Uganda Pride was disrupted and broken up by police this morning according to reports.
The parade, which was set to take place near the major town of Kampala, was reportedly broken up by police following a warning from Uganda’s Minister of State for ‘Ethics & Integrity’.
Earlier this week the Ethics Minister Simon Lokodo, an extreme homophobe, promised police would arrest anyone who took part in the Pride parade.
On twitter, people reported that participants were tricked into leaving the Pride event and taken to the police station.
It’s also being reported that buses, which were acting as floats, were taken away by police escorts back to Kampala.
‘Heavily armed’ police and army officials arrived at the event in Entebbe around midday and ordered the crowd to disperse.
A journalist at the parade, Katie Nelson, tweeted that people were afraid and upset. She wrote that police told her they were there to ‘chase away’ Pride attendees and they had ‘orders from above’ – but didn’t specify from who.
Following a raid on a Pride event earlier this summer, the Ugandan government threatened to round up activists who take part in the event in a statement issued to AP.
Lokodo claimed that Pride events contravene the county’s colonial-era Penal Code, which bans gay sex. “The public is called upon to refrain from joining and participating in Gay activities.”
The minister also attempted to link gay rights activists to paedophilia and prostitution. “We are aware that there are inducements, including money, being offered to young people to promote the practice.”
“We wish to emphasise that whereas the promotion of homosexuality is criminalised under the Penal Code, there is no violence against the LGBT community in Uganda – contrary to some claims made loosely by proponents of this movement,” the statement concluded.
Despite the claim that there is no violence against the LGBT community in Uganda, there are reports and evidence of violent police raids on Pride pageants, murders in the LGBT community, and state-sponsored anti-LGBT adverts.