Gay British man deported from Uganda urges government to help his partner

11 May

The Guardian

Bernard Randall says ministers need to do much more for Albert Cheptoyek, facing seven years’ prison on indecency charges

Bernard Randall at his home in Kent

Bernard Randall at the home in Kent he hopes to share with his partner Albert Cheptoyek, who is facing trial in Uganda. Photograph: Antonio Olmos for the Observer


Bernard Randall, the British man deported from Uganda after being found with a gay-sex video, has condemned Britain’s failure to take decisive action against the east African country’s increasingly homophobic government.

The 65-year-old, who is battling to get his partner, Albert Cheptoyek, out of the country, where he faces up to seven years in jail on indecency charges, said that other countries had sent strong messages to Uganda over its persecution of gay people, but Britain needed to be “much more aggressive”.

Randall, from Conyer in Kent, was charged with “trafficking obscene material” last year after robbers stole a laptop containing images of him having sex with a man in Morocco. The images were subsequently published by the Ugandan tabloid newspaper Red Pepper and the couple were arrested, though charges against Randall were dropped on condition that he was deported to the UK.

Fears over Cheptoyek’s safety have intensified after Uganda’s president, Yoweri Museveni, last week signed into law a bill that imposes life sentences for acts of “aggravated homosexuality”. The bill strengthens already strict legislation outlawing homosexual acts in the country and criminalises the “promotion of homosexuality”.

Museveni’s decision provoked international condemnation. The US secretary of state, John Kerry, condemned the law as “atrocious”, while South African Nobel peace laureate Desmond Tutu compared it to antisemitic laws in Nazi Germany or persecution in apartheid South Africa. Donors such as Denmark and Norway have announced that they will redirect aid away from the Ugandan government to aid agencies. On Friday the World Bank said that it had postponed a £54m loan to Uganda because of its anti-gay law.

Randall said the reaction of the UK government was mealy-mouthed by comparison. Speaking from the home he hopes one day to share with Cheptoyek, he said: “We need a much more aggressive line. Look at what Norway, Denmark and Holland have done. Even the noises the Americans have made.”

He points to an email from the British high commission in Kampala that arrived last week in response to Randall’s growing concern for Cheptoyek’s safety. The statement reads: “The UK, along with our international partners, will continue to press the government of Uganda to defend human rights for all, without discrimination on any grounds. The UK is in close contact with Ugandan civil society groups and will continue to support their efforts to improve human rights in Uganda.”

It adds that the minister for Africa, Mark Simmonds, has raised the issue of the bill several times with the Ugandan government, but Randall believes that UK officials should also directly raise the case of Cheptoyek.

“Albert is so worried for his safety. There is a lot of very frightened people at the moment. He is very, very worried and living under a lot of pressure,” said Randall, a retired banking computer analyst. “It would be great to have the Foreign Office on the case with the Ugandan authorities, saying that we are watching it.”

Randall revealed that attempts to whisk Cheptoyek, 30, out of the country have been discussed, but he could not go into details. Cheptoyek is in Entebbe, in central Uganda on the shores of Lake Victoria. He lives in a gated compound with a security guard, and is nursing an injured back and arm after his car was struck last Sunday by a drunk driver, leaving him needing hospital treatment.

Despite Museveni’s bill and attempts to whip up homophobia by newspapers such as Red Pepper, Randall said Cheptoyek had received considerable support within Uganda: “People were very friendly. We received an awful lot of support from the local community after the case was opened against him. The locals had an ‘it’s your life’ sort of attitude’.”

Last week Red Pepper had a front-page article naming the top 200 homosexuals in Uganda, with Randall among those identified despite him no longer living in the country. The paper has been obsessed with the relationship of Randall and Cheptoyek with lurid headlines such as “Top city tycoons sodomy sex video leak” detailing the initial arrest of the pair last October.

Shortly after the men’s arrest, two Red Pepper reporters came to the police station where they were being held and, Randall alleges, Cheptoyek was photographed on the floor after having his legs kicked away and being hit around the head by police. One image of Randall’s anti-cholesterol medication appeared in the tabloid with the caption: “Some of the drugs that the sodomisers depend on.”

Randall also detailed some of the ways in which he and Cheptoyek were humiliated after their arrest. “A police surgeon looked closely at our private parts and stuck a finger up our bums without any screens and a CID officer watching. They seemed to think that a digital rectal examination would tell them whether you’ve been sodomised or not,” he said.

Randall met Cheptoyek in Entebbe on 5 January last year while on holiday with a friend from Conyer who introduced him. “The attraction was instant – it was love at first sight,” said Randall, whose wife died in 2011 from ovarian cancer. “I knew that I was gay as a teenager, but 50 years ago it was a completely different world. Gays were portrayed in a very negative way, whereas now there is much more much positive coverage.”

The UK government has said that it ended all budget support payments to Uganda last year and has reiterated that the concerns caused by the anti-homosexuality bill would most probably deem the country ineligible to receive aid.

A spokesman for the Department for International Development said: “The UK is strongly opposed to discrimination, and we are deeply disappointed that Uganda’s bill has been signed. A country will never truly escape poverty unless it upholds human rights and creates an equal society.”


5 January 2013 Bernard Randall meets Albert Cheptoyek while on holiday in Uganda. There is an immediate attraction and they become lovers.

5 April 2013 Randall returns to Uganda for a month and rents a house in Entebbe for himself and Albert.

18 September 2013 Randall returns to Uganda and his laptop is stolen. Video of Randall having sex with a man is taken from the computer and passed to the Red Pepper tabloid.

19 October 2013 Red Pepper publishes stills from the video and police arrest Randall and Cheptoyek.

22 October 2013 Both men are charged with “unnatural acts”.

23 December 2013 Prosecutors say that the case against the two should go ahead.

22 January 2014 Charges against Randall are dropped and an order is granted for him to be deported.

19 March 2014 Hearing scheduled in the case against Cheptoyek.


The guardian:


Update; Kelly Paul reacts to this post

Kelly Paul commented on Gay British man deported from Uganda urges government to help his partner

The GuardianBernard Randall says ministers need to do much more for Albert Cheptoyek, facing seven years’ prison on indecency …

Do you need a gay partner, someone who will satisfy you very well, then contact me via my e-mail address: or via my BBM pin:29015507.



One Response to “Gay British man deported from Uganda urges government to help his partner”

  1. Kelly Paul May 11, 2014 at 10:53 pm #

    Do you need a gay partner, someone who will satisfy you very well, then contact me via my e-mail address: or via my BBM pin:29015507.

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