Ugandan homosexuals face death penalty

Aggravated homosexuality will be punished by death, according to a new bill tabled in Parliament yesterday. The private member’s bill was tabled by Ndorwa West MP David Bahati (NRM). A person commits aggravated homosexuality when the victim is a person with disability or below the age of 18, or when the offender is HIV-positive.

The bill thus equates aggravated homosexuality to aggravated defilement among people of different sexes, which also carries the death sentence. The Bill, entitled the Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009, also states that anyone who commits the offence of homosexuality will be liable to life imprisonment. This was already the case under the current Penal Code Act. However, it gives a broader definition of the offence of homosexuality. A person charged with the offence will have to undergo a mandatory medical examination to ascertain his or her HIV status. The bill further states that anybody who “attempts to commit the offence” is liable to imprisonment for seven years.

“The same applies to anybody who “aids, abets, counsels or procures another to engage in acts of homosexuality” or anybody who keeps a house or room for the purpose of homosexuality. The bill also proposes stiff sentences for people promoting homosexuality. They risk a fine of sh100m or prison sentences of five to seven years. This applies to people who produce, publish or distribute pornographic material for purposes of promoting homosexuality, fund or sponsor homosexuality.

Where the offender is a business or NGO, its certificate of registration will be cancelled and the director will be liable to seven years in prison. Failure to disclose the offence within 24 hours of knowledge makes somebody liable to a maximum sh5m fine or imprisonment of up to three years. The provisions, according to the bill, are meant to “protect the traditional family by prohibiting any form of sexual relations between persons of the same sex.”

They are also meant to prohibit the “promotion or recognition of such sexual relations in public institutions and other places through or with the support of any government entity or NGO.” The bill further aims at protecting children and youth who are “made vulnerable to sexual abuse and deviation as a result of cultural changes, uncensored information technologies and increasing attempts by homosexuals to raise children in homosexual relationships through adoption or foster care.” Bahati said the legislation is intended to complement the provisions of the Constitution and the Penal Code Act.

Latest

March 12, 2019

Oslo Event: Breakfast Briefing on Human Rights in Crimea

Join us at Human Rights House Oslo on 21 March 2019, five years after the Russian annexation of Crimea, for a briefing by human rights defenders on the human rights situation. This will draw on the findings of the recent mission to Crimea by representatives of three Human Rights Houses.

March 5, 2019

Vacancy: Advocacy Manager, Geneva

Human Rights House Foundation (HRHF) is looking for a resourceful and well-experienced candidate to manage all aspects of HRHF’s advocacy programme, including line management of a small team. In addition to advocacy towards States and international organisations, the position entails working closely with Human Rights Houses (HRHs)/partners in the network of Human Rights Houses to develop and implement joint advocacy strategies within the countries where HRHs are located.

March 5, 2019

Vacancy: European Advocacy Officer, Geneva or Brussels

Human Rights House Foundation (HRHF) is looking for a resourceful and qualified candidate to support its advocacy towards the European Union and Council of Europe, in close cooperation with Human Rights Houses/partners in the network of Human Rights Houses.