(New York) -- Armed Ugandan police raided a human rights workshop attended by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender activists in KampalaMonday afternoon, prompting Amnesty International to reiterate its call on the government to end its outrageous harassment of activists who engage in lawful activities.
At least five staff of the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project, who organized the workshop, were detained by the police along with at least 12 of the workshop participants.
Some of the participants, who were from Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, were able to escape after being informed by members of the media that the police were on their way.
"This ludicrous and senseless harassment of human rights activists has no basis in law whatsoever and has to stop," said Michelle Kagari, Amnesty International's deputy director for Africa. "We are seeing a worrying pattern emerging whereby the Ugandan authorities engage in arbitrary activities deliberately designed to intimidate and threaten legitimate human rights work. The participants in this workshop had done absolutely nothing wrong and we call on the police to end this outrageous behavior which makes a mockery of Uganda's human rights obligations."
Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.