Uganda Pride Parade Canceled After Cabinet Minister Threatened To Organize Mob To Attack Participants

On Thursday, a Uganda Pride event was raided by police, who beat attendees and outed them to media.

A day after the Mr and Miss Pride Contest was raided by police, organizers of Uganda Pride have canceled the Pride parade planned for Saturday.

News of the cancelation came after a tense meeting between human-rights activist Nick Opiyo and Ethics Minister Simon Lokodo, a senior government official in President Yoweri Museveni’s cabinet.

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According to Opiyo, Lokodo declared that if the event happened, he would gather opposition in the streets to attack marchers.

“We decided to suspend it because of the risks to personal safety,” Opiyo told BuzzFeed News. “The minister threatened to mobilize a mob and a large police group to beat up anyone who shows up for pride tomorrow.”

At Thursday’s pageant Police reportedly beat attendees, who were locked inside the club while the media was called. Later, guests were photographed as they left the venue.

ISAAC KASAMANI/AFP/Getty

The parade was scheduled to take place in a private space in Munyonyo, outside of the capital city of Kampala.

The governments of Britain and the United States have been vocal in supporting the LGBT community in Uganda, especially after the passage of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in 2014, but Opiyo said Lokodo barred a representative from the U.S. embassy from participating in Friday’s meeting.

Activists hope to talk to the government about rescheduling the parade for a later date.

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.
@ItsDanAvery