Gays Set Uganda Mission Invasion

By Norman Miwambo
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Human Rights activists and pro-gays have set to invade the London-based Uganda Mission on Wednesday 19 March, in a protest urging Uganda to scrap its recently signed anti-gay legislation.

In a jointly organised protest at the London Uganda Mission, 58-59 Trafalgar Square (south side) London WC2N 5DX; the gay activists will stage a protest between 17:00 hours and 19:00 hours (5pm and to 7 pm).According to the organisers; the protest is jointly organised by the African LGBTI Out & Proud Diamond Group and Peter Tatchell Foundation.

The Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni signed the notorious, draconian Anti-Homosexuality Act last month, despite worldwide condemnation against the laws.

As more disapproval of the anti-gay law; several western country have slashed aid money to Uganda.

Just days after Museveni appended his signature to the controversial law; Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands were the first countries to announce aid cut to Uganda.

Netherlands stopped about 7 million Euros (approximately £6 million) in aid money that was supposed to the Uganda legal system, as the Dutch expressed their unwillingness to aid and abet the persecution of the LGBT people.

Sweden has already cut 6.5 millions Swedish Krona (approximately £600,000) to Uganda's government in protest against the Anti-Homosexuality Act, as the World Bank suspended $90 million (£50.78 million) towards Uganda health sector.

Last year [2013], Sweden aid to Uganda came to about 225 million kronor (approximately £20 million).

Last week the European Parliament (EU) supported a motion to slap sanctions on two African countries Uganda and Nigeria in disapproval of the lately passed and what widely considered to be the world's greatest draconian Anti-Gay legislations.

'We are urging the repeal of all Uganda's anti-gay laws - both the new legislation and the old nineteenth century colonial-era criminalization of homosexuality,' said Edwin Sesange, Director African LGBTI Out and Proud Diamond Group.

'The new anti-gay law extends the current maximum penalty of life imprisonment for anal intercourse to a mandatory life sentence for any same-sex act, even mere kissing and touching with homosexual intent. Attempts to commit any form homosexual contact carry an automatic seven year jail term,' reports Peter Tatchell, Director of the human rights organization, the Peter Tatchell Foundation.

'The legislation also introduces maximum sentences of five to seven years imprisonment for aiding, abetting, counselling or promoting homosexuality, including advocating LGBT rights and funding or assisting LGBT people or events,' he said.

The law violates Article 21 of the Ugandan constitution, the Commonwealth Charter and the African Charter on Human & People's Rights to which Uganda is a signatory. It does not even conform to the human rights checklist agreed by Ugandan parliamentarians.

The law was passed by the parliament without a quorum. The president signed the law and justified his decision citing flawed scientific evidence against homosexuality.

Please join our protest and support our demands:
We urge President Yoweri Museveni and the Ugandan parliament to repeal all anti-gay laws.

We call on the Ugandan media to stop the anti-gay witch-hunts that fuel homophobic hate crimes.

We urge Ugandan religious and cultural leaders to speak out for LGBTI human rights.

We call upon the President to uphold all the human rights enshrined in the Ugandan constitution.

'The Ugandan government should work towards building partnerships with other countries that respect human rights, instead of isolating itself with laws that violate international humanitarian statutes,' said Richard Banadda, coordinator of the protest.

'This law is scaring away foreign investors, expatriates, tourists and aid donors. The law also diverts attention from the main problems affecting Uganda, such as poverty and under-resourced medical and educational facilities.

'The prejudiced language the President has used about LGBTI people re-enforced and stirred negative, homophobic opinions.

'The signing of the Anti-Homosexuality Act is one aspect of an increased crackdown on the civil liberties of the Ugandan people, including the public order law, the anti-pornography law and the scrapping of bail for LGBTI people.

'There are already many laws in Uganda against sexual abuse, and to protect children and other vulnerable people. This law is an unnecessary duplication of the existing laws,' said Mr Banadda.

George Dhabangi, a trustee of African LGBTI Out and Proud Diamond Group, added:

'This law is a blackmailer's charter. It is likely to be used against political opponents, as recently happened in Malaysia where the opposition leader was prosecuted on charges of homosexuality. I call upon all Ugandans to challenge this law.'

Edwin Sesange, Director African LGBTI Out and Proud Diamond Group, concluded:

'I urge the international community to continue funding aid projects in Uganda via organisations that don't discriminate - and to work with the Ugandan people towards achieving equality for all.'