us celebrate New Years Eve, our LGBTI family around the world suffer persecution and are unable to openly celebrate with their loved ones.  Reports are coming in from Uganda that one of the founders of LGBTI group Youth on Rock Foundation, (YRF)  was arrested by police officers today and charged with crimes relating to homosexuality.  The named person is Kaweesi Joseph, who is currently, according to the reports, being held at Kawempe police station.

Frank Mugishu of SMUG  has now confirmed that  Kawesi Joseph, one of the founders of LGBTI group Youth on Rock Foundation was arrested by police officers. He is charged with “carnal knowledge (homosexuality)” and “recruiting youth into homosexuality.”

We have received information that attorneys have spoken with the Kawesi and that plans are being made to try and make bail.  We will provide updates as we get them.

In the meantime it would seem to me that the police are preempting the Anti-Homosexuality Bill  (AHB) (also known as The Kill the Gays Bill) which has been introduced into this parliament and has yet to pass and the arrest may be political as anti-gay catalysts for the Bill try and drum up more support for its passage.  Although there is an existing law which people can be charged under for “carnal knowledge or defilement,” there is currently no law that speaks to the so called “recruitment” of homosexuals. While we all know such is impossible to do, the Ugandan AHB seeks to make the misnomer a crime.

If Kaweesi’s charges are pursued the facts may be difficult to prove and certainly the aspect of “recruitment” could be  thrown out by a competent court of law.

UPDATED 01/02/2013.

Second Gay Youth Worker Arrested in Uganda

While trying to visit co-worker at police station – fear and panic setting in as Gays experience heightened persecution in Uganda 

By Melanie Nathan, January 02, 2012.  10.20 AM PST

In a heightened ramp up of persecution of young Gay Ugandans, a young man Kabuye Najibu was arrested in Uganda a few hours ago, while visiting his co-worker who had been arrested just before the new year.
- A second arrest – http://oblogdeeoblogda.me/2013/01/02/second-gay-youth-worker-arrested-in-uganda/

UPDATED 01/04/2012.

Both youth workers have been released from prison after spending four days in the one case and two days in the second case. it is uncertain if charges are going to be pursued against them at this time and if the arrests will be treated as unlawful.

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22 Comments on “Ugandan LGBTI Youth Group Founder Arrested for Homosexuality”

  1. CKinMA December 31, 2012 at 12:12 PM #

    Exactly what I thought, Melanie, when I saw the ‘recruitment’ claims. I wonder if Lokodo was in on the arrest…?

    • Melanie Nathan December 31, 2012 at 2:42 PM #

      It would not surprise me if he was set up. I still believe that David Kato was set up and the guy who took the fall was a patsy. I am sure if someone dug deep enough, we would learn more. Look at the MP who just died, a young woman in her twenties and the suspicious nature of her death, including all the false claims. Members of parliament attending her autopsy? Also look at Ssempa and his buddies who were all found guilty of those false sodomy claims. That is the horror of this impending AHB legislation – is the fact that people will be setting each other up. That is why Uganda like other countries have Constitutions. I have no doubt that the Ugandan Courts will strike down these discriminatory laws as unconstitutional. I actually do have faith in the Ugandan Law Society and the Judicial system.

  2. The want-on arbitrary arrests, tortures that follow, evictions, beatings, destruction of property go on, just because one is working with the gay or is said to be gay. Some are so quietly done by well trained persons that they do not get to the press. That is the context the AHB 2012 has brought about in Uganda.

  3. Dan Downing January 1, 2013 at 6:31 PM #

    It’s about time the US & the UK put their financial foot down and say no to these backward, fuckedup African nations. The US & the UK should redraw banking privileges from these countries, seize their bank accounts and use the money to pay for the damages done to gay & lesbian people.

    • Suzanne January 4, 2013 at 3:13 AM #

      This is an unfortunate and rather ignorant response. The current Bill is being *funded* by an extreme Right Wing US Church, alas.

      The current status of this Bill is that the death penalty ” clause” if you will, has been completely removed. The word in diplomatic circles was that the lady Speaker of the House was trying to get this through Parliament as a “gift” to the people before Christmas. It has been long-known that the various funding Governments have made it very clear (this includes the US & UK), that they are very against the Bill. This is one of the reasons why the President has been quiet on the subject for months. I expect the current situation with these 2 guys will fizzle out in the next few days, rather like the interest, or lack of it in the whole Kony 2012 Invisible Children campaign.. or any other topic of short term interest you care to mention, like un-road worthy buses.

      The average Ugandan in the street cares nothing about this Bill, nor knows nothing.

      • Melanie Nathan January 4, 2013 at 2:17 PM #

        1. I am not sure how to interpret the fist sentence of your comment? What is an ignorant response?
        2. “The current Bill is being *funded* by an extreme Right Wing US Church, alas.” ? Who said that in those words? You Suzanne are someone else?
        3. Yes the Speaker Kadaga did say to the press that she was trying to pass Bill before Xmas. it appeared twice as $# 1 on Order Papers of Parliament, but slipped in favor iof Oil Bill and other Parliamentary matters and then Parliament went into recess until Feb 04, unless reconvened earlier;
        4. Yes the UK and US have made it clear they are against the Bill- No Government has yet cut AID because of the AHBill – threats to cut AID have been due to the corruption of Ugandan officials and funding received
        5. The two men have been released today- AND the LGBT community in Uganda still live in fear of the Bill, the hate speech that is on going by Padstors to thousands of Ugandans that attend their rallies and Churches and the day to day insults and assaults by very many Ugandans against them – Why have hardly any heterosexual ugandans come out to support Gay Ugandans and take the side of their human rights to be free of criminalization? –

        So no for as long as gays continue to be persecuted INSIDE Uganda it is unlike KONY 2012 – because Gay people are kicked out of home by parents, beaten up, arrested without cause, meetings broken up, offices broken into and vandalized. This is not a short term topic because it has been in media since 2009 and the persecution and threats directed against the community is heightened and continues. It will only fizzle when Bahati drops the Bill and when gays are allowed to live in private and peace and when the pastors and parliamentarians and Kadaga stop lying by accusing them of being child molesters, recruiters and sinners!

        If the average Ugandan n the street does not know what is going on then why are they saying 89% of Ugandans approve of the AHBill?

  4. rob January 1, 2013 at 7:52 PM #

    Those morons in Uganda can’t even feed themselves. Maybe they should spend their scarce resources on something more important than imprisoning consenting adults who engage in a relationship with someone of the same sex. It is patently unfair that gays and their loved ones should be devastated by discriminatory actions, while the bigots and their loved ones go about enjoying their lives as if nothing has happened. It’s time to start making bigots pay for the discriminatory actions they take. When they have to pay a price, they might start to rethink their actions. If even one homosexual is imprisoned or harmed in Uganda, I say we start attacking heterosexual Ugandans in our countries. Start with embassy personnel. Then target Yoweri Museveni, Rebecca Kadaga, Pastor Martin Ssempa, Scott Lively, Caleb Brundidge, Don Schmierer, David Bahati, Rick Warren, Tony Perkins, and their loved ones.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Uganda - LGBT youth group founder arrested New Years Eve for homosexuality - January 1, 2013

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    [...] South African civil rights attorney and journalist Melanie Nathan called Kaweesi’s arrest a preemptive strikeprior to passage of the pending anti-homosexuality bill — dubbed the “Kill The Gays” bill — [...]

  4. Second Gay Youth Worker Arrested in Uganda | O-blog-dee-o-blog-da - January 2, 2013

    [...] In a heightened ramp up of persecution of young Gay Ugandans, a young man Kabuye Najibu was arrested in Uganda a few hours ago, while visiting his co-worker who had been arrested just before the new year.  We broke the story of Joseph Kwesi’s arrest here on O-blog-dee-O-blog-da at http://oblogdeeoblogda.me/2012/12/31/ugandan-lgbti-youth-group-founder-arrested-for-homosexuality/. [...]

  5. Second Gay Youth Worker Arrested in Uganda | Daily Queer News - January 3, 2013

    [...] In a heightened ramp up of persecution of  Gay Ugandans, a young man Kabuye Najibu was arrested in Uganda a few hours ago, while visiting his co-worker who had been arrested just before the new year.  We broke the story of Joseph Kwesi’s arrest here on O-blog-dee-O-blog-da at http://oblogdeeoblogda.me/2012/12/31/ugandan-lgbti-youth-group-founder-arrested-for-homosexuality/. [...]

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  9. Uganda’s Brave Gay Youth reach out to the World for help | O-blog-dee-o-blog-da - January 27, 2013

    [...] I reported the unlawful arrest of a young leader from the human rights group in Uganda, Youth on Rock Foundation (YRF), around New Year’s Eve, after the break in at SMUG’s offices, where computers containing sensitive information were stolen.  A few days later another Youth on Rock member was arrested after police recognized him visiting the detainee, as being a Facebook friend. This led to a spiral of event resulting in the young group losing their safe house and security.  The young warriors will not give up their quest to serve as LGBTI human rights defenders to the youth in Uganda and so have launched their own BLOG site with a quest to find funding to continue their battle to survive. [...]

  10. Third Ugandan Youth Worker Detained by Police for Interrogation | O-blog-dee-o-blog-da - January 31, 2013

    [...] Recently we reported on the arrests of two youth human rights defenders from the LGBTI group, Youth on the Rock, who were arrested by police around New Years eve,  on accusations of homosexuality and recruiting people into homosexuality. Yesterday a third person who had been sought by the police in connection with the same series of arrests, turned himself into police for questioning. [...]

  11. Third Ugandan Youth Worker Detained by Police for Interrogation | Daily Queer News - February 1, 2013

    [...] Recently we reported on the arrests of two youth human rights defenders from the LGBTI group, Youth on the Rock, who were arrested by police around New Years eve,  on accusations of homosexuality and recruiting people into homosexuality. Yesterday a third person who had been sought by the police in connection with the same series of arrests, turned himself into police for questioning. [...]

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