Anti-Homosexuality law in Uganda : Strong position of the ACHPR’s Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders

The position adopted by ACHPR’s Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders directly echoes the concerns and recommendations formulated by our organisation over the adoption of this drastic legislation :

In her press statement adopted during the ACHPR’s 15th extraordinary session, the Special Rapporteur raises concerns over the consequences of the law on the respect for human rights in Uganda. She insists in particular on the increasing feeling of insecurity among LGBTI and those defending their rights since the promulgation of the law and the publication in some newspapers of the names and photographs of persons considered as being homosexuals. She also denounces the interference in their privacy as well as the cases of intimidation, threats, harassments and acts of violence perpetrated against them. The Special Rapporteur raises concerns over the impacts of such a law on the rights of human rights defenders, affirming that several of its provisions are in contradiction with Uganda’s obligation to respect freedoms of association, assembly and expression. The Special Rapporteur urges the Ugandan authorities "to abrogate or amend the law", "to ensure that human rights defenders work in an enabling environment that is free of stigma, reprisals or criminal prosecution, as a result of their human rights protection activities, including the rights of sexual minorities", to ensure "the effective protection of all persons against discrimination and violence, regardless of their sexual orientation and to maintain an atmosphere of tolerance towards sexual minorities in the country".

FIDH, which advocated for the ACHPR to seize the opportunity of its 15th Extraordinary Session to condemn the adoption of the anti-homosexuality law in Uganda and to call for its abrogation, welcomes this strong position from a representative of the main African human rights mechanism. FIDH, together with its member and partner organisations in Uganda, will spare no effort to ensure that Uganda upholds its human rights obligations and that regional and international human rights mechanisms remain mobilised in the fight against discrimination, stigmatization and violence in this country.

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