Kaleidoscope Trust: Uganda’s anti-gay law is a terrible set-back for human rights

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

The Chair of the Kaleidoscope Trust, Dr Purna Sen, has called on the UK Government to issue a firm response after the President of Uganda signed the country’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill into law.

President Yoweri Museveni signed the bill in front of politicians and reporters on Monday at 1.54pm (10.54am GMT) at State House, his official residence in Entebbe.

The law calls for repeat offenders to be sentenced to 14 years in prison and makes it a criminal offence not to report someone for being gay.

Lesbians are covered by the bill for the first time.

Politicians around the world have strongly criticised President Musevni.

The White House said it would push to have the law repealed.

EU foreign policy chief Baroness Ashton described the move as “draconian”.

Britain’s Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said it was “an abhorrent backwards step for human rights”.

UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said he was “deeply saddened and disappointed”. 

Chair of the Kaleidoscope Trust, Dr Purna Sen, said: “This is a terrible blow to the struggle for human rights in Uganda, for LGBT people, their allies and human rights defenders everywhere.

“The Trust is calling on the British Government to act firmly in response to this blatant violation of human rights, the Ugandan constitution and its international responsibilities.”

She added: “The Trust continues to work with LGBT organisations, activists and communities in Uganda to help them secure their human rights and seek to restore the rights of all.

“The great fear on the ground is that the passing of the bill will give a free reign to vigilantism and mob violence, while silencing the voices that support LGBT people.

“It is now more important than ever to support the vital work being done by brave Ugandans.”