Uganda: Homosexuality banned even in the theater

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David Cecil, a British theater producer – charged last week for a theatre production about the situation of homosexuals in Uganda, has been released.

British theater producer, David Cecil has paid a heavy price for daring to produce a theatre piece about homosexuality in Uganda.

The River and the Mountain, a critical play about the situation of gays in Uganda, tells the tragic story of a man who confesses his homosexuality.

Like many African countries, homosexuality is severely punished by law in the east African country.

Although Cecil was released on bail after spending almost a week in jail, and despite a semblance of freedom, the Ugandan justice system has yet to pronounce its last word. His passport has been confiscated by officials.

The British national has been charged with “disobedience to lawful orders”, and is to reappear before the court in a month. He could face up to two years in prison.

Life sentence

The Ugandan Parliament is currently considering a law that could make homosexual relations punishable by life imprisonment.

Talking about homosexuality in public is punishable by a seven-year prison term.

In 2009, an Anti-homosexuality law bill proposed the death penalty or life imprisonment for homosexual acts. The bill was met with strong international condemnation, with several western countries threatening to suspend aid to Uganda.

Anti-gay sentiments have been on the rise in the country since the tabling of the bill.

In January 2011, anti-gay activist David Kato, 43, was murdered at his home in Kampala. Prior to his death, a local publication had revealed his homosexuality and called for his murder.

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