David Cecil British Producer detained for Deportation from Uganda

Screen Shot 2013-02-07 at 2.55.01 AMBy Melanie Nathan, Feb. 07, 2013.  3:00 am PST

Updated: Feb 12, 2013 –  Sources in Uganda confirm that British play producer David Cecil was deported last night.  Also confirmed by  British foreign office spokesman who told the BBC that Mr Cecil was deported on Monday evening.

“We are concerned that he was deported without being given an opportunity to challenge the deportation order through the Ugandan courts,” he said.

Updated: Feb 11, 2013 –  Reuters has now reported that “the process of removing him from the country is on,” Uganda’s director for immigration, Godfrey Sasagah, told Reuters on Monday.

“He’s going to be removed from the country … this was a decision that was taken by the minister (of internal affairs) … and we have prepared the relevant papers.”

Sources advise he may be deported tonight.

Updated: Feb 08, 2013  – David Cecil is still being held in detention without charges and is set to spend the weekend in prison- Attorneys have been unable to effect his release at this time.

Updated: PST 3.45 AM –  I have spoke to activists who are at the police station, confirming the detention and deportation order for David Cecil. Cecil stated that he is now hoping to appeal the deportation order, but doesn’t know yet whether he will able to appeal from Uganda or will have to appeal from the UK.

Godwin Buwa, an attorney for Cecil noted that “the government was not very happy about the courts orders to release David.,” in the case where he was accused of not having the requisite permission to stage his play.


We have received unconfirmed reports that David Cecil, the Ugandan based British producer of the play, “The River and the Mountain,” has been detained by Ugandan authorities and issued a Ministerial Decree of Deportation, to leave Uganda. We await further details from Kampala.

Cecil was arrested last year  for producing and staging a play in August 2012,  that featured  a gay protagonist. The play does not depict a gay rights-based message but rather embeds a gay (Kuchu) hero within a wider drama about corruption, religion and politics.

Cecil told me in an interview then that the script went through an approval process by the National Theatre of Uganda and that at one point he thought it had been approved.  However this was disputed and the Ministry asserted that the play did not have permission to be staged.  The case was dismissed by the Court. (READ: Ugandan Court Dismisses Case against British Producer of Play Featuring Gay Character )

We have now received reports that Cecil has been ordered to leave Uganda. He has been living in Uganda with his Ugandan wife and a young child. We shall update this report as soon as we receive more information.

Currently The Anti-Homosexuality Bill which includes the death penalty for aggravated homosexuality and harsh prison terms for so called “promotion” of homosexuality is pending its second debate in the Ugandan Parliament. An update for the Bill cane be found here: http://oblogdeeoblogda.me/2013/02/07/uganda-updates-anti-homosexuality-bill/

Melanie Nathan

Screen Shot 2013-02-08 at 10.53.53 AM

8 thoughts on “David Cecil British Producer detained for Deportation from Uganda

  1. Very absurd and unfair. I am a Ugandan but i disagree with my government that shows that they will pass the kill gays bill because if they can judge Cecil like that we have no hope left. Am scared.

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