World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Global Day of Action against Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill

9 February 2014

Thousands of civil society activists, including Amnesty International supporters in the UK, Canada, Spain and Germany are acting together today in solidarity with campaigners in Uganda to show their opposition to Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill and call on President Museveni to veto it.

“If this deeply discriminatory bill is passed it will legalize the persecution of people on the grounds of their sexual orientation. Since the Bill was proposed there’s been an increase in homophobic arrests and mob violence. This is turning into a witch-hunt. President Museveni must veto the bill before the situation worsens,” said Gemma Houldey, Uganda Researcher at Amnesty International.

The Global Day of Action has been organized by Ugandan civil society groups, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) activists.

People around the world, including civil society groups in Europe and the United States, will show their solidarity through protests, petitions and action on social media demanding that Uganda’s President Museveni vetoes the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in its entirety.

The Bill was passed by the Ugandan Parliament on 20 December 2013. The president only has until 23 February to veto or amend the bill to stop it becoming law.

Since the Bill was passed, Ugandan civil society groups have documented at least seven arrests of LGBTI people. Two were required to have anal examinations to ‘prove’ they are engaging in same-sex sexual activity. These examinations are tantamount to torture and scientifically invalid.

Ugandan civil society organizations report that anal examinations are becoming a routine procedure for men arrested on suspicion of engaging in sex with other men. LGBTI people are also increasingly being harassed and some individuals have been attacked by mobs.

The Anti-Homosexuality Bill would increase the number of criminal offences related to same-sex sexual activity and violates Uganda’s own constitution.

The maximum penalty for engaging in same-sex sexual activity remains life immprisonment. The death penalty for aggravated homosexuality has been removed.

People working on HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment programmes and LGBTI rights would face criminal charges and jail terms for promoting homosexuality

“The Bill would not only criminalize LGBTI people, it would have a devastating effect on healthcare professionals and human rights activists. It is effectively state sanctioned homophobia,” said Clare Byarugaba, a Ugandan LGBTI rights activist.

“Now is the time to stand in solidarity with LGBTI people in Uganda. President Museveni must reject this Bill and recognize that human rights are for all Ugandans.”

Further Information

According to Uganda’s Constitution, the President has 30 days to respond to a Bill passed by Parliament. He can give his assent, reject the Bill entirely or send it back to Parliament with suggested amendments. A Bill can become law without the President’s assent if it is returned to Parliament twice and Parliament votes in favour of it with a two-thirds majority.

This Global Day of Action is organized in response to the urgent need to ensure that the Ugandan President vetoes the Bill before the 30 day counter for his response expires on 22 February. The Ugandan Civil Society Coalition for Human Rights and Constitutional Law, a coalition of 51 Ugandan organizations working on LGBTI rights, has called for demonstrations, silent vigils, petitions, public solidarity messages and images and social media actions calling on the President to veto the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in its entirety.

The Ugandan Penal Code already criminalizes “carnal knowledge…against the order of nature,” with a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

The final text of the Bill has still not been released by Parliament, but there are reports that discriminatory provisions from earlier drafts remain. These include criminal penalties for the ‘promotion of homosexuality,’ which violate the right to freedom of expression and would criminalize the activities of individuals or organizations who work with LGBTI people.

Laws criminalizing consensual sexual activity violate Uganda’s own constitution, as well as people’s human rights, including the right to privacy, as guaranteed by international human rights treaties to which Uganda is a party.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Russian Hack Job?: White House - Actions In Response To Russian Malicious Cyber Activity & Harassment

President Obama authorized a number of actions in response to the Russian government’s aggressive harassment of U.S. officials and cyber operations aimed at the U.S. election in 2016. More>>


Israel/Palestine: Michael Field - Background To How Israel Nearly Went To War With New Zealand

New Zealand and Senegal managed to get the United Nations Security Council to pass resolution 2334 which said Israel’s settlements in Palestinian territory violate international law and undermine a two-state solution in Israel's conflict with Palestine. More>>

ALSO:


US Indigenous Affairs: How President Obama Has Protected Our Sacred Land

I am very proud to be both Navajo and American. As the President of the Navajo Nation, I’ve dedicated my life to ensuring that, as a Navajo, my story -- and our stories -- are part of our collective American history. Today, I want to share one of those stories with you. More>>

Binoy Kampmark: The Berlin Truck Attack And The Refugee Question

The hard-nosed neo-cons were certainly showing little interest in linking arguments, examining evidence, or even considering elementary logic in the aftermath of the Berlin truck attack near the Gedächtniskirche. With the bodies fresh in the morgue, former US ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, peered into the mind of the everyday German, and found teeth chattering fear. More>>


Demonetisation: Gordon Campbell On India’s Huge Socio-Economic Experiment

Without much coverage at all in the West, India has just been engaged for the past few weeks in one of the world’s biggest socio-economic experiments since the Cultural Revolution in China. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Death Of Fidel Castro

New Zealand likes to think we played our part – via the 1981 Springbok tour – in bringing the apartheid regime in South Africa to an end… Jacob Zuma treated the death of Fidel Castro at the weekend as an occasion to pay a heartfelt tribute to the thousands of Cuban soldiers who travelled across the world to inflict the first significant military defeat on the forces of white supremacy. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The US Election Home Stretch

Once again at the business end of a US election, the result will hinge on the same old bits of geography as always: the Five Crucial Counties in Ohio, the Two Crucial Counties in Pennsylvania and the I-4 Interstate Corridor in Florida that runs from Tampa Bay through Orlando to Daytona Beach. More>>

ALSO:

Meanwhile:


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news