Human rights groups blast Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009
Human rights groups blast Uganda's anti-homosexuality bill, which includes a section that would introduce the death penalty for the offence of "aggravated homosexuality." The draft Anti-Homosexuality Bill was introduced on October 14, 2009 in Uganda's parliament. The Anti-Homosexuality Bill clearly violates the human right to non-discrimination, to be free from violence and harassment, the right to life, the right to be free from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and freedom of movement.
Uganda's Penal Code Article 145a of the Penal Code Act of 1950 already criminalizes "carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature" – a charge used to prosecute, persecute and blackmail LGBT people with the threat of life imprisonment.
The bill proposes stricter penalties for homosexual acts, already illegal in the East African nation, and the death penalty for anyone who engages in same-sex relations with children under 18 and disabled people or who is HIV-positive while having gay sex.
"This bill is a blow to the progress of democracy in Uganda," David Kato of Sexual Minorities Uganda said in a statement on Thursday. "Its spirit is profoundly undemocratic and un-African."
Gays are already subject to persecution and arbitrary arrest in Uganda. Rights groups said people suspected of being gay have been assaulted, received death threats and face discrimination.
The bill also proposes a seven-year jail sentence for the "promotion of homosexuality."
The joint statement by the rights groups, which include New York-based Human Rights Watch, said the bill would "criminalise the legitimate work of national and international activists and organisations working for the defence and promotion of human rights in Uganda."
The International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) has set up an Action Alert. To join the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) and the Sexual Minorities of Uganda (SMUG) in calling for the dismissal of Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009, click here.
Read the text of Uganda's Proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill at Box Turtle Bulletin.