Four people arrested in Uganda over homosexuality

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Uganda police on Monday, August 21 announced that four people had been arrested for engaging in same-sex activity.

According to a police report, the four – including two women – were arrested at a massage parlor in the eastern district of Buikwe on Saturday, August 19.

“The police operation was carried out following a tip-off by a female informant to the area security that acts of homosexuality were being carried out at the massage parlor,” the Ssezibwa Regional Police Spokesperson Hellen Butoto said, as reported by AFP.

This is the first arrest after the Uganda Parliament in May 2023 passed one of the harshest anti-gay laws in the world. The law includes the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality”.

The United Nations, foreign governments, and global rights groups condemned the new legislation.

On August 8, 2023, the World Bank announced it was suspending new loans to Uganda over the same anti-gay laws.

“Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act fundamentally contradicts the World Bank Group’s values. We believe our vision to eradicate poverty on a livable planet can only succeed if it includes everyone irrespective of race, gender, or sexuality. This law undermines those efforts. Inclusion and non-discrimination sit at the heart of our work around the world,” the U.S based lender said in a statement.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni when he attended a session of the Russia-Africa summit in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on July 28, 2023. He has condemned decision by the World Bank to suspend funding Uganda over its tough anti-gay laws. PHOTO/REUTERS

However, President Yoweri Museveni’s government has remained defiant, vowing to find alternative sources of credit.

“It is unfortunate that the World Bank and other actors dare to want to coerce us into abandoning our faith, culture, principles and sovereignty, using money. They really underestimate all Africans,” President Museveni said on August 10, 2023.

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