US Government Imposes Travel Restrictions On Ugandan Officials Over Anti-LGBTQ Law

The United States (US) government on Friday announced it has imposed travel restrictions on Ugandan officials accused of undermining the democratic process in Uganda after passing the controversial anti-LGBTQ law, reported Reuters.

The law has been condemned as one of the strictest in the world. The controversial anti-LGBTQ bill imposes the death penalty for so-called aggravated homosexuality, which includes having gay sex when HIV-positive. It also orders upto 20-year of a prison sentence for promoting homosexuality.

In a brief release on Friday, US Department of State spokesman Matthew Miller said the measures were taken in response to human rights abuses including those of LGBTQI+ persons and corruption.

The release further referenced the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023.

 It said that the US Department of State has also updated its travel guidance to its citizens to highlight the risk that LGBTQI+ persons, or those perceived to be LGBTQI+, could be prosecuted and subjected to life imprisonment or the death penalty based on provisions in the law.

“The United States strongly supports the Ugandan people and remains committed to advancing respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in Uganda and globally,” Miller said.

The statement did not name any targeted individuals.

Last month, US President Joe Biden called Uganda’s government’s latest move a violation of universal human rights and threatened to cut aid and other sanctions.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the government would consider imposing visa restrictions against Ugandan officials.

The US along with several other countries had previously cut aid to Uganda in 2014 for a previous anti-LGBTQ law. That law was later struck down on procedural grounds.

UN experts and several Western countries have also condemned the law. The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also called the law deeply concerning.

Notably, homosexuality is criminalized in about 30 out of 54 African countries.

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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