News/Travel Alert – Please take note if you are considering travelling or relocating to these countries
Washington Post – 24 February 2014
In the latest setback for gay people across Africa, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signed a law Monday that imposes tough penalties for homosexual acts, a move that drew condemnation from around the world and that could jeopardize Uganda’s relationship with the Obama administration and Western donors.
Homosexuality was already illegal in Uganda, but the new legislation threatens to usher in an era of harsh treatment of offenders and could lead to widespread oppression of gay men and lesbians, human rights activists say. The legislation imposes a 14-year prison sentence for first-time offenders and life sentences for repeat offenders found guilty of “aggravated homosexuality.”
Over the past few years, the persecution of gays has escalated across Africa. Same-sex relationships are widely prohibited in the continent’s conservative societies, and politicians and fundamentalist preachers have increasingly targeted homosexuals. From Senegal to Zimbabwe, gays have been detained, attacked by police, tortured and even killed. They have been denied access to health care. In some nations, their graves have been desecrated. In others, gays have faced expulsion.
Uganda’s legislation comes six weeks after Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan signed into law a ban on homosexuality that imposes 14-year prison terms for anyone entering a same-sex union. It also sets 10-year prison sentences for those who run gay clubs or organizations. The legislation triggered an outbreak of anti-gay attacks in parts of Nigeria.
The Ugandan law is considered to be more repressive than Nigeria’s.