On July 20th, an LC1 Chairman (local government official) and another man forcibly entered the home of J.M. at Kireka, who is a human rights activist and chairperson of SMUG (Sexual Minorities Uganda). They proceeded to search her home without a warrant and to mishandle her friend, a visiting Kenyan activist who they found at the home.
The two men confiscated items from her house and detained the Kenyan activist, treating her in a degrading and humiliating way. She was taken to the police where she was even made to undress.
The action of these officials violated Articles 24 and 27 of the Constitution which prohibit inhuman and degrading treatment, guarantee the right to privacy, and prohibit unlawful searches, respectively. Most importantly, the police action violated J.M.’s basic civil right under Article 29 to freedom of thought, conscience and association and the right to advocate for what she believes in.
Uganda is bound to respect the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights which protects against all forms of discrimination.
SMUG condemns this state-sanctioned police harassment and calls upon all organizations invested in the well-being of all Ugandans to put pressure on the government to respect its own laws respecting human dignity. A strong alliance of Ugandan and international health and human rights organizations have been voicing their commitment to ensure the rights of individuals regardless of their sexual orientation.
SMUG is a member organisation of IHEYO