The United Nations has voiced out its objections toward Uganda’s newly-signed Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2023, which imposes capital punishment on “aggravated homosexuality.”
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres pointed out that the law signed by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on May 29 “conflicts with key international treaties and violates the rights of Ugandan citizens.” The UN’s Human Rights Office (HRO) previously called for an “urgent” judicial review of the law. It also described the newly-signed act as a “recipe for systemic violations of the rights” of Ugandans.
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Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for the UN secretary general, said on May 30 that Guterres was “very concerned” about the new law. He reiterated that the top UN official “again calls on all countries to decriminalize consensual same-sex relationships and transgender people everywhere. To put it clearly, no one should be penalized, jailed, criminalized for whom they love.”
“The secretary-general has been very clear and continues to call on all member states to uphold the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in particular the adherence to the fundamental rights and principles of non-discrimination and respect for personal privacy,” said Dujarric.
The Joint United Nations Program on HIV and AIDS, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria have also released a joint statement condemning the new law.
The three organizations expressed deep concern over the “harmful impact” of the newly-signed law on public health and the HIV response, adding that “stigma and discrimination associated with the passage of the Act have already led to reduced access to prevention as well as treatment services” for Ugandan LGBT.
“Uganda’s progress on its HIV response is now in grave jeopardy,” it noted. “The Anti-Homosexuality Act [of] 2023 will obstruct health education and the outreach that can help end AIDS as a public health threat.”
The Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2023 stipulates the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality” – which includes engaging in sexual intercourse with another member of the family, committing sexual crimes against children and having sex while HIV-positive. A suspect convicted of “attempted aggravated homosexuality” can face jail time of up to 14 years. Meanwhile, anyone found “promoting” homosexuality could be put behind bars for 20 years.
Ugandan lawmaker: Washington has no right to meddle in Kampala’s affairs
U.S. President Joe Biden blasted the new law in a May 29 statement. He described the new law as “a tragic violation of universal human rights – one that is not worthy of the Ugandan people and one that jeopardizes the prospects of critical economic growth for the entire country.”
“I join with people around the world, including many in Uganda, in calling for its immediate repeal,” he said. “No one should have to live in constant fear for their life or being subjected to violence and discrimination. It is wrong.”
Washington had previously warned of “repercussions” the East African nation could suffer – including possible visa restrictions, cuts to aid budgets and even economic sanctions. However, a lawmaker from Uganda blasted the U.S. for its selective imposition of sanctions due to Kampala’s approval of the Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2023.
Asuman Basalirwa, a member of the unicameral Parliament of Uganda of the Bugiri Municipality, told RT on May 29 that decisions on internal affairs should be left to each country.
“I have no problem with the way a country manages their affairs,” he said. “My only problem with these people is single-picking. This law here was signed by the president of the Republic of Uganda.” (Related: Ugandan President Museveni signs anti-LGBT legislation that stipulates DEATH PENALTY for “aggravated homosexuality.”)
Basalirwa even escalated things to a higher notch by issuing a challenge: “May I invite America, Canada, Britain and the entire Europe to cancel the visa of [Ugandan President Yoweri] Museveni?”
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