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Ugandan government: We won’t be blackmailed into repealing anti-gay law

Nick Duffy June 20, 2014
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The Ugandan government has said it won’t be “blackmailed” into repealing its anti-gay law, after the US stepped up sanctions against the country.

President Yoweri Museveni signed the draconian Anti-Homosexuality Bill earlier this year. The law calls for repeat offenders to be sentenced to 14 years in prison, and makes it a criminal offence not to report someone for being gay.

US Secretary of State John Kerry in February announced that the country was reviewing its relations with Uganda, and earlier today the US has announced sanctions against Uganda, following the implementation of a law which further criminalises homosexuality.

The sanctions will prevent Uganda officials implicated in anti-gay human rights abuses from entering America, and blocks all aid money from going to initiatives involving the Uganda Police Force, Ministry of Health and National Public Health Institute.

Ugandan government spokesman Ofwono Opondo said: “Uganda is a sovereign country and can never bow to anybody or be blackmailed by anybody on a decision it took in its interests, even if it involves threats to cut off all financial assistance.

“We think it is simply a blackmail. We have said it before, homosexuality is not a fundamental human right. In our own constitution, it is not guaranteed as a fundamental right.”

Caitlin Hayden, a spokeswoman for the US National Security Council, said earlier: “None of these steps diminishes our commitment to providing development and humanitarian support for the Ugandan people, or our partnership with the Ugandan government to counter the murderous Lord’s Resistance Army and improve security in Africa.”

“We will seek to advance these interests even as we continue—in Uganda and around the world—to oppose discriminatory practices and champion human rights for all.”

Related topics: Africa, Anti-gay, homophobic, human rights, jail, Law, Museveni, president, sanction, sanctions, state, Uganda, Uganda, US, US

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