Government Shuts Down LGBTQ+ Event in Uganda
We are deeply troubled to learn that the Ugandan government ordered Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) to shut down their event today commemorating the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT). This unjustified order, issued by the Ugandan Minister of State for Ethics and Integrity, arbitrarily disrupts SMUG's celebration of a day dedicated to opposing violence and discrimination against the LGBTI community. In 2011 SMUG's Executive Director, Frank Mugisha, was awarded the RFK Human Rights Award, in recognition of his work challenging Uganda's anti-LGBTI legislation and defending the rights of LGBTI Ugandans. We condemn this most recent move by the Ugandan government to impede SMUG's work, in violation of the government's international obligations to respect and uphold the rights to freedom of association and freedom of peaceful assembly. This is the latest in a string of police raids and government shut downs of LGBTI events in Uganda in recent years, and amid a general crackdown on all civil society in the country. Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights reiterates its commitment to standing alongside SMUG and its allies in Ugandan civil society to defend its right to carry out its activities free from arbitrary governmental interference.