Uganda drops death penalty from anti-gay bill

November 23, 2012
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Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill will no longer include capital punishment after scrutiny by a parliamentary committee, according to an MP.

The bill had initially proposed the death penalty for certain homosexual acts, but still presents an array of draconian punishments including life imprisonment.

It has now been approved by Uganda’s Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.

In its original form, those convicted of “aggravated homosexuality” – defined as when one of the participants is a minor, HIV positive, disabled or a “serial offender” – could have been sentenced to death.

MP Medard Segona told the BBC “substantial amendments” had been made to the bill but said he was not allowed to reveal further details.

The bill was first introduced in 2009 by MP David Bahati, but has yet to gain parliamentary approval.

Mr Bahati previously said that the death penalty provision would be dropped – but only now has this been confirmed.

On Thursday, it was reported that the bill had been scheduled as an order of business for the Ugandan parliament.

Human rights campaigners are worried it could be voted on at any time.

Earlier this month, Rebecca Kadaga, speaker of the Ugandan parliament, promised to bring a vote on the proposed law before Christmas.

Homosexual acts are already considered a crime in Uganda, and can lead up to 14 years in prison.



Related topics: Africa, Africa, anti-gay law, Anti-Homosexuality Bill, BBC, death penalty, homophobic law, Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, Uganda, Uganda, ugandan parliament

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