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Uganda Government Attacks Human Rights Groups for “Promoting Homosexuality”

Timothy Kincaid

April 17th, 2009

On February 25th the US State Department released it’s 2008 Human Rights Report. Here is what it had to say about Uganda:

The government’s human rights record remained poor. Although there were improvements in a few areas, serious problems remained, including unlawful killings by security forces; mob violence; torture and abuse of suspects by security forces; poor prison conditions; official impunity; arbitrary arrest; incommunicado and lengthy pretrial detention; restrictions on the right to a fair trial and on freedoms of speech, press, assembly, association, and religion; sexual abuse of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in camps; restrictions on opposition parties; electoral irregularities; official corruption; violence and discrimination against women and children, including female genital mutilation (FGM) and sexual abuse of children; trafficking in persons; violence and discrimination against persons with disabilities and homosexuals; restrictions on labor rights; and forced labor, including child labor.

So it is not without cause that human rights organizations are active within the country. But it also should not come as a surprise that governmental officials chafe at the criticism from such groups.

Now they have found a way to strike back. According to Uganda’s government-owned New Vision:

The UN children\’s agency, Unicef, and human rights watchdog Amnesty International are among the organisations promoting homosexuality in Uganda, the Government said yesterday.

Ethics and integrity minister Dr. James Nsaba Buturo, in a hard-hitting statement to Parliament, also implicated Human Rights Watch, Frontline Human Rights Defenders and East Horn of Africa Human Rights in the “racket”.

The organisations, Buturo said, were working with local groups which depend on them for funding, to spread homosexuality in the local population.

They particularly object to UNICEF which they think has “infiltrated” schools with books that “were popularising homosexuality” and accused them of being “promoters of the practice”.

In response, MPs are calling on the government to block press conference that are favorable of lieniency of legalizing homosexuality and to “enact a more comprehensive law that will treat as illegal the promotion of homosexuality and membership to homosexual groups.” If the government in Uganda defines human rights groups as “promoters of homosexuality”, this may be pretext under which criticism of human rights violations can be silenced.

I wonder if American anti-gay groups, including Exodus International, are proud of the part they played.

Click here to see BTB\’s complete coverage of recent anti-gay developments in Uganda.



David C.
April 17th, 2009 | LINK

I think we are getting a glimpse into the real motivations for gay persecution in Uganda. And it may all be political in the last analysis. What better way to defeat your political opponents than to label them as a member of a group that you have successfully created lawful persecution of.

Timothy (TRiG)
May 2nd, 2009 | LINK

The human rights organisation Front Line Defenders has a write-up on the situation.


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