Swedish finance minister to raise criticism of anti-gay law whilst in Uganda

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The finance minister of Sweden has offered support to the Ugandan gay community, after the country’s president signed a harsh anti-gay bill into law yesterday.

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.

Anders Borg, who was visiting the country to discuss economic growth in east Africa, spoke to Radio Sweden on Tuesday to say that he met with gay rights activists on landing in the country.

He also said he would bring up the issue with the Ugandan finance minister Maria Kiwanuka on Tuesday.

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.

The Swedish minister for international development cooperation Hillevi Engstrom, on Monday said the country would consider withdrawing its 70 million Swedish kronor (£6.5million) in aid following the law being signed.

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”.