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16 Ugandan LGBTQ activists arrested on gay sex charges

Police raided the offices of a sexual health charity on Monday amid an escalating crackdown on the LGBTQ community.

2019-10-25

16 LGBTQ activists have been arrested in Uganda on gay sex charges amid an escalating government crackdown on the LGBTQ community.

The 16 men, who all worked for LGBTQ and sexual health charity Let's Walk Together, were arrested on Monday (21 October) following a police on their offices, the Guardian reports.

The activists, who are believed to be aged between 22 and 35, could face life in prison if convicted.

Ugandan police have also confirmed that the men were subjected to 'medical examinations' following their arrest - bywords for forced anal examinations.

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"Based on the medical examination report, it was established that the suspects were involved in sexual acts punishable under the penal code" said police spokesman, Patrick Onyango.

The news comes after it was reported earlier third month that Ugandan legislators plan to reintroduce a 'Kill the Gays' bill making same-sex sexual relationships punishable by death.

Frank Mugisha, the executive director of Sexual Minorities Uganda, told the Guardian that the arrests mark and escalation in state persecution of LGBTQ people in Uganda.

"Normally we will hear of maybe one arrest of someone from the community under these anti-gay laws in one month, but it is really unusual to see 16 people charged like this."

"The 16 activists have been held by police for over 48 hours, forced to undergo anal examinations. We are expecting them to be produced before court today."