BBC radio personality Scott Mills was forced to escape Ugandan police, immediately after disclosing that he is gay. Mills along with a BBC production team had been in Uganda in order to film a television programme entitled ‘The Worst Place to Be Gay?’
In the course of a meeting with David Bahati – member of parliament and principal creator of Uganda’s anti-gay legislation – Mills informed him that he is homosexual at which point Bahati was furious. Mills said to reporters that at this moment Bahati went crazy and requested armed backup. He said the MP was frightening, and ordered that the filming was cut and called a security guard.
Mills said that they then fled, and Bahati phoned one of the crew asking where they were staying and asking for the registration plates. Bahati said he wanted them arrested. Mills’ colleague lied about exactly where the crew had been staying, which allowed them additional time in which to escape. Mills said he was scared as he had been told horrendous tales about individuals being detained and roughed up.
Uganda is among over 35 African countries which have banned homosexuality. Human rights activists point out that Uganda, which has a population of around 31 million, has 500,000 gays and lesbians, and that they continue to live in fear. In 2010, Bahati called for the introduction of the death penalty for certain homosexual activities. The Anti-Homosexuality Bill, has received international condemnation, however it has not yet been officially discussed in Uganda’s parliament.
Photo courtesy of Radio1Interactive, under Creative Commons licence.