Uganda: Activists Appeal Anti-LGBT Law to Constitutional Court

A group of 11 prominent Ugandan activists, academics, journalists and others have appealed the recently passed anti-LGBTIQ law to the country’s Constitutional Court, claiming it violates several rights enshrined in the “key provisions” of the Ugandan Constitution.

“Criminalizing what we call consensual adult sexual activity basically goes against key provisions of the Constitution, including the rights to equality and the dignity, to the freedom of the Ugandans, to the privacy of each individual, and to the health“said the executive director of the NGO Forum for Awareness and Promotion of Human Rights (organization signatory to the resource), Adrian Jjuko, in statements collected this Tuesday in the local media.

Likewise, Jjuko pointed out that the country “is failing in our obligation to roll back HIV/AIDS by passing a law that makes LGBT people hide”, something that will prevent them from accessing the health services they need.

The lawsuit also points out that the law was passed without allowing enough citizens to participate in its debates, depriving people of the LGBTIQ collective (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer) express their opinions.

In addition, according to the plaintiffs, the penalty of up to twenty years in prison for “promoting homosexuality” violates the right to freedom of expression, thought, conscience and belief, as well as the right to issue and receive information.

Among the plaintiffs are the academics Sylvia Tamale and Busingye Kabumba, the well-known and influential journalist among Uganda’s high political circles Andrew Mwenda, and the activists Frank Mughisa, Kasha Jackeline Nabageseera and Solome Nakaweesi Kimbugwe, among others.

As announced by the Ugandan Parliament on Monday, President Yoweri Museveni approved the controversial anti-LGBTIQ law, one of the toughest against this group in the worlddespite the president’s desire to soften the original text after harsh condemnation from the West.

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The legal text punishes “aggravated homosexuality” with the death penalty, a broad term used to refer to having intimate relationships with a minor or other vulnerable groups.

Rights groups in Uganda brought together in the coalition of organizations Calling for Equality (CFE), the United Nations Office for Human Rights and the Joint UN Program against HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) have already expressed their rejection of this law.

In addition, the United States threatened this Monday with sanctions against the country “for a tragic violation of universal human rights”.

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