Following the unwarranted arrest of 125 people from Ram bar on Sunday 10th November 2019, a total of 67 have gone on to be remanded to Luzira prison. Human Rights Awareness and Promotion forum (HRAPF) secured bond for some of those that had been arrested while 67 who appeared in court were charged with being public nuisances and sent on remand where they await to reappear in court.
Some, who were sent to prison without taking plea due to the absence of state attorneys, were remanded until 15th and 18th November while others will reappear in court on 26th and 27th November for ruling on their bail applications.
We have also since learnt that some people were released after paying bribes to the police personnel that were on duty.
According to one of the people that was released after having her statement taken, all those that were allowed to leave the police station had substantial sureties. “Everyone who was released had a number of people who were willing to come forward as sureties; this is the only reason we made it out. The people that were sent to Luzira had no sureties,” our source narrated.
We spoke to our source in detail about what happened that night and she shared her traumatic experience.
“I had been to a day event with two of my friends and we later decided to relocate to a different bar. We decided on Ram where we arrived at about 12:30am. We ordered for our first drinks and as we sought out a place to sit, the Police entered the bar and rounded us up.
In the scuffle, some people got very hurt and others managed to escape. They commanded the rest of us to sit on the floor and a few minutes later the media people entered with their cameras. People that had caps and glasses were forced to remove them; we were being forced to look directly into the cameras. After the media had had a field day, we were thrown onto the waiting patrol cars. People were being beaten and dragged all over the place.
On reaching Central Police Station, we were told to remove our shoes and hand in as well as register all our property before being thrown into the cells. I cannot even begin to tell you how despicable the conditions in these cells are.
While in the cell, something that proved to us that this arrest had nothing to do with drugs or narcotics happened. One of the ladies we had been arrested with had managed to sneak in a phone and she called her brother who works with police. After explaining what had happened and how she ended up behind bars, her brother explicitly stated that they were already aware of the gay bar that had been raided and the homosexuals that had been arrested,” she intimated.
Our source further revealed that the people that sustained injuries during the arrest did not receive any medical attention. One of the arrested who is on dosages of daily Anti-Retroviral and Tuberculosis drugs was also denied access to his medication during the time of his detention despite making several pleas to be allowed a phone call to have his drugs brought to him.
HRAPF, through their social media thanked all the individuals and organisations that had been vital in the release of the community members and for now, the legal teams working on the case are doing everything to ensure that the remanded secure bail when they next appear in court.