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British Producer Deported from Uganda After Imprisonment for Staging Gay-Themed Play

Back in September we reported that David Cecil, a British theater producer, had been jailed in Uganda after staging the country's first gay-themed play, The River and the Mountain. Cecil was later granted bail.

CecilHe has now been deported, AFP reports:

"We have confirmation of deportation," High Commission spokesperson Chris Ward told AFP.

"We are quite concerned that he has not had the opportunity for due process under the Ugandan system," he added.

Cecil's partner Florence Kebirungi, who has two children with him, said he was likely "already back in the UK." She said he was taken on Monday evening from the police station where he was being held to the capital's main airport, where he was put on a flight for Britain.

"He called me from the airport, he didn't sound OK," she said, adding that immigration officials told her that Cecil was being deported because he was an "undesirable" person. "It is a big surprise as we did not have a chance to make a legal challenge," she told AFP.


Ugandan Court Dismisses Case Against Brit Producer Jailed Over Gay Play

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Finally, some good news for a gay person in Uganda: it was announced today that the case against David Cecil, the British producer arrested for putting up a gay-themed play, has been dismissed.

From Cecil's statement, via Box Turtle Bulletin:

A win for freedom in Uganda! A case against a British script producer, David Cecil (accused of staging a "homosexual play" - The Mountain and the River - and disobeying "lawful" orders) has been dismissed for lack of evidence by the Magistrates Court at Makindye. We can now sue the State for the malicious prosecution.

This is the type of work I’m willing to do for the rest of my life. No man should be arrested, detained, charged and imprisoned arbitrarily for expressing himself.

Rights and Freedoms are inherent and not granted by cultural and religious beliefs/institutions, families, parents, the Government or the State.

The play The Mountain and The River is about a gay man whose mother tries to "turn" him straight, something that's no doubt a topic of interest for those brave enough to come out to their families in the overwhelmingly anti-gay country.


British Man Jailed for Gay-Themed Play in Uganda is Freed on Bail: VIDEO

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David Cecil, the British producer jailed last week awaiting punishment for staging the gay-themed play The River and the Mountain in Kampala in August, has been granted bail, AFP reports:

"He has now been granted bail and is being released," John Francis Onyango, Cecil's lawyer, told AFP, adding that bail had cost around 200 dollars. Onyango said that Cecil was in good condition following his brief time in prison, and had been ordered to appear back in court in around a month's time. Cecil, 34, must seek special authorisation from the court if he wants to leave the country.

Public discussion of homosexuality can carry a jail term of seven years in Uganda.

Watch a news report broadcast last week on Uganda's NTV, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "British Man Jailed for Gay-Themed Play in Uganda is Freed on Bail: VIDEO" »


British Producer Jailed Awaiting Punishment for Producing Gay-Themed Play in Uganda: VIDEO

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Earlier this week I posted about David Cecil, the producer of Uganda's first gay-themed play The River and The Mountain, which had a short run in August in Kampala. Cecil was being threatened with a jail term for staging the play.

Watch a video report from NTV Uganda, AFTER THE JUMP...

Court_cecilCecil appeared at a hearing yesterday, and was taken into custody, the AP reports:

David Cecil appeared in court Thursday charged with "disobeying lawful orders" from the Uganda Media Council, which says he staged "The River and the Mountain" in Uganda's capital last month despite orders to the contrary.

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

RivermountainA bail hearing is next week. Cecil faces a two-year prison term if convicted for "disobeying legal orders". Uganda activists are speaking out, the AFP reports:

"Such acts go against the constitutional provisions of freedom of expression and assembly," said Clare Byarugaba, a coordinator at gay rights group, the Ugandan Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law.

"These charges are ungrounded and only serve to propel further the State of Uganda's anti-gay campaigns," she said. Ugandan officials, however, said the arrest was justified and warned that more people involved with the performance could face prosecution if the play is staged again.

"We have already put a directive to police that whoever is taking part in the play and especially those Ugandans who are paid to take part must stop or else they will be inviting the long arm of the law," said Simon Lokodo, Uganda's ethics and integrity minister.

Watch a video report from NTV Uganda, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Continue reading "British Producer Jailed Awaiting Punishment for Producing Gay-Themed Play in Uganda: VIDEO" »


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