One of two men on trial for breaking Uganda’s anti-gay laws has been granted bail.
After almost five months without trial, Jackson Mukasa, 26, a market trader, received bail yesterday after fulfilling conditions for his release.
CNN reports his co-defendant, Hakim Mukisa, 19, a student, is still in jail because he’s not met residency conditions for bail.
Mr Mukisa is yet to get his passport stamped by authorities in his suburb of Kampala. The stamp is a court requirement to verify his residence because he does not have an identification card.
The law calls for ‘repeat offenders’ to be sentenced to 14 years in prison and makes it a criminal offence not to report someone for being gay.
The men are not being charged under that law because it’s under appeal, said Adrian Jjuuko, executive director of the Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum, a Ugandan human rights group. Instead, they’re being prosecuted under a 1950 law.
“We will also ask the magistrates court to dismiss the matter, for there is no complainant. These are grounds we will be putting forward for the accused to be set free”.
According to the Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum, the men were arrested in January after fleeing from a mob.
Following their arrest, they were charged with engaging in acts “against the order of nature”, reports the Associated Press.
President Yoweri Museveni arrived in the capital for a short visit earlier this week and met met with UK ministers, officials and corporate executives as part of a Pro-Ugandan business forum hosted by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
On Wednesday evening, he gave a speech at a venue in Buckingham Gate, Westminster.
A protest, organised by the African LGBT group Out and Proud, with the support of Stop AIDS and the Peter Tatchell Foundation, was held outside the building.