THE University of Sydney has confirmed that none of their exchange students were caught up in a series of anti-LGBTI raids that took place at Makerere University in Uganda in the past month.
This includes sending two public health students on exchange to Uganda each academic semester, as well as contributing two full-time academics to the fight against HIV and AIDS within Uganda on an ongoing basis.
Fears were raised over the ongoing safety of the students and staff involved within the joint project between the University of Sydney and Makerere University, after the research facilities for the latter’s Walter Reed Project were raided by Ugandan authorities earlier this month, on the charge of recruiting Ugandans to ‘non-heteronormative lifestyles’.
Ofwono Opondo, a spokesperson for the Ugandan government, said on Twitter soon after the incident that the Walter Reed Project staffers were “training youths in homosexuality”.
This charge was made possible due to a controversial anti-gay legislation that was signed into law by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni (pictured above) earlier this year, which can be used to impose a life sentence upon anyone found guilty of repeated same-sex sexual acts.
In a statement to the Star Observer, the University of Sydney has stated that their exchange students completed their studies within Uganda during the last week of March, prior to when the raids took place earlier this month.
The University of Sydney also stated that their academics who work in conjunction with Makerere University and the Ugandan Public Health system have been closely examining the unfolding situation in Uganda over recent months.
(Photo: Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni via Chatham House’s Flickr account)