Uganda’s LGBTQ community faces escalating human rights violations

Uganda’s sexual minorities are experiencing increasing human rights violations, with over 1,000 cases recorded in the last nine months, including arrests, torture, and evictions, according to a report by the pressure group Convening for Equality (CFE).

The violations have intensified since Uganda’s parliament began considering the Anti-Homosexuality Act (AHA) early last year, which was enacted in May.

The law imposes severe penalties, including life imprisonment for same-sex intercourse and the death penalty for what it terms “aggravated homosexuality.”

Marking one year since the AHA’s passage, CFE reported at least 1,253 human rights violations between September and May, a significant increase from the 306 violations recorded between January and August of the previous year.

These violations were perpetrated 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 detailed.

The report also highlighted a sustained campaign of fake news portraying LGBTQ+ individuals as recruiters of children into homosexuality.

The AHA has drawn widespread condemnation from the West, resulting in sanctions against Uganda and its leaders. The World Bank halted all new lending, the U.S. removed Uganda from a preferential trade deal, and sanctions have been imposed on unnamed individuals for violating minority rights.

In April, Uganda’s constitutional court refused to annul the law, though it voided a few sections that it said violated rights to health and property.

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