Ugandan activists acquitted of trespass charges after objecting to exclusion of sexual minorities from the national HIV/AIDS programme

On 15th August 2008 at Buganda road court before a fully packed court room that included LGBT activists from Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya and around the world, the prosecution told court that the Director of Public Prosecution 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.

On 4th June 2008, the 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 activists 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, before the 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

Source: Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) (15 August 2008).

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