The constitution prohibits religious discrimination and stipulates there shall be no state religion. It provides for freedom of belief and the right to practice and promote any religion, and to belong to and participate in the practices of any religious organization in a manner consistent with the constitution. The government requires religious groups to register. The government restricted activities of religious groups it defined as “cults” and arrested some members who refused to participate based on religious grounds in government immunization drives. On December 27 and 29, police raided two mosques, without advanced notice, to search for evidence related to the November killing of a Muslim cleric, and other unspecified criminal activity. Police stated the December 27 raid resulted in the discovery of arms and incriminating documents; however, a spokesperson for the group that runs the mosque accused the police of desecrating a place of worship, planting evidence, removing documents, and stealing approximately 505 million Ugandan shillings ($14,000). The Inspector General of Police apologized for the December 29 raid, noting the police acted on false intelligence. The Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) accused the government of discriminatory hiring practices against Muslims for both senior and lower-level positions.
On November 26, two unknown assailants shot and killed a Muslim cleric who was also a Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF) officer and his UPDF bodyguard in Kampala, after trailing his truck on a motorcycle. The police arrested and charged four clerics from a rival action of the Muslim Salafist Tabliq group for his killing. According to observers, many of the disputes within the Salafist Tabliq group, one of the country’s main Muslim factions, were financially or politically motivated. As of year’s end, the case was ongoing.
The embassy brought together civil society and religious leaders to promote religious tolerance and diversity. The Ambassador issued Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr messages promoting religious tolerance via radio and television. The embassy also organized a U.S. study tour for eight religious leaders to explore the role of faith-based organizations in a diverse democracy.