from HASSAN ONYANGO in Kampala, Uganda
KAMPALA, (CAJ News) – THERE is outrage over plans by the Ugandan government to introduce the death penalty for same-sex sexual acts.
The anger also follows the recent death of a gay paralegal, Brian Wassa, who succumbed to brain hemorrhage after being hacked in the head by unknown people at his home in the capital, Kampala.
According to Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), he is the fourth such person to have been killed in the past three months in the wake of heightened anti-gay sentiments from political leaders.
Ugandan Ethics and Integrity Minister, Simon Lokodo, was recently quoted as saying government was advocating for capital punishment against same sex intercourse.
“It is outrageous that instead of the Ugandan government taking urgent steps to decriminalize gay sex, they want gay people executed,” said Amnesty International’s regional director, Joan Nyanyuki.
She said such statements from government officials could fire-up more hatred in an already homophobic environment.
“This is an example of how Uganda’s politicians are stoking dangerous intolerance and bias against LGBTI people,” the activist said.
LGBTI is short for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people.
The Uganda government of President Yoweri Museveni has a long history of anti – LGBTI advocacy.
Nyanyuki urged members of parliament to reject plans to impose the death penalty when the so-called “kill the gays bill” is introduced to the legislature.
“MPs must resoundingly reject any plan to legalise this kind of bigotry and witch hunting of anyone who is perceived as being different,” she stated.
– CAJ News