Today police arrested Mr. Sam Ganafa, the Executive Director of Spectrum Initiative Uganda and Board Chair of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) over allegations that he sodomized and infected one Dan Twesiga, with HIV. At this point we are not yet certain of what charges have been laid against him. Mr. Ganafa was handcuffed and thrown into the cell after he reported to Kasangati Police Station, following summons by the Police Commander.
Police proceeded to his house, searched and arrested three guests of his and a relative. Mr. Ganafa is known to many as a kind and generous man who has given abode to many homeless members of the LGBTI community. There are speculations that his arrest follows blackmail by Twesiga, which he refused to heed to and instead chose to report to the police station.
Freedom and Roam Uganda (FARUG) calls upon all members, LBTI persons in Uganda and friends to be vigilant about their personal security. They should stay away from Kasangati police station as people are being arrested from the station upon being exposed out by the complainant who has is still at the police station.
Be mindful of people you date and accommodate in your house as such cases of blackmail and theft is on the rise in Uganda.
Avoid opening up to random people, including Boda boda riders, on your sexuality because they are known to be common perpetuators of blackmail and extortion.
In case of any arrest, follow the tips below:
• Have an identification card on you at all times and in case you have had a name change, have the ID with your new names, with you at all times.
• Remain calm and don’t resist arrest as this may give chance to police officers to beat you up.
• At the police station, avoid giving any information to, negotiating with or bribing the arresting officer(s), because in this state of panic, you may say something that may be used to incriminate you.
• When at the police station, avoid giving a police statement and don’t sign on anything until your lawyer arrives.
• Request for a phone call to your lawyer: you are entitled to one.
• In case you don’t have a lawyer, call somebody on the LGBTI community security team or any trusted friend that can get you in contact with lawyers from HRAPF.
We urge everybody to adhere to security tips that have been offered over time. Remember security begins with you.