Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, 78, this morning signed one of the world’s toughest laws against homosexuality. Although homosexual relations were already illegal in the country and the government had harshly persecuted the LGTBIQ community for years, the new norm toughens the punishments and establishes the death penalty for the crime of “aggravated homosexuality” for gay and lesbian people. and transsexuals.
Museveni gives the go-ahead
The Ugandan government tweeted images of the president signing the controversial law
The Ugandan government yesterday published images of the Ugandan president, in power for more than 37 years, signing with a black and gold pen the law passed by parliament last March. Museveni, who called homosexuality “a deviation from the norm,” did not exercise his veto power despite condemnation from several Western countries and organizations.
Despite the fear, outraged reactions from Uganda followed shortly after the announcement of the law’s approval.
The Ugandan activist Rosebell Kagumire stressed from her Twitter account that the harshness of such a restrictive rule “seeks to make the community invisible, criminalize people and promote hate.” “We have always resisted any law rooted in hatred of her difference,” she added, “and the resistance continues.”
We have always resisted any law rooted in hatred of difference, and the resistance continues
According to the officially called “Anti-homosexuality Law 2023”, the maximum punishment will be executed when the aggressor is the victim’s parent or guardian, when the latter is under 14 years of age or has a mental disability or if the accused has homosexual relations while HIV infected. According to spokespersons for the group, the law seeks not only to persecute and punish homosexuality but also to silence those who speak about it. The law will punish journalists who report on the group or activists who defend the gay cause with sentences of between 10 and 20 years.
The wording of the law definitively approved yesterday by Museveni has already caused outrage in the West. The UN high commissioner for human rights, Volker Türk, then described the new rule as “scandalous”, “devastating” and “one of the worst of its kind in the world”.