Uganda cabinet minister Simon Lokodo broke up a gay rights conference claiming it was 'illegal'.
A Ugandan cabinet minister broke up a gay activist conference this morning in the lakeside town of Entebbe because it was 'illegal'.
The Minister for Ethics and Integrity, Simon Lokodo, broke into the meeting organized by Freedom and Roam Uganda, an association that lobbies for the recognition of same sex relationships, and ordered the activists out of the hotel where it was being held.
He was accompanied by police and, according to The Daily Monitor, told activists, 'I have closed this conference because it's illegal. We do not accept homosexuality in Uganda. So go back home.'
He said if they did not leave immediately, he would use force against them.
Lokodo also attempted to order the arrest of Kasha Jacqueline Nabagasera, a prominent LGBT rights activist who was forced to flee from the hotel.
The reasons for the attempted arrest were not immediately clear, but were reported to be linked to Kasha Jacqueline’s attempt to challenge the minister’s actions.
Amnesty International has condemned Lokodo and called on the government to end its harassment of people involved in lawful activities.
'This is an outrageous attempt to prevent lawful and peaceful activities of human rights defenders in Uganda,' said Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s Secretary General.
'The Government of Uganda must protect all people against threats, violence and harassment irrespective of their real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.'
The raid comes days after the so-called 'kill the gays' bill was re-tabled in the Ugandan Parliament.
The anti-homosexuality bill includes the death penalty for ‘aggravated homosexuality’ and harsh prison terms for gay and lesbian sex.