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Second gay youth worker arrested in Uganda on charges of homosexuality

Wednesday, January 2, 2013
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In a heightened ramp up of persecution of gay Ugandans, a second man has been arrested while visiting a co-worker who had been taken into custody on Monday and charged with crimes relating to homosexuality.

Kabuye Najibu was arrested on Tuesday while visiting Joseph Kaweesi, executive director and co-founder of the Kampala-based LGBT group “Youth on Rock Foundation,” reported prominent South African civil rights attorney and journalist Melanie Nathan.

According to Nathan, Najibu — who also works at the “Youth on Rock Foundation” — was arrested and charged with “carnal knowledge (homosexuality)” and “recruiting youth into homosexuality.”

A third man, whose identity as not been revealed, was with Najibu at the time, but managed to escape arrest.

Nathan reports that the Ugandan human rights defenders are being targeted by police through Facebook posts, which may be used as evidence to convict the accused.

Bail has not been set and the two are currently still being held with no trial date set.

Both male and female homosexual activity is illegal in Uganda – under its penal code “carnal knowledge against the order of nature” between two males carries a potential penalty of life imprisonment.

Uganda’s proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill, dubbed the “Kill the Gays” bill, would reportedly penalize “aggravated homosexuality” — consensual same-sex acts committed by “repeat offenders,” anyone who is in a position of power, is HIV-positive, or uses intoxicating agents i.e. alcohol in the process — with capital punishment.

The bill has yet to gain parliamentary approval, but will still be up for consideration when lawmakers return in February.

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