Uganda: Report finds large rise in violence since anti-gay law passed

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A joint report by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch has found that since an anti-gay law was passed earlier this year, there has been a large increase in violence against gay people.

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

According to the report, one gay person has been killed and 17 arrested. Many others have been evicted from their homes, it continues.

The report is based on interviews with 38 people affected by the law, and eight Ugandans in Kenya, who fled their home country between January and March this year.

Ten out of the 38 people interviewed had been evicted from their homes due to their sexual orientation, some after standing up at rallies for gay rights.

It goes on to say that at least 17 people have been arrested after being accused of being gay, some simply on their perceived sexual orientation.

One trans woman was arrested hours after the bill was passed, asked: “Are you a man or a woman”, and thrown into a police cell. The woman says the police officer threatened to have her burned.

The move was denounced by world leaders, and led to aid being cut to Uganda’s Government.