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Uganda Court Grants Bail for Producer of Pro-Gay Play

Jim Burroway

September 17th, 2012

David Cecil (AP)

David Cecil, a British theater producer jailed last week by Ugandan authorities for staging a pro-gay play, has been granted bail and released. He was freed on bail of 500,000 shillings (US$200) and was ordered to surrender his passport.

Cecil was arrested and charged last Thursday with “disobeying lawful orders” which carries a two-year sentence. He was remanded to Uganda’s notorious Luzira maximum security prison pending today’s hearing. The charges stem from his staging of the play “The River and the Mountain” at two small venues in the Kampala suburbs after the Uganda Media Council banned its performance at the National Theater.

The Uganda Media Council reportedly determined that the play, which depicts a gay business man who experiences harassment by the friends, family and government and is murdered by his employees, was “obnoxious.” According to Daily Monitor, Uganda’s largest independent newspaper:

According to the Council after sampling some of the excerpts of the play, it branded it ‘obnoxious’, the play has dangerous excerpts as has violence towards persons of homosexual behavior and indeed implicitly promotes a deification of such persons.

The Council further states that the play depicts Uganda as a country full of intolerant and violent people who take the law into their own hands as and when it suits their selfish purposes especially in regard to people with homosexual tendencies.

At issue is whether a letter sent by the Uganda Media Council, which regulates media and public performances throughout Uganda, constitutes a lawful ban on the play’s performance elsewhere.

Cecil will return to court on October 18.

Comments

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Lord_Byron
September 17th, 2012 | LINK

So, they plan to show how tolerant Uganda is by persecuting a guy for staging a play about how intolerant the country is?

MattNYC
September 17th, 2012 | LINK

@Lord_Byron

My thoughts exactly. The lady doth protest too much.

anteros
September 21st, 2012 | LINK

good point, Lord_Byron.

“obnoxious”? even if some people felt that the play was obnoxious, almost all the ugandan plays shown at theatre la bonita in kampala are super obnoxious… why the sudden fuss?

“deification of such persons” …seriously? i shudder when i think back to the presidential campaigns in uganda and how much more the “deification of such persons” would apply to some of the candidates… not to mention pastors…

such nonsense.

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