Two Ugandan men could be jailed for life if convicted in homosexuality trial

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Two Ugandan men will go on trial next month charged with breaking the country’s anti-gay laws.

If convicted the men could be jailed for life. Prosecutors said on Wednesday that they had sufficient evidence against Kim Mukisa and Jackson Mukasa. The pair deny the charges.

They have been held in Luziro prison in Kampala since December.

The Guardian reports Mr Mukisa, 24, a businessman, was charged with “having sexual knowledge of a person against the order of nature” and Mr Mukasa, 19, with permitting a person to have sexual knowledge of him against the order of nature.

Both men have been charged under the 1950 Penal Code Act, which also prescribes life imprisonment if a person is found guilty of homosexual acts.

The trial is scheduled to start on 7 May.

The President of Uganda Yoweri Museveni gave assent to a law further criminalising same-sex sexual activity in February.

It punishes first-time offenders with 14 years in jail and allows life imprisonment as the penalty for acts of “aggravated homosexuality”.

The World Bank, along with Sweden, Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands, all halted aid to the Ugandan Government as a result of the decision of President Museveni.

America threatened to reduce the amount of aid going to Ugandan organisations who have expressed support for the Anti-Homosexuality Act.

Earlier this month, Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire ruled out imposing a travel ban on Uganda’s politicians who support the country’s anti-gay legislation.

The UK Government said that none of its aid goes directly to the Ugandan Government.

Last week, International Development Minister Alan Duncan rejected calls to cut foreign aid to countries with anti-gay laws, saying “we can’t hurt the poor”.