Uganda: Life in prison for ‘gay acts’

Uganda's parliament passed a law on Friday that makes some gay acts punishable by life in prison, a spokesperson for the legislature said, a move that raised alarm among gays who are already afraid to express their sexuality openly.

First introduced in parliament in 2009 as a private member's Bill, the law initially proposed the death penalty for some gay acts in the conservative east African country.

It was later amended to remove the death penalty, but includes jail terms for anyone convicted, including life imprisonment for what it calls aggravated homosexuality.

Countries including the United States previously criticised the Bill when it came before Parliament. Germany cut off aid to Uganda late last year citing the Bill as one of its concerns.

Frank Mugisha, executive director of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), said he would try to rally rights activists to have the law blocked by the courts. The president must agree and sign any Bill passed in parliament before it becomes law.

"We in the gay community are in a panic," said Mugisha. "People are afraid of walking in the streets, because they know how Ugandans like to take the law into their own hands." – Reuters

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Reuters
Guest Author
Advertisting

Nehawu launches urgent court bid over protective gear for health...

The health workers’ union says the government has rebuffed its attempts to meet about mitigating risks to workers

Stay at home, Cyril said. But what about the homeless?

In Tshwane, forcing homeless people off the street resulted in chaos and the abuse of a vulnerable population. In Durban, a smooth, well-planned operation fared far better

Press Releases

New energy mix on the cards

REI4P already has and will continue to yield thousands of employment opportunities

The online value of executive education in a Covid-19 world

Executive education courses further develop the skills of leaders in the workplace

Sisa Ntshona urges everyone to stay home, and consider travelling later

Sisa Ntshona has urged everyone to limit their movements in line with government’s request

SAB Zenzele’s special AGM postponed until further notice

An arrangement has been announced for shareholders and retailers to receive a 77.5% cash payout

20th Edition of the National Teaching Awards

Teachers are seldom recognised but they are indispensable to the country's education system

Awards affirm the vital work that teachers do

Government is committed to empowering South Africa’s teachers with skills, knowledge and techniques for a changing world

SAB Zenzele special AGM rescheduled to March 25 2020

New voting arrangements are being made to safeguard the health of shareholders