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NewsUganda introduces death penalty for LGBTQ people

Uganda introduces death penalty for LGBTQ people

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Uganda’s parliament has passed a bill that would ban people from identifying as members of the LGBTQ community. On this subject informed Aljazeera, noting that more than 30 African countries, including Uganda, have already banned same-sex relations by law.

The approved document prohibits homosexual relations, the promotion of and “incitement” to homosexuality, as well as “conspiracy to engage in homosexual intercourse”. The amendments provide stiff penalties for offenders, including the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality” (such as involving persons under 18 or HIV-positive persons) and life imprisonment for same-sex conduct.

The new law is likely to set a precedent for banning self-identification as an LGBTQ person, Aljazeera notes.

Ugandan Parliament Speaker Anita Annette Myung after the final vote said the document was passed in record time. Compared to the original version, some changes have been made to the bill, changing it in the direction of hardening.

Proponents of the conservative approach believe that “a wider range of LGBTQ activities” should be criminalized, as they, in their view, “threaten Uganda’s traditional values ​​as a conservative and religious country”.

After a vote in Parliament, the law will be sent to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni for signature. He has not yet commented on this legislative initiative, but has repeatedly opposed the rights of LGBTQ people and signed a law against them in 2013, which has provoked a reaction of condemnation from Western countries. However, the document was later canceled by the national court “for procedural reasons”.

However, the 78-year-old head of state has repeated several times that he does not consider this issue a priority and prefers to maintain good relations with Western donors and investors.

Aljazeera writes that discussion of the bill in parliament was “riddled with homophobic rhetoric”: in particular, MPs failed to distinguish between same-sex relationships between consenting adults and child sexual abuse.

“This is about the sovereignty of our nation, no one should blackmail us, no one should intimidate us,” MP David Bahati commented on the new law.

As Aljazeera points out, in recent months conspiracy theories have been circulating on the Ugandan segment of social media accusing “shadow global powers” of promoting homosexuality.

LGBTQ people living in Uganda have begun to worry about their safety and say they “live in fear”, said Frank Mugisha, executive director of Sexual Minorities Uganda.

He recalled an incident last week when police in Jinja town arrested six men “who practiced homosexuality”. Last Sunday, according to Mugishi, six other people were arrested on the same charge.

The United Nations (UN) and US authorities have expressed outrage at the law passed in Uganda, transmits CN. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, called on the Ugandan president not to sign the document, calling it “draconian”. He warned that the approval of this initiative would have negative consequences for society as a whole, as it violates the country’s constitution.

“The passage of this discriminatory bill – possibly one of the worst in the world – is deeply troubling,” Turk’s office said in a statement.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken also criticized the law which he said “undermines the basic human rights of all Ugandans and could reverse progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS”.

US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield spoke with Museveni twice this week to express her “deep concern” about the law, a US official told CNN.

Copyright © 2023 The Eastern Herald.

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The Eastern Herald’s Russia Desk validates the stories published under this byline. That includes editorials, news stories, letters to the editor, and multimedia features on easternherald.com.

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