Uganda: Judge receiving death threats for striking down anti-gay law

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A Ugandan judge responsible for striking down an “illegally passed” anti-gay Ugandan law has revealed she has received death threats.

In August, the country’s Constitutional Court struck down the draconian Anti-Homosexuality Bill which called for repeat offenders to be sentenced to 14 years in prison and made it a criminal offence not to report someone for being gay.

Justice Solomy Bossa Balungi, who was one of the five justices of the court who unanimously annulled the law, found that the speaker of Parliament acted illegally by moving ahead with a vote on the law despite at least three lawmakers objecting to a lack of quorum.

Speaking on Monday during the Judicial Symposium at Chobe Safari Lodge, she said: “We have received a lot of community backlash for the annulment of the anti-gay law.”

On social media, the judge received death threats such as “Die fat dike [sic]”, and was told she would be “punished by God.”

Justice Bossa added: “We had not responded to them since our judgement but the same is in black and white, and as judges, I think we did our job.

“The judgement is in black and white and those who are aggrieved with it should appeal before the Supreme Court.”

Edwin Sesange, the director of the Out and proud diamond group, said: “The Judges should be proud of themselves for doing the best thing for Humanity, this law does not deceive any place any where in Uganda.

“We urge them to nullify the unconstitutionality of its contents as well. The entire LGBTI and human rights fraternity supports their actions.”

Last month, the author of Uganda’s anti-gay law gave notice that he will reintroduce the bill during this parliamentary session.

The new version of the law is likely to tackle the “promotion” of homosexuality, after President Yoweri Museveni reportedly asked for an amendment to avoid targeting “consenting homosexuals”.

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