Anti-gay trials have started in Uganda — here’s what we know so far

Uganda flagOn May 11 2014 Vox reported: On Wednesday, two LGBT Ugandans appeared in court for engaging in sexual activity. Jackson Mukasa, a 19-year-old trans woman, and Kim Mukisa, a 24-year-old gay man, were arrested earlier this year for violating section 145 of Uganda’s Penal Code Act of 1950, which criminalizes sexual acts “against the order of nature.” This is the first time anyone in Uganda has stood trial for this “crime” since the country’s Anti Homosexuality Bill was signed into law in February.


According to Adrian Jjuuko, Executive Director of the Uganda-based Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum (HRAPF), no Ugandan has actually been convicted of consensual same-sex relations since the 1950 law was enacted. That makes this trial particularly significant. Neela Ghoshal, LGBT researcher on Uganda for Human Rights Watch, says this trial is “part of the antigay wave” sweeping through the country: “For the first time in Uganda and indeed for the first time in the entire East African region, the state has literally invaded the bedroom of two adults and dragged them into the courtroom for trial on charges of consensual sex.”

If convicted, Mukasa and Mukisa face a maximum sentence of life in prison.

After speaking with Jjuuko, Ghoshal, Human Rights Watch, and others on the ground in Uganda and Tanzania, here is a chronology of the major events that have taken place so far in the case against Mukisa and Mukasa.  Continued


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