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Uganda Deports British Producer of Gay Play

By Clea Kim

Producer David Cecil, 35, was deported from Uganda late Monday for staging a play about homosexuality, which is illegal in conservative Uganda, Reuters reports.

The play, The River and Mountain, told the story of a gay businessman killed by his employees. It was performed at two theaters in Kampala, the largest city and capital of Uganda, last August, BBC reports.

Cecil, who denied being a gay activist, was arrested last September for disobeying a public official’s orders to terminate the theater production. The charges were later dropped. 

“We are extremely disappointed and obviously concerned that David was being deported without being given an opportunity to challenge the deportation order which would be through the Ugandan courts,” British High Commission spokesperson Chris Ward told Reuters.

Fridah Mutesi, who is one of Cecil’s lawyers and a gay rights activist, said there are still plans to challenge the legitimacy of the deportation order by filing a case with the high court. 

Uganda’s latest legislative proposals include a ban on “promotion of homosexuality,” which could mean up to seven years in prison for anyone convicted. A previous bill had even proposed a death penalty for gays. 

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