Several countries cut aid to Uganda over anti-gay law

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One day after Uganda’s President signed into law a bill making homosexuality punishable with life imprisonment, several countries have already said they will cut aid to the country.

President Yoweri Museveni signed the draconian Anti-Homosexuality Bill in front of politicians and reporters on Monday 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.

Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands have become the first three countries to cut their aid to Uganda following the decision to sign the bill by Museveni.

The Netherlands has stopped around £6 million in aid money which was intended for Uganda’s legal system, as the country did not want to contribute to the persecution of gay people.

Norway and Denmark have also said they will redirect aid directly to human rights groups, rather than the government.

This is the same policy which the British Department for International Development, which provides aid directly to organisations such as the UN, World Bank and Amnesty International.

The US Secretary of State John Kerry today said his country is now reviewing its relations with Uganda, following President Yoweri Museveni’s decision to sign anti-gay legislation.

Sweden has also said it will review its aid spending.

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have called for an end to a political agreement with Uganda over the law.

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”. 

A tabloid newspaper in Uganda today published a list of the “200 top” gay people.