Uganda's fifth annual LGBT Pride celebration has just been raided by the police, who halted the Mr. and Mrs. Pride Pageant, a popular event during the weeklong festivities.
Frank Mugisha and Pepe Onziema, leaders of Sexual Minorities Uganda, were arrested during the raid.
Around 20 to 25 people were reportedly arrested and released, and faced violence from police while being taken into custody.
Authorities claimed the event was held without proper authorization, a claim organizers deny.
“There’s no way we would hold an event without a clearance,” Onziema told BuzzFeed. “They don’t care as long as the word homosexuality is mentioned. As soon as that is mentioned, everything else ceases and [police feel they] have to act.”
In 2012 the first Uganda Pride was also raided.
Kuchu Times, Africa's first online news platform focusing on LGBT issues, has been live-tweeting the latest developments.
Police are reportedly not letting attendees leave the club where the event was taking place:
After rounding up attendees, police allowed them to leave.
The country's Anti-Homosexuality Bill—which called for repeat offenders to be sentenced to 14 years in prison—was struck down by Uganda's Constitutional Court on procedural grounds in 2014, though homosexuality is still illegal in the country.
Below, one activist describes the situation for LGBT people in the country.