Briton in Uganda 'terrified' ahead of gay sex trial

2013-11-13 12:09

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Nairobi - A retired British man in Uganda facing trial after police found images of him having sex with another man said he is terrified, as he faces a possible two-year sentence.

Bernard Randall, 65, pleaded not guilty last month in a Ugandan court to charges of "trafficking obscene publications", after his laptop was stolen and films on the computer were handed to a Ugandan tabloid newspaper that specialises in sordid sex and celebrity stories.

"It was private images on a private computer," Randall said, describing his horror at seeing personal photographs printed in the newspaper.

"If any trafficking was done, it was by the robbers who took the laptop, and the newspaper for printing them."

Randall was charged along with a Ugandan, who has also denied far more serious accusations of carrying out "acts of gross indecency", which could see him jailed for up to seven years if found guilty.

Homosexuality is a crime in Uganda, and gay rights activists say they regularly face death threats.

"I was terrified.... I've put padlocks on the windows, checked all the locks on the doors," Randall said, adding he had feared vigilante gangs might seek to attack him.

Treated with respect

In 2011, Ugandan gay rights activist David Kato was bludgeoned to death at his home outside Kampala, drawing worldwide condemnation.

Kato's death came after a newspaper in the Ugandan capital published a picture of him in the same issue as a headline demanding that homosexuals be hanged.

But Randall said that people he had met had treated him with respect since the case drew public attention.

"Ugandans are very kind people... and ordinary Ugandans have responded wonderfully - some gay, some not gay - but all saying 'it is your life to do with it as you want'," he told AFP.

British actor and writer Stephen Fry has supported the campaign calling for charges to be dropped.

"We want our friend home," he wrote in a message on Twitter. "Please help to stop his persecution in Uganda."

Randall is next due to appear in court on 18 November.




Read more on:    uganda  |  east africa  |  gay rights

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
26 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.