Uganda detains second British citizen associated with play containing gay character

By Melanie Nathan, February 27, 2013.

Screen Shot 2013-02-26 at 10.09.24 AMA  Second British man has now been arrested and is being held in a prison in Uganda after appearing in the play The River and the Mountain, which used a gay character in a story that speaks of corruption and other issues in Uganda.

Keith Prosser was arrested by Ugandan police and has been held in a Kampala jail center for the past eight days. Although it is believed that Prosser may have had a VISA irregularity, we have been informed that he would not have been detained had it not been for his participation in the controversial play, which caused the arrest and deportation of the play’s producer earlier this month.

David Cecil, the other British citizen who had been arrested and detained twice for his part in producing and staging the play was deported by the Ugandan Government, earlier this month, as an “undesirable immigrant” after spending five days in detention at a Kampala police station.

Cecil describes  his experience and the deplorable conditions in detention to me earlier this month which we reported previously at: http://oblogdeeoblogda.me/2013/02/13/british-producer-describes-harsh-detention-conditions-and-deportation-from-uganda/

“No fewer than 43 inmates, some drunken and unpredictable in their behaviour. While there was much camaraderie among most inmates, there was also poor hygiene, disease, and psychological and physical enforcement of hierarchy. Outright violence was rare.

Nourishment consisted solely of one modest plate of posho (maize starch) and unseasoned beans / day. Washing, smoking and toilet business happened in the same small corner, shared by all. We all slept on the floor, with privileged guests having a layer of three blankets beneath us, the less privileged, one or none.”

Now back in London, Mr Cecil told the Independent  that he was concerned for Prosser, “a part-time actor who worked as an administrator at Uganda’s Cavendish University, and is also now facing deportation. “Keith is not in the best of health, he is vulnerable,” said Mr Cecil.”

The Article notes:

“Prosser played an evangelical Pastor who “spreads the gospel of homophobia,”  Cecil said. Mr Prosser was arrested for a visa irregularity but the motivation behind his detention was the anger caused by the play, the producer claimed. “He should have been given a small fine but a call came through telling the immigration office that he was involved with me and the play and that he was not to be released under any condition. He was to be deported,” Mr Cecil said. Friends of Mr Prosser, who lived in Kenya before moving to Uganda, are raising funds to pay for the flight to London which will secure his release In his 50s, Mr Prosser, who was due to appear in a production of Macbeth at the Uganda National Theatre next month, is said to be in a frail condition. He was forced to share a crowded detention cell with no beds.”


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