Get 40% Off
🚀 AI-picked stocks soar in May. PRFT is +55%—in just 16 days! Don’t miss June’s top picks.Unlock full list

Uganda's anti-gay law causing wave of rights abuses, activists say

Published 09/28/2023, 05:43 AM
Updated 09/28/2023, 06:46 AM
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Quin Karala, 29, a member of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTQ) community and a single mother of one poses for a picture with rainbow colours at the offices of Rella Women's Empowerment Program, for LGBTQ right

KAMPALA (Reuters) - The consideration and passage by Uganda's government of one of the world's harshest anti-gay laws have unleashed a torrent of abuse against LGBTQ people, mostly committed by private individuals, rights groups said on Thursday.

The Anti-Homosexuality Act (AHA), which was enacted in May, prescribes the death penalty for certain same-sex acts. At least six people have been charged under it, including two accused of the capital offence of "aggravated homosexuality".

But the report, authored by a committee of the Convening for Equality (CFE) coalition, said the main perpetrators of human rights abuses against LGBTQ people this year - including torture, rape, arrest and eviction - were private individuals.

It said this pointed to the way the law and the rampant homophobic rhetoric that preceeded its passage earlier in the year had radicalized the public against the LGBTQ community.

For example, the report said mob-aided arrests had become increasingly common "because AHA has put LGBTIQ+ persons on the spot as persons of interest, and the public seems to be the custodians of enforcing the witch hunt."

Between Jan. 1 and Aug. 31, researchers documented 306 rights violations based on the victim's sexual orientation and gender identity, with state actors the perpetrators in 25 of those cases.

By contrast, reports by rights activists in 2020 and 2021 found that state actors were responsible for nearly 70% of the rights violations documented in those years. The report did not provide comparative figures for 2022.

Ugandan Information Minister Chris Baryomunsi was not immediately available for comment.

The report's authors said they had documented 18 instances in which the police conducted forced anal examinations of people in their custody to gather "evidence" of homosexuality.

"Surviving a forced anal examination at police is something that lives with you forever," it quoted one survivor as saying.

Police spokesman Fred Enanga said he had not yet read the report and could not comment.

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Quin Karala, 29, a member of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTQ) community and a single mother of one poses for a picture with rainbow colours at the offices of Rella Women's Empowerment Program, for LGBTQ rights advocacy, after a Reuters interview in Kulambiro suburb of Kampala, Uganda April 4, 2023. REUTERS/Abubaker Lubowa/ File Photo

The report cautioned that its statistics could not be considered exhaustive given the difficulties LGBTQ people face reporting violations.

The climate of fear and intimidation unleashed by the law has also led to rising cases of mental health conditions in the LGBTQ community, including suicidal thoughts, it said.

Latest comments

Risk Disclosure: Trading in financial instruments and/or cryptocurrencies involves high risks including the risk of losing some, or all, of your investment amount, and may not be suitable for all investors. Prices of cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile and may be affected by external factors such as financial, regulatory or political events. Trading on margin increases the financial risks.
Before deciding to trade in financial instrument or cryptocurrencies you should be fully informed of the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite, and seek professional advice where needed.
Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. The data and prices on the website are not necessarily provided by any market or exchange, but may be provided by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual price at any given market, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Fusion Media and any provider of the data contained in this website will not accept liability for any loss or damage as a result of your trading, or your reliance on the information contained within this website.
It is prohibited to use, store, reproduce, display, modify, transmit or distribute the data contained in this website without the explicit prior written permission of Fusion Media and/or the data provider. All intellectual property rights are reserved by the providers and/or the exchange providing the data contained in this website.
Fusion Media may be compensated by the advertisers that appear on the website, based on your interaction with the advertisements or advertisers.
© 2007-2024 - Fusion Media Limited. All Rights Reserved.