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Uganda Gay Activists' Meeting Shut Down By Police

Uganda Gay Protest

02/14/12 03:21 PM ET  AP

KAMPALA, Uganda -- A gay activist in Uganda says that the country's ethics minister, accompanied by police, broke up a meeting of gay participants.

Amnesty International labeled Tuesday's action a "raid" and called on the government to end what it called "outrageous" harassment of the gay community. Participant Pepe Julian Onziema says the government minister labeled the meeting "null and void."

A parliamentarian this month reintroduced a bill that originally called for the death penalty for some homosexual acts. The bill has been widely criticized outside Uganda but has strong support inside the country.

Amnesty International said that the ethics minister, Simon Lokodo, and police declared Tuesday's workshop illegal and ordered participants out of the Entebbe hotel where they were gathered.

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Filed by Curtis M. Wong  |