Producer Jailed In Uganda For Gay Play: “This Is A Peaceful Country”

My opinion is that the dialogue needs to take place within Uganda, so I’ve got some misgivings about the involvement of international rights groups. Within Uganda, the debate is not happening on a street level or even a societal level. It’s being led by a minority of people whom I would regard as extreme and not representative of the average Ugandan. I haven’t really come across anyone who seriously wants to kill gays here…this is a peaceful country. It’s not a country of extremists as it’s frequently portrayed in the media.

“I would say it’s not always helpful for organizations to try and bring pressure on the government. If you imagine Ugandans were attempting, using some kind of leverage, to force Britain to criminalize homosexuality, you can imagine the uproar. So people need to be careful to respect the sovereignty of Uganda. Within many people’s lifetimes here Uganda was a colonized country. I think it needs to find its own way and any overt attempt to influence policy here is misplaced, can backfire and does backfire.”

David Cecil, the British producer jailed in Uganda for staging a play about homosexuality, addresses his imprisonment and homosexuality in Uganda in an interview with Channel 4 News.

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  • Raquel Santiago

    There are a few problems with this.

    1.) I dont agree with it BUT he is in their country.
    2.) LAWS are clear whether we agree with them or not, when in another country you obey their laws.
    3.) try to change their law/rules from a place where it is legal.

  • Gemma

    There are issues related to our colonial past, and yes unfortunatly my forbears were responsible for some horrific backstabbery, exploitation and destruction.

    However we are not that country any more, the empire fell, and we’ve learned a lot.

    We have an obligation to try to help the world, and we can give international aid to any people we choose, but when we support a government, we have an additional obligation to our own people, to humanity and to the people subject to that government.

    This is not the casual homophobia of most of the african countries, where its somewhat possible to fly under the radar. Its directed, targeted, virulent and no less disgusting than the persecution of Jewish people by the Nazis and Fascists during the late 1930s. They hunt, they purge and they brutalise. There is no refuge, no end to the persecution, and certainly hope seems pretty distant.

    We cannot support this regime, we can give them no help, no aid, and no comfort, they choose to hate, we must choose to not participate in the injustice.

  • Gemma

    @Raquel Santiago: I’m sorry, but when you are subject to unjust and cruel laws, you have every right to fight back. Be you in occupied Paris, current Riyad, or downtown Kampala, you have every right to fight that criminal regime. If you do it through words, discussion and non-violent protest then all props to you.

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