Four arrested in Uganda over ‘acts of homosexuality’

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Ugandan police on Monday announced the arrest of four people for allegedly engaging in same-sex activity, three months after the introduction of draconian anti-gay legislation sparked international outrage.

The law — considered one of the harshest of its kind in the world — contains provisions making “aggravated homosexuality” a potentially capital offense and penalties for consensual same-sex relations of up to life in prison.

A police spokeswoman told AFP the authorities had arrested four people including two women at a massage parlour in the eastern district of Buikwe on Saturday.

“The police operation was carried out following a tip-off by a female informant to the area security that acts of homosexuality were being carried out at the massage parlor,” Hellen Butoto said.

The United Nations, foreign governments including the United States, and global rights groups have condemned the new legislation, which was signed into law in May.

This month the World Bank announced it was suspending new loans to the East African nation, saying the law “fundamentally contradicts” the values espoused by the US-based lender.

In May, US President Joe Biden called for the immediate repeal of the measures he branded “a tragic violation of universal human rights” and threatened to cut aid and investment in Uganda.

But the government has remained defiant and the legislation has broad support in the conservative, predominantly Christian country, where lawmakers have defended the measures as a necessary bulwark against perceived Western immorality.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has accused the World Bank of using money to try to “coerce” the government to drop the controversial legislation.

©️ Agence France-Presse

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