Uganda arrests four over ‘acts of homosexuality’

Ugandan authorities reported on Monday the arrest of four individuals for their alleged involvement in same-sex activity, three months after the introduction of stringent anti-gay laws, which had triggered global condemnation.

The legislation, regarded as among the most severe of its type globally, includes clauses that classify “aggravated homosexuality” as a potentially punishable by death and imposes penalties of up to life imprisonment for consensual same-sex relationships.

According to a police spokeswoman, authorities detained four individuals, including two women, at a massage parlor in the eastern district of Buikwe on Saturday, media reported on Saturday.

“The police operation was carried out following a tip-off by a female informant to the area security that acts of homosexuality were being carried out at the massage parlour,” Hellen Butoto said.

The United Nations, foreign governments, including the United States, and international human rights organizations have expressed condemnation for the recently enacted legislation, which was signed into law in May.

Earlier this month, the World Bank declared a suspension of new loans to the East African country, citing that the law “fundamentally contradicts” the principles upheld by the US-based financial institution.

Back in May, US President Joe Biden urged for the swift reversal of the measures, which he labeled as “a tragic violation of universal human rights,” warning of potential reductions in aid and investment to Uganda.

However, the government has maintained its defiance, with the legislation receiving extensive backing in the conservative, predominantly Christian nation.

Lawmakers in the country have justified the measures as essential defenses against what they perceive as Western immorality.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has alleged that the World Bank is attempting to “coerce” the government into abandoning the contentious legislation through financial means.

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