On Thursday, a town mayor and senior prison official in Uganda will be facing charges for torture, inhuman and degrading treatment of a group of LGBT youth, according to the victim's lawyers via Kampala News. The viral video was originally shared back in March of them beating 13 gay men, 2 bisexual men and four Trans women by a 4-foot wooden cane. The footage was shared to YouTube and since then has reached 35K views and sparked the attention of International Human Rights Activists.
Sky News captured the mayor of municipality and officials raiding the LGBT shelter in Kampala because The Children of the Sun Foundation Shelter was accused in Uganda for improper social distancing and for potentially spreading the Coronavirus.
Within the minute video, one of the officials can be heard asking a man, “Who were you having sex with?” After the torture and integration, police then roped them by their wrist and forced a “walk of shame” through the village to Kitalya Prison. 19 of those 23 homeless men were charged and imprisoned by police. There, they were also denied bail, food, lawyers and medication for almost 50 days.
Soon after, the homeless youth were convicted for disobedience of lawful order and committing neglectful acts. Kitalya Police spokesperson, Patrick Onyango claimed that they were not targeted because of their sexuality.
“We still have offenses of unnatural sex in our law books…we would charge them with that law, but we were charging them with those counts as you can see.” Onyango - Thomson Reuters Foundation
In June of this year, the news of their inhumane act soon spread across the country where the judge in Uganda awarded 5 million Ugandan Shillings ($1,341 U.S Dollars) to each of the jailed LGBT homeless men from the video. The case was labeled “Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum (HRAPF) Vs Attorney General and Commissioner General of Prisons, High Court Miscellaneous Cause No.81 of 2020“ according to 76Crimes.com.
HRAPF applauded their decision of the High Court with a court statement:
“In awarding damages to the accused persons, the court observed that the damages were a measure of vindication of the rights this court found has been infringed and non-pecuniary loss occasioned.”
The court taking action will definitely give the community hope after many abuses against LGBT people and Uganda as a whole.