KAMPALA — Ugandan police on Monday raided a gay rights workshop in Kampala and questioned activists attending the gathering, rights campaigners said.
East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project, the organisation behind the workshop, said that police interrupted the meeting and began questioning participants at the event, including activists from Canada, Kenya and Rwanda.
The police forced their way into some of the activists' hotel rooms, the group said in a statement.
The training workshop was intended to bolster the local gay community's abilities to report rights abuses, the statement said.
Activists condemned the police action and said it represented a growing trend.
"This ludicrous and senseless harassment of human rights activists has no basis in law whatsoever and has to stop," Michelle Kagari, Amnesty International's deputy director for Africa, said in a statement.
"We are seeing a worrying pattern emerging whereby the Ugandan authorities engage in arbitrary activities deliberately designed to intimidate and threaten legitimate human rights work," Kagari said.
In February police led by ethics minister Simon Lokodo shut down a gay rights meeting in the town of Entebbe.
Homosexuality is illegal in Uganda and can be punished by lengthy prison sentences.
Since 2009 a controversial bill has been before parliament that would impose the death penalty for certain homosexual acts.
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