• Uganda Pride, 2014. (AFP PHOTO/ ISAAC KASAMANI)Source: AFP PHOTO/ ISAAC KASAMANI
Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) has been attempting to register their organisation since 2012, but have been continually refused due to homosexuality's illegal status in Uganda.
By
Michaela Morgan

19 May 2017 - 2:44 PM  UPDATED 19 May 2017 - 2:44 PM

A group that advocates for the rights of the LGBTQI community in Uganda is taking the government to court for refusing to register their organisation, Deutsche Welle reports.

The Ugandan Registration Service Bureau has continually knocked back applications lodged by Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), saying their name is "undesirable", and because homosexuals and homosexual sex are illegal in Uganda, the bureau "cannot legitimise an illegality". 

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The group has been attempting to register their name since 2012 and claim that their constitutional rights—including freedom of expression—are being violated.    

"We decided to file a case in court purposely to advocate for the rights of association and assembly because an organisation in law is incapable of committing a criminal act," says Patricia Kimera, a lawyer representing SMUG.

In addition, SMUG legal coordinator Daglous Mawadri says that there are “so many challenges of running an organisation that is not registered.”

"One is the fact that you have to operate underground," he said. 

“For example, you cannot apply outright to donors, you cannot have funds, you cannot have spaces to operate. That means most of the things that you do have to be underground."

SMUG expects a decision from the court to be handed down at the end of the month. 

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