Anti-homosexuality law in Uganda denounced by UN

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Navi Pillay

An anti-homosexuality law in Uganda has been denounced by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Navi Pillay said the law which has just been passed in Uganda, would institutionalise discrimination against lesbians, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.

She added that it could encourage harassment and violence against them.

Martin Nesirky is the UN Spokesperson.

Ms. Pillay said that disapproval of homosexuality by some can never justify violating the fundamental human rights of others. She added that the law is formulated so broadly that it may lead to abuse of power and accusations against anyone, not just LGBT people. She also expressed deep concern that the law could threaten the critically important work of human rights defenders in the country. She urged the Government to take immediate steps to ensure that they are not prosecuted for their advocacy. The High Commissioner voiced hope that the law would be reviewed at the earliest opportunity in light of its fundamental conflicts with Uganda's constitution and its international human rights obligations."

The law, which was signed into force on Monday, criminalises and imposes sentences of life imprisonment for homosexuality and same-sex marriage.

It also provides for prison sentences of five to seven years for the "promotion" of, and "attempts to commit" homosexuality.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’29″

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