UN urges Ugandan president not to sign draconian anti-LGBT law, which includes death penalty


The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk called today the President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, not to sign the law against members of the LGBT community in that country, which provides for extremely harsh punishments for some homosexual offenses including death and life imprisonment.

"The passage of this discriminatory law – arguably the worst of its kind in the world – is deeply troubling," Turk said in a statement.

Uganda's parliament passed the controversial law in the middle of the night and last-minute changes were made to it, making it draconian. In the original text of the bill, the maximum prison sentences were up to 10 years, but they have been increased.

The adopted version contains the crime of "aggravated homosexuality", which provides for the death penalty in the case of sexual relations with persons infected with the HIV virus, minors and members of other vulnerable categories of the population.

According to the law, "aggravated attempted homosexuality" is punishable by up to 14 years in prison, and "attempted homosexuality" by up to 10 years in prison.

The offense of "homosexuality" is punishable by life imprisonment, which was prescribed by Uganda's colonial-era penal code for "unnatural sexual acts".

The law was proposed last month by an opposition lawmaker to punish what he said was the "promotion, recruitment and financing" of LGBT activities in the East African country where homosexuals are subject to widespread ridicule and humiliation.

President Museveni, who will either veto the bill or sign it, made clear in a recent speech that he supports the controversial regulation and accused unnamed Western countries of "trying to impose their practices on other nations."

Volker Turk said the law, if signed by Museveni, would "turn LGBT people into criminals" by the very fact that they exist.

Uganda's parliament has passed a law that will punish homosexuals

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