A Ugandan man faces the possible death penalty under an anti-gay law
Ugandan prosecutors have charged a man with “aggravated homosexuality,” a crime that carries a potential death penalty under the new law.said an official on Monday.
The law – considered one of the harshest laws of its kind in the world – contains provisions that make “aggravated homosexuality” a crime punishable by death, and includes penalties for consensual same-sex relations of up to life imprisonment.
The suspect “was charged in Soroti [in eastern Uganda] He is on remand in prison. “He will appear in court to state the case,” said Jacqueline Okoye, a spokeswoman for Uganda’s Public Prosecution Directorate.
According to the indictment, seen by AFP, the 20-year-old suspect was charged on August 18 with “unlawful sex with… [a] 41-year-old adult male.
“Statement of the crime: aggravated homosexuality contrary to … the Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2023,” the indictment read.
Okoye told AFP she was not sure if this was the first time a Ugandan had been charged with “aggravated homosexuality” under the new law.
The tough legislation, which was signed into law in May, has been doneby the United Nations, foreign governments including the United States, and global human rights groups.
Anita Payne declared, “His Excellency the President of the Republic of Uganda, General Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, has carried out his constitutional mandate under Article 91(3)(a) of the Constitution. He has approved the Anti-Homosexuality Act.” The Ugandan parliament speaker added a call to Uganda’s law enforcement agencies to “enforce the law in a fair, consistent and resolute manner.”
The World Bank announced this month that it would suspend new loans to the east African country, saying the law “fundamentally contradicts” the values espoused by the US-based bank.
in May, President Biden called for the immediate reversal of these measures He called it a “tragic violation of universal human rights” and threatened to cut off aid and investment in Uganda.
But the government has remained defiant, and the legislation has widespread support in the conservative, Christian-majority country, where lawmakers have defended the measures as a necessary bulwark against perceived Western immorality.
Museveni accused the World Bank of using the money to try to “force” the government to drop the controversial legislation.
Same-sex sexual acts are illegal in more than 30 other African countries, and LGBT activists fear that the new law in Uganda will encourage neighboring countries such as Kenya to consider stricter legislation.
Same-sex relations were already outlawed in Uganda before Museveni signed the law, but opponents say it goes further in targeting homosexuals. The law has created fear among the LGBTQ community in Uganda, leading many to flee to neighboring countries or go into hiding.
Adrian Gioko, executive director of the Forum for Awareness and Promotion of Human Rights, said his organization “documented 17 arrests” in June and July after the law was adopted.
Earlier this month, police arrested four people, including two women, at a massage parlor in the eastern district of Boekwe for allegedly engaging in same-sex sexual activity after receiving a tip-off.