Uganda 'gay' trial dimissed for lack of evidence

2014-10-22 16:04
Ugandan human rights and gay rights activists. (Isaac Kasamani, AFP)

Ugandan human rights and gay rights activists. (Isaac Kasamani, AFP)

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Kampala - A Ugandan judge dismissed the case on Wednesday of two men accused of having homosexual sex, the first since tough laws were repealed, their lawyer said.

Kim Mukisa and Jackson Mukasa, who had rejected all accusations since their arrest in January, celebrated as they left court, an AFP reporter said.

"The case has been dismissed in favour of my clients... the prosecution has not been able to produce the witnesses," lawyer Fridah Mutesi told AFP.

They were arrested just weeks before President Yoweri Museveni passed a law further criminalising homosexuality in the socially conservative east African nation, and accused of living "as husband and wife".

Museveni's signing of new anti-gay laws drew international condemnation, with US Secretary of State John Kerry likening it to anti-Semitic legislation in Nazi Germany.

The anti-gay law signed by Museveni has since been revoked on a technicality, but the pair was charged under a 1950s penal code which remains in force and prescribes jail for those found guilty of homosexual acts.

Critics said Museveni signed the law to win domestic support ahead of a presidential election scheduled for 2016, which will be his 30th year in power.

Read more on:    yoweri museveni  |  uganda  |  gay rights

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