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

 

Museveni Hosted by Foreign Office Despite Anti-Gay Law

London, UK - 7 May 2014

Museveni Hosted by Foreign Office Despite Anti-Gay Law

Uganda president picketed at Lancaster House summit

Gay rights and AIDS activists today demonstrated as Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni arrived for the UK-Uganda Business Forum at Lancaster House in London. Museveni has been condemned for signing the Anti-Homosexuality Act in February. It punishes any form of same-sex contact - even more kissing and caressing - with mandatory life imprisonment.

Foreign Office Minister Mark Simmonds spoke at the conference, which was designed to promote UK investment in Ugandan’s economy, including its burgeoning oil industry. It was hosted at a UK government building, Lancaster House.

The protesters - from Justice for Gay Africans, STOPAIDS and the Peter Tatchell Foundation - said the UK government’s support for the conference calls into question its commitment to tackling rising homophobia in Uganda and across Africa.

Godwyns Onwuchekwa, Coordinator, Justice for Gay Africans, said:
“The claim that homophobia is a Ugandan value is spin used by Museveni’s government to cover up for its failure to provide basic amenities for ordinary Ugandans. LGBT Ugandans should be treated equally to all other Ugandans.”

Peter Tatchell, Director, Peter Tatchell Foundation, added:
“Gay people are not the cause of Uganda’s problems. The government of Uganda should fight poverty and HIV, not gay people. It is hypocritical for the UK government to condemn homophobia while hosting President Museveni, who has backed one of the world’s most draconian anti-gay laws. He is a tyrant who presides over a corrupt regime that is guilty of widespread human rights violations, including the arrest of opposition leaders, torture and the suppression of free speech. The UK government should not be drumming up business to sustain his autocratic rule. ”

While new HIV infections are declining in most African countries, Uganda is bucking the trend, with a rising epidemic.

Ben Simms, Director, STOPAIDS, said:“The anti-gay law has put at risk the lives of LGBT Ugandans and an effective AIDS response. It is shameful that the Foreign Office has given the Ugandan government the red carpet treatment, with ministers speaking on the same platform as Museveni. It seems British business interests have trumped the human rights of Ugandans. We are left wondering what Hague’s strategy for tackling homophobia really is.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO:

Le Pen Beaten: English Congratulates Macron On French Election Win

Prime Minister Bill English has this morning congratulated Emmanuel Macron on his victory in the French presidential election. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The French Election Result

Macron is shaping as the third major test case, after Bill Clinton, after Tony Blair – on whether the aim of ‘progressive social policy’ and realities of ‘neo-liberal economic settings’ can be made to credibly co-exist within the same sentence, let alone within the decrees from the Elysee Palace. More>>

Werewolf: The Maverick On Moloka’i

Monday, April 17 was Moloka’i’s turn for some face-to-face time with Tulsi Gabbard, who is part Samoan and part haole (pakeha), a practising Hindu, and a Middle East combat veteran. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Snap Election In Britain

The election call is entirely opportunistic and self-serving and will – regardless of the outcome – put Britain in a worse negotiating position for managing its Brexit. More>>