World

Uganda Govt Denies Plans To Introduce Bill Imposing Death Penalty For Gay Sex

The Ugandan government has denied that it plans to introduce a bill targeting homosexuals, dismissing claims by a senior official who wants such legislation, reported Africa News.

The government “does not have any plans of reintroducing the anti-homosexuality bill on the floor of Parliament,” Esther Mbayo, the minister in charge of the presidency, said in a statement on Monday.

Last month, Simon Lokodo, minister for ethics and integrity, said there were efforts to reintroduce a bill punishing offenses such as the “promotion” of homosexuality.

“Our current penal law is limited. It only criminalizes the act,” Lokodo told Reuters. “We want it made clear that anyone who is even involved in promotion and recruitment has to be criminalized. Those that do grave acts will be given the death sentence.”

He said the bill, which is supported by President Yoweri Museveni, will be re-introduced in parliament in the coming weeks and is expected to be voted on before the end of the year.

Lokodo’s comments resulted in an uproar among Uganda’s gay community, whose leaders cite harassment and deadly attacks.

The government’s statement Monday urged minority groups to report cases of abuse to the police.

Uganda’s penal code criminalizes sex acts against the order of nature. Under Western pressure, the country overturned the Anti-Homosexuality Act in 2014, but gay sex remains illegal and members of the LGBT community are routinely harassed.

 Campaigners have reported an increase in attacks against them this year, including four murders. Last month, a gay rights activist was bludgeoned to death. Earlier this week 16 LGBT+ activists were detained and charged for having gay sex after police raided their charity office and residence, forcing them to undergo anal examinations.

Caroline Finnegan

A professionnal journalist for the past ten years, I cover global news and economic affairs for The Chief Observer.

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