- One of Uganda's key gay rights activists who had led demonstration at an AIDS international conference in the country was arrested, tortured and dumped with bruises on his body in the capital Kampala on Saturday.
Usaam Auf Mukwaya was among the three activists arrested at the HIV/AIDS Implementers' Meeting last month for protesting against comments by Uganda's AIDS commission that the gay community was shooting up the number of infections in the country, but would not have access to HIV services.
The activist was arrested by the police while on his way back from Friday prayers. He was reportedly driven to a building where he was led through a dark hall to an interrogation room, and aggressively question about Ugandan LGBT movement.
Mukwaaya was cut around the hands and tortured with a machine that applies extreme pressure to the body, preventing breathing and causing severe pain before being driven out of the building and dumped. He boarded a motorbike taxi to the city center and telephone his colleagues from Shaken and bruised, he boarded a motorbike taxi to the city center and telephoned colleagues from Sexual Minorities Uganda who found him weak, filthy and without shoes and some of his clothing.
Another protester who is currently being tried on charges of criminal tress pass alongside the disappeared activists explained how Makwaaya was arrested. Julian Onziema said he was with Mukwaya when police pounced on three of them in Nakasero.
Gay rights activists have been disturbed by the "unhealthy development", with International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) dispatching a petition to the Ugandan government authorities condemning the "illegal detention and torture of Mukwaaya."
"These actions by the police are a violation of numerous human rights promised to the people of Uganda under the African Charter of Human and Peoples' Rights and other international treaties to which your country is a signatory," writes IGLHRC Executive Director, Paula Ettelbrick.
"These treaties, as well as your constitution, guarantee the right to physical integrity, freedom from torture, and freedom from discrimination based on sex or other status," Ettelbrick said, requesting the government to fulfill its "international responsibilities by undertaking a thorough and transparent investigation into the illegal detention and torture of of Usaam Mukwaaya and that those responsible be brought to justice."
The Kampala government was also urged to "immediately halt" human rights violations targeting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Ugandans.
Last year, the East African country's Attorney General Fred Ruhindi called for the imposition of criminal law against lesbians and gays.
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