Petition Closed
Petitioning H.E. Amb. Joan Rwabyomere, Ugandan High Commissioner in the UK

We call on the government of Uganda to stop the prosecution of David Cecil and to uphold the fundamental right to freedom of expression.


Your Excellency,

We write to express our concern over the prosecution of British theatre producer David Cecil by the Ugandan Media Council for producing the play 'The River and the Mountain'. The play, which was staged in the Ugandan capital Kampala, chronicles the killing of a gay businessman by his staff. It has been highly praised for the tragicomic way it attempts to tackle widespread homophobia in Uganda where leading politicians wish to introduce the death penalty for "aggravated homosexuality" and gay rights activists such as David Kato have been murdered or beaten with impunity. In this climate, free speech is severely restricted. Uganda's National Theatre rejected the play and the Media Council instructed Cecil not to stage it until state censors had gone through it. Bravely, he went ahead. He now faces 2 years if convicted for ignoring their orders. We call on the government of Uganda to stop the prosecution of David Cecil and to uphold the fundamental right to freedom of expression.

Yours,

David Lan, Artistic Director, Young Vic 

Mike Harris, Head of Advocacy, Index on Censorship

Mary Ann DeVlieg, Secretary General, IETM

Baroness  Helena Kennedy QC, former Chair of the British Council, Member of the House of Lords UK and leading Human Rights lawyer

Rachel  Tackley, Director of English Touring Theatre and President of the Theatrical Management Association

Sir Richard Eyre

Stephen Fry      

Vanessa Redgrave

Mark Rubinstein, Theatre Producer and President of the Society of London Theatre

Rt Hon James Purnell, former Secretary of State for Culture

Peter Brook       

Hanif Kureishi   

Michael Sheen OBE        

Sandi Toksvig    

Jane Horrocks   

Tom Stoppard  

Patrick  Marber

Nick Starr, National Theatre

Nicholas Allot, Cameron Mackintosh Ltd

Simon Callow

Bill Paterson      

David Edgar, President of the Writers' Guild of Great Britain

Rt Hon Simon Hughes MP, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Commons

Dame Harriet Walter     

Chris Dercon, Director of Tate Modern

Malcolm Sinclair, President, Equity

Dominic Cooke, Artistic Director, Royal Court Theatre

Janet Suzman DBE          

Jan Goossens, Artistic Director, KVS - Koninklijke Vlaamse Schouwburg, Brussels

Mike Leigh, Dramatist & Film Director

Michael Boyd, former Artistic Director RSC

Juliet Stevenson              

And many, many others

 

Letter to
H.E. Amb. Joan Rwabyomere, Ugandan High Commissioner in the UK
I've just signed the following petition addressed to: H.E. Amb. Joan Rwabyomere, Ugandan High Commissioner in the UK.

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Stop the prosecution of David Cecil

Your Excellency,

We write to express our concern over the prosecution of British theatre producer David Cecil by the Ugandan Media Council for producing the play 'The River and the Mountain'. The play, which was staged in the Ugandan capital Kampala, chronicles the killing of a gay businessman by his staff. It has been highly praised for the tragicomic way it attempts to tackle widespread homophobia in Uganda where leading politicians wish to introduce the death penalty for "aggravated homosexuality" and gay rights activists such as David Kato have been murdered or beaten with impunity. In this climate, free speech is severely restricted. Uganda's National Theatre rejected the play and the Media Council instructed Cecil not to stage it until state censors had gone through it. Bravely, he went ahead. He now faces 2 years if convicted for ignoring their orders. We call on the government of Uganda to stop the prosecution of David Cecil and to uphold the fundamental right to freedom of expression.

Yours,
David Lan, Artistic Director, Young Vic
Mike Harris, Head of Advocacy, Index on Censorship
Mary Ann DeVlieg, Secretary General, IETM
Baroness Helena Kennedy QC former Chair of the British Council, Member of the House of Lords UK and leading Human Rights lawyer
Sir Richard Eyre
Bill Paterson
Juliet Stevenson
Vanessa Redgrave
Mark Rubinstein, Theatre Producer and President of the Society of London Theatre
Stephen Fry
Peter Brook
Michael Sheen OBE
Sandi Toksvig
Nick Starr, National Theatre
Tom Stoppard
Jane Horrocks
Nelson Fernandez OBE, Director, NFA International Arts and Culture
David Edgar, President of the Writers' Guild of Great Britain
Jan Goossens, Artistic Director, KVS - Koninklijke Vlaamse Schouwburg, Brussels
Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director, The Public Theater, NY
Charlotte Jones, Chief Executive Officer, Independent Theatre Council (ITC)
Rosie Hunter, Executive Director, People’s Palace Projects, Co-Chair, Independent Theatre Council
Yvette Vaughan Jones, Chief Executive, Visiting Arts, Institute of Contemporary Arts
Melly Still , Theatre Director
Patrice Chéreau, Director
Rt Hon Simon Hughes MP
Mark Thomson, Artistic Director, Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh
Hanif Kureishi
Right Hon James Purnell, former Sec of State for Culture
Sir Norman Rosenthal
Undule Mwakasungula, Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) Malawi
William Ayot, Director, NaCOT (National Centre for the Oral Tradition)
Caryl Churchill, Playwright
Bill Winters, Renshaw Bay
Professor Michael Adler
Jonathan Reekie, Chief Executive, Aldeburgh Music
Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod, Cheek By Jowl
Vicky Ireland MBE, Vice Chair, Action for Children's Arts, Vice Chair England, Theatre for Young Audiences UK, Co Artistic Director, A Thousand Cranes Theatre
Simon Callow
Patrick Marber
Paul Heritage, Director, People's Palace Projects
David Buckland, Director, Cape Farewell, The Science Museum's Dana Centre
Steve Tompkins, Haworth Tompkins Architects
Pawel Potoroczyn, Adam Mickiewicz Institute, Warsaw, Poland
Dario Marianelli
Richard Jones, Director
Michael Morris, Co-Director, Artangel
Jeton Neziraj, Executive Director,Qendra Multimedia, Kosovo, Former Artistic Director of the National Theater of Kosovo
Pawel Pawlikowski, Freelance Film Maker

And many, many others



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Sincerely,