European Parliament calls for sanctions against Uganda and Nigeria over anti-gay laws

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The European Parliament has adopted a resolution condemning homophobic laws in Nigeria and Uganda.

The resolution calls on the European Commission and member states to take immediate action in regards to political cooperation, aid, and asylum, by using the Cotonou Agreement, which organises political relations between the European Union and 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific countries.

Labour MEP Michael Cashman, co-president of the LGBT Intergroup, said: “After 15 years of ACP-EU relations, we must admit that the Cotonou Agreement is failing human rights.”

“This house believes it is high time to take the next step, and consider suspending Nigeria and Uganda from the EU-ACP political dialogue.”

MEP Ulrike Lunacek, co-president of the LGBT Intergroup, added: “These laws gravely undermine the most basic right of all: the right to life.  We know that the mere examination of these laws has already led to deaths.”

“LGBT people in Uganda and Nigeria now live in a constant state of fear, just for being who they are, while we know that female and male homosexuality is not ‘un-african’ as some claim. It has existed and will exist in all cultures and societies.”

“The EU must take a strong stance against the governments and leaders behind these laws, while standing in solidarity with all the citizens of these countries.”

Nigeria strengthened its laws against same-sex sexual activity in January.

Anyone who enters into a same-sex marriage or civil union may be jailed for up to 14 years

President Yoweri Museveni gave assent to a law further criminalising same-sex sexual activity in Uganda last month.