Uganda deports British gay play producer

2013-02-12 12:36

Kampala - Uganda has deported a British theatre producer who last year staged a play about homosexuality, which is illegal in Uganda, the British High Commission said on Tuesday.

David Cecil was arrested in September on charges of disobeying orders to cancel the staging of a play whose main character was a gay man. He was briefly jailed before being granted bail.

In January a court dropped the charges for lack of proof.

"We have confirmation of deportation," High Commission spokesperson Chris Ward told AFP.

"We are quite concerned that he has not had the opportunity for due process under the Ugandan system," he added.

Cecil's partner Florence Kebirungi, who has two children with him, said he was likely "already back in the UK."

She said he was taken on Monday evening from the police station where he was being held to the capital's main airport, where he was put on a flight for Britain.

"He called me from the airport, he didn't sound OK," she said, adding that immigration officials told her that Cecil was being deported because he was an "undesirable" person.

"It is a big surprise as we did not have a chance to make a legal challenge," she told AFP.

Vociferous anti-gay lobby

The groundbreaking play "The River and The Mountain" was performed at several venues around Kampala in August despite an injunction by Uganda's government-run media council. It had issued a temporary ban on the play pending review of the script.

The play examines the plight of a man coming out as a homosexual and the motivations of Uganda's vociferous anti-gay lobby.

Written by British playwright Beau Hopkins, it was directed and performed by Ugandans.

Homosexuality is already a crime in Uganda but proposed legislation currently before parliament would see the death penalty introduced for certain homosexual acts.

Although legislators have said the bill could be changed, in its current form, anyone caught engaging in homosexual acts for the second time, or engaging in gay sex where one partner is a minor or has HIV, would be sentenced to death.

Public discussion promoting homosexuality - including by rights groups - would be punished by up to seven years in jail.

  • barack.ofama.3 - 2013-02-12 12:54

    Oh my butt

      owen.guy.142 - 2013-02-12 13:33

      For someone that hates gays so much, you sure do seem to enjoy commenting on the stories that are gay-themed...

      barack.ofama.3 - 2013-02-12 13:44

      I hate them for makin me run away frm my wife.

      barack.ofama.3 - 2013-02-12 14:05

      Hw can l ever leave my beautiful wife

      tuco.angeleyes - 2013-02-12 14:09

      Why would anybody want to go through all that trouble and force themselves on a society that clearly does not want anything to do with them? Did he run out of countries to show case his play? out of all countries in the world he just had to target the one that does not tolerate homosexual tendencies. sounds like a suicidal move to me.

      barack.ofama.3 - 2013-02-12 14:36

      The devil always forces his way thru

      owen.guy.142 - 2013-02-12 15:57

      That makes no sense at all...

      George - 2013-02-12 16:24

      What a "bummer"

      barack.ofama.3 - 2013-02-12 19:30

      So sensitive you are

  • Phoenixx - 2013-02-12 13:26

    Oh dear. So you if you stage a play about murder, which is also illegal, you also get thrown into jail?

      owen.guy.142 - 2013-02-12 13:40

      No murder is not as big a sin as being gay is... or at least that's how it is in Uganda.

  • simson.moller - 2013-02-12 13:52

    I want to move to Uganda!! My type of country!

      SarcasticHeathen - 2013-02-12 14:58

      No-one is stopping you...

      owen.guy.142 - 2013-02-12 16:02

      Go then, go live in that amazing country, and see how happy you are. Maybe they will think you are gay and lock you up, then you can experience Uganda's love..

  • moi.carla.1980 - 2013-02-12 14:46

    So sad. You can actually be sentenced to death by a 'court of law' for being different.

  • john.thelps - 2013-02-12 15:13


      owen.guy.142 - 2013-02-12 16:02

      ^ C**T ALERT!!

  • mstrato1 - 2013-02-12 15:37

    Mxm, guy was broke and used the system in his favour - free flight home. Who fights against homosexuallity tho?

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