CCR Condemns Raids and Threats to Arrest LGBTI Community in Uganda
June 20, 2012, New York – Today, in response to a raid this week by Ugandan police of a workshop on the rights of sexual minorities, and yesterday’s threats by Uganda’s Minister of Ethics and Integrity to arrest the attendees, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) issued the following statement:
Both the illegal raid and the threats of arrest violate fundamental rights to speech, assembly and association, as well as the right to be free from arbitrary arrest and detention. As part of a pattern of harassment and rights violations of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people, these actions also constitute persecution, which is a crime against humanity in international law.
Monday’s raid follows a similar raid in February of an LGBTI conference. That raid was personally led by Minister of Ethics and Integrity Simon Lokodo, who was also behind this week’s raid. On Tuesday, Lokodo told a Ugandan news station that the authorities were still following the activists and were doing all they could do to arrest them so that “everybody else will know that at least in Uganda we have no room here for homosexuals and lesbians.”
CCR represents Sexual Minorities Uganda, a coalition of Ugandan LGBTI organizations, in their case against U.S.-based anti-gay extremist Scott Lively for his role in the persecution of the LGBTI community in Uganda. As part of his broad-based anti-gay agenda, Lively has worked extensively in Uganda and elsewhere to criminalize advocacy on LGBTI issues. Lokodo’s actions are right in line with Lively’s goal and his advice to silence the LGBTI community in Uganda by criminalizing their exercise of fundamental rights
CCR also looks forward to the outcome of a case brought by Sexual Minorities Uganda against Lokodo in Uganda for the February raid. That case is set for a hearing in the High Court on Monday, June 25, 2012.
The Center for Constitutional Rights works with communities under threat to fight for justice and liberation through litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications. Since 1966, the Center for Constitutional Rights has taken on oppressive systems of power, including structural racism, gender oppression, economic inequity, and governmental overreach. Learn more at ccrjustice.org.