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Police in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, have violently broken up a gathering of activists at a Pride event.

Frank Mugisha, executive director of Sexual Minorities Uganda, posted on his Twitter page that he is among those who were taken into custody during a party in Kampala.

Those released reported violence from police in interviews with BuzzFeed News. “They were beating people … mostly the trans women,” said Adebayo Katiiti Phiona, who won the title of Mr. Pride in 2015.

“A police person even stepped on a trans woman.” Pepe Julian Onziema of Sexual Minorities Uganda added that police said the event was held without proper permission from police, a claim he emphatically denied.

The HRC strongly condemned the police raid. A statement on their blog stated: “The violent raid and arrest of LGBTQ leaders attending a Uganda Pride event is an affront to the universal freedom to peaceably assemble and to the basic dignity of LGBTQ Ugandans,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Ugandan authorities must stop targeting and persecuting LGBTQ people. The victims of the raid deserve an apology from their government and police force. The world is watching.”

The raid was carried out shortly after a Ugandan tribute to the 49 victims of the deadly shooting in Orlando.

It still remains illegal to be gay in Uganda and it is one of 73 countries around the world where being LGBT can cost you your freedom or your life.

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