LGBTI+ activists arrested at a training workshop in Uganda

Police have arrested a group of at least 33 transgender activists, who were taking part in a training workshop, at Sangalo Beach in Uganda’s Busia District. 

The incident is reported to have taken place on Tuesday August 27, with the majority of those arrested being from Rwanda, alongside a few individuals from the Congo and Uganda. 

According to Trumpet News, those arrested spoke a mixture of Kinyarwanda, Swahili, and English, and were all believed to have been attending a transgender conference. The event was led by an individual only identified as “Beyonce”, who the police later claimed offered them a large amount of money as a bribe in order to secure her release. 

It is believed that police were contacted by officials from the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), who were allegedly “disturbed by the participants’ behaviour” during one of their lunch breaks.

“The boys started behaving like women. They were all over each other caressing fellow men,” a URA official, who asked not to be named, is quoted as saying. 

He added that, while the group only had two pairs of ladies, two of those individuals were also “reacting like men”. 

“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” he recalls. 

“Imagine a boy telling a fellow boy that your face looks good. In fact, during the lunch break, they started coupling. That raised our suspicion.”

The Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum (HRAPF) has since revealed that it has intervened in the matter and that all 33 people have now been released.

“Our legal team has successfully negotiated the release of 33 transgender persons, who were charged with unlawful assembly before a Grade One Magistrate; after they were arrested yesterday in Busia district, during a training on the SDGs [Sustainable Development Goals],” the NGO tweeted.