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Retired British man faces trial in Uganda for allegedly having gay sex

By Agence France-Presse
Wednesday, November 27, 2013 10:47 EDT
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Bernard Randall is interviewed at his home in Entebbe (AFP)
 
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A retired British man facing trial in Uganda on gay sex charges said Wednesday he feared he would be deported after officials seized his passport and refused a visa extension.

Bernard Randall, 65, has pleaded not guilty to charges of “trafficking obscene publications” after police found private pictures of him having sex with another man.

He faces a two-year sentence if convicted.

The charges were brought after his laptop was stolen and films on the computer were handed to a Ugandan tabloid newspaper.

Randall, who was originally due to fly home to Britain to see his children for Christmas on December 6, said his application to extend his visa to stay in Uganda was denied on Monday.

“The policeman… said that my application for the visa extension had been refused and that the passport would be sent to the airport to await my departure,” he said, adding he had been told he was now “an illegal alien”.

“This means that I will be fined £18 ($29, 21 euros) per day, be subject to deportation at any moment and never be able to return to Uganda,” he added.

Randall is due to next appear in court on December 4.

“I also see this as a move by the Ugandan authorities at the highest level to get me deported without it being seen as an anti-homosexuality related action,” he said.

A former computer systems expert in the finance industry who comes from Kent in southeast England, Randall first came to Uganda in 2011, shortly after his wife died just short of their 40-year wedding anniversary.

Randall, who has two grown-up daughters, only came out as a homosexual after his wife’s death.

He returned on holiday to Uganda in September, but days after he arrived, thieves broke into the house where he was staying, stealing cash, mobile telephones and his computer.

Uganda has repeatedly cracked down on gay activists, and proposed legislation — stalled but still awaiting a hearing before parliament — that would see the death penalty imposed for certain homosexual acts.

In 2011, Ugandan gay rights activist David Kato was bludgeoned to death at his home after a newspaper splashed photos, names and addresses of gays in Uganda on the front page along with a yellow banner reading “Hang Them”.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
AFP journalists cover wars, conflicts, politics, science, health, the environment, technology, fashion, entertainment, the offbeat, sports and a whole lot more in text, photographs, video, graphics and online.
 
 
 
 
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