US threatens Uganda with sanctions if it does not repeal its law against homosexuality
Photo: STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images
The American President, Joe Biden called on Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Monday to immediately repeal the law against homosexuality and threatened to sanction the African country for "a tragic violation of universal human rights."
“I join people around the world, including many in Uganda, in calling for its immediate repeal. No one should have to live in constant fear for their lives or be subjected to violence and discrimination," the president said in a statement.
Biden announced that he has directed the National Security Council to review the implications of this law “on all aspects of the US engagement with Uganda”including the Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and other forms of assistance and investment.
“We are considering additional measures, including the application of sanctions and restrictions on entry into the United States against anyone involved in serious human rights abuses or corruption,” the president warned.
Museveni today approved a controversial law against homosexuality that includes long jail terms and the death penalty for some crimesone of the strictest laws against the LGBTIQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer) community in the world.
Since the Anti-Homosexuality Act was introduced, Biden asserted, “reports of violence and discrimination against Ugandans who are or are perceived to be LGBTQI+ have increased.”
"Innocent Ugandans now fear going to hospitals, clinics or other facilities for vital medical care lest they face hateful reprisals," the US president denounced.
Some have even been evicted from their homes or fired from their jobs and the prospect is for "more serious" threats such as "long prison sentences, violence, abuse and threats to many Ugandans who want nothing more than to live their lives in safety." and freedom”.
“This shameful law is the latest development in an alarming trend of human rights abuses and corruption in Uganda”claimed Biden, who said that the dangers posed by this “democratic rollback” are a threat to all who reside in Uganda, including US government personnel.
Biden recalled that US programs in the country "have boosted economic growth and agricultural productivity, increased investment in Ugandan companies, and strengthened our trade cooperation."
In total, the US government invests nearly a billion dollars a year in Uganda to further the common agenda of the two countries.
“The scale of our commitments speaks to the value we place on this partnership and our faith in the people of Uganda to build themselves a better future. It is my sincere hope that we can continue to build on this progress, together, and strengthen the protection of the human rights of people everywhere."
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