Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have called for an end to a political agreement with Uganda over its newly-introduced anti-gay law.
As well as calling for first-time offenders to be sentenced to 14 years in prison and making it a criminal offence not to report someone for being gay, the law criminialises HIV and public health programmes working with gay men, warns UNAIDS.
Michael Cashman MEP, Co-President of the LGBT Intergroup has also reacted: “I am appalled by the adoption of this bill which breaches the most fundamental right of all: the right to life.”
“I call upon EU Member States and the European Commission to start, as a matter of urgency, the procedure to suspend Uganda from the ACP-EU Cotonou Agreement on the grounds of grave human rights violations.”
The Cotonou Agreement is the most comprehensive partnership agreement between developing countries and the EU. Since 2000, it has been the framework for the EU’s relations with 79 countries from Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific.
Olle Schmidt MEP, Member of the EU-ACP Joint Parliamentary Assembly and Member of the LGBT intergroup added: “This development is extremely dangerous and literally threatens the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. LGBT people should be able to live their lives without fear of arbitrary arrests and violence against them, simply for being who they are.
“The EU and its Member States should use all their powers to push for decriminalisation, and should assure that all LGBT people have the right of asylum in the EU because of the discrimination they face at in their home countries.”