The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, said that the adoption of a new anti-LGBT law in Uganda is devastating and called on President Yoweri Museveni not to sign it, reports UNN with reference to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Volker Türk emphasized that the adopted bill is "discriminatory" and "probably one of the worst in the world." The new legislation also threatens journalists, health workers and human rights defenders with lengthy prison terms simply for doing their jobs. This law, if enacted, would have serious negative consequences for society as a whole and would undo the gains made over many years, the High Commissioner added.
"If signed by the president, it will criminalize lesbians, gays and bisexuals in Uganda just for existing, for being who they are. It could give them an unquestionable mandate. It could give them carte blanche to systematically violate almost all of their human rights and serve to incite people against each other," he said.
"The bill confuses consensual and non-consensual relationships - the former should never be criminalized, while the latter requires science-based measures to end sexual violence in all its forms - including against children, regardless of the sex or sexual orientation of the perpetrator. This bill will be a massive distraction from taking the necessary measures to stop sexual violence," said the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
According to Türk, the regulation not only contradicts the provisions of the Ugandan Constitution, which provide for equality and non-discrimination for all, but also the country's international legal obligations in the field of human rights and political commitments regarding sustainable development, and also seriously threatens the right, health and safety of people. .
A bill passed by Uganda's parliament on March 21 proposes the death penalty for homosexuality. It now awaits the president's signature to become law.
The passage of the law comes amid growing homophobic rhetoric among politicians, religious leaders and other sections of Ugandan society, further increasing the risks to the safety of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. According to the civil society group, in February 2023 alone, more than 110 LGBT people in Uganda reported incidents including arrests, sexual assault, evictions and public stripping.