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Rights violations for Uganda’s LGBTQ community escalating – pressure group

UGANDA’S sexual minorities face escalating human rights violations, with over 1000 cases recorded in the last nine months involving arrests, torture and house evictions among others, according to a report by a pressure group.

Members of Uganda’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) community have faced increasing rights violations since early last year when Uganda’s parliament started considering an anti-homosexuality law.

The legislation, called the Anti-Homosexuality Act (AHA) was eventually enacted in May last year.

Under the law among other tough penalties same-sex intercourse is punishable by life in prison while so-called aggravated homosexuality attracts a death sentence.

In a report marking one year since AHA was passed, the Convening for Equality (CFE), a sexual minorities pressure group, said at least 1,253 human rights violations were recorded between September and May.

That represents an increase from 306 violations that were recorded between January and August last year.

Violations were committed by both state and non-state actors and included torture, family rejections, physical assaults, evictions, arbitrary arrests, sexual assaults and extortion.

“Known and/or perceived LGBTQ+ persons were arrested, tortured, beaten, exposed, including evictions and banishment, blackmail, loss of employment, and health service disruptions,” the report said.

“This was sustained by frequent fake and false news shared on different platforms and a sustained campaign to paint LGBTQ+ persons … as persons who are out there to recruit children into homosexuality.”

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A Reuters call to a police spokesperson for comment went unanswered.

AHA drew widespread condemnation from the West and has triggered sanctions against Uganda and individual leaders.

The World Bank halted all new lending while the U.S. ejected Uganda from a preferential trade deal and has also imposed sanctions against unnamed individuals for violating the rights of minorities.

In an April ruling on a case challenging the law, Uganda’s constitutional court refused to annul the law although it voided a few sections that it said violated rights to health and property.

By The African Mirror