Reacting to the news that President Museveni has assented to the Anti-Homosexuality Bill (AHB23), Arthur Kayima, queer Ugandan human rights activist, said:
“This vile, deadly legislation will do nothing to improve Uganda or the lives of Ugandans.
Rather than focusing on the real issues Uganda is facing – poverty, poor infrastructure, the economy, domestic violence – Museveni would rather cause distraction by attacking our fundamental right to exist.
I am afraid for my community. How many of us will be jailed, or beaten, or further chased into the shadows of society as a result of this legislation? How many will die?
All of those who believe in our rights must fight this legislation and the forces behind it by all means necessary.”
Mike Podmore, Director of STOPAIDS, said:
“As well as a direct assault on human rights, this bill is a public health threat that will decimate the HIV response. It will criminalise the provision of key services and further entrench the deadly stigma that sadly still surrounds HIV.
We must do everything to persuade Uganda against this regressive step that could trigger a domino effect amongst other countries in the region to further backslide on LGBTQI+ rights, including Kenya, Ghana and Burundi.
Governments worldwide must immediately act to assert the rights of gay people and ensure the safety of LGBTQI+ Ugandans by ensuring frontline services are supported and safe asylum is given wherever needed.
The UK has a particular responsibility given it was the British Empire that first introduced laws criminalising gay people in Uganda, as does the United States; from which evangelical fundamentalist groups have funded this hateful agenda.”
STOPAIDS stands in solidarity with all members of the LGBTQI+ community in Uganda and worldwide wherever their rights, freedoms and lives are under attack.
STOPAIDS is a UK-based HIV, health and rights network that supports UK and global movements to challenge systemic barriers and inequalities to end AIDS and ensure people around the world can realise their right to good health and wellbeing.
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