Last edited: November 07, 2004

Uganda Fines Radio Station After Gays Interviewed, October 4, 2004

By Newscenter Staff

Kampala—Uganda’s broadcast regulatory body has fined a radio station more than $1000 and ordered it to air a public apology over an interview with gays seeking civil rights in the African country.

Radio Simba aired the interview during a program on minority rights.

The Ugandan Broadcasting Council accused the station of defying the country’s Electronic Media Act, which prohibits any broadcasting that is contrary to public morality. It also said that Radio Simba contravened Uganda’s Penal Code Act, which stipulates that homosexuality is illegal in the country.

The program was “contrary to public morality and is not in compliance with the existing law,” the council’s chair, Godfrey Mutabazi, said.

Information Minister Nsaba Buturo defended the measure saying Ugandans wanted to uphold “God’s moral values”. Buturo said that the show in August had committed a criminal offence by telling listeners that homosexuality was “an acceptable way of life”.

The two gay activists involved in the show would not be prosecuted Buturo said, but “we are not going to give them the opportunity to recruit others”.

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