UK theatre producer held in Ugandan jail for showing gay play

September 13, 2012
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The British producer of a play about being gay in Uganda is in jail pending his trial on charges that he had the work performed without official authorisation.

David Cecil appeared in court today charged with ‘‘disobeying lawful orders’’ from the Uganda Media Council.

The council claims he staged ‘The River and the Mountain’ in Uganda’s capital, Kampala, last month despite orders to the contrary. reported in August that the main run of the play at the country’s national theatre had been cancelled, although some performances went ahead in smaller venues.

Cecil’s lawyer, Francis Onyango, said his client was not released on bail because his passport had been confiscated by police.

Cecil told AP that the play, whose main character is a gay businessman who finally gets killed by his own employees, was performed eight times at little-known theatres in Kampala last month.

He faces two years in jail if convicted.

Ibin Ssenkumbi, a spokesman for the Kampala police, told AFP: “There are two charges preferred against him, one of disobeying lawful orders contrary to the penal code and another of staging the play which was still under review”.

In August, the online protest group, Anonymous, hacked into two of the Ugandan government’s websites in protest at the country’s draconian homophobic laws.

More: AFP, Africa, AP, David Cecil, Ibin Ssenkumbi, Kampala, The River and the Mountain, Uganda, Uganda, Uganda Media Council

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