International News

Ugandan court “turns its back” on human rights by failing to repeal “callous” anti-LGBTQ+ law, Amnesty International says

Graham Robson April 4, 2024

Amnesty International has responded to a decision by Uganda’s Constitutional Court to only revoke parts of the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023, a law which prompted rising attacks against LGBTQ+ people.

According to Amnesty, the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023 – approved by Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni on 30 May 2023 – is one of the most extreme anti-LGBTQ+ laws in the world in scope and penalties. In December 2023, proponents of equality filed a petition in the Constitutional Court to challenge the constitutionality of the law. The petitioners argued that the law violates rights guaranteed in Uganda’s constitution, including freedom from discrimination and rights to privacy as well as freedom of thought, conscience, and belief.

In the days following the debate and passing to date, Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum, a Ugandan NGO, has documented 55 arrests under the law, three death penalty cases forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions, eight forced anal examination cases, 254 evictions of persons accused to be or associate with LGBTQ+ people and 202 other cases of actual or threatened violence.

Tigere Chagutah, Amnesty International’s East and Southern Africa Director, said: “We are dismayed that the Court has turned its back on its responsibility to protect human rights, including rights to equality and non-discrimination, protection of personal liberty, protection from cruel or degrading treatment, and privacy.

“It is shocking that an opportunity was missed to revoke a law that undermines the rights of LGBTQ+ people in Uganda, their allies, human rights defenders and activists.

“The Ugandan government must repeal the entire Anti-Homosexuality Act and ensure accountability for the attacks against LGBTQ+ people.”