Ugandan parliament set to vote on draconian anti-homosexuality bill

Amnesty International has today repeated its call on the Ugandan parliament to reject a draconian anti-homosexuality bill which would violate international law.The bill, which would introduce the death penalty for some homosexual acts, is set to be debated and voted on in the Ugandan parliament on Friday. “The Ugandan parliament must immediately reject this bill, which flies in the face of international law and puts lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Uganda at serious risk of further human rights violations,” said Michelle Kagari, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Africa.”We have documented numerous recent cases of discrimination, arbitrary arrests, unlawful detention, and mistreatment of the LBGT community in Uganda and this bill will only make matters worse.”The bill was set for discussion in parliament on Wednesday but the session ended before the bill could be discussed. Parliamentarians have agreed to sit for a final time on Friday 13 May 2011 to complete parliamentary business before the new parliament is sworn in. It would be an offense for a person who is aware of any violations of the bill’s provisions not to report them to the authorities within 24 hours. There have been suggestions that some provisions of the bill may be modified, but no further version has been published. Regardless of any amendments, Amnesty International urges the Ugandan parliament to reject the bill in its entirety.New MP’s are set to be sworn in next week and the bill could be put forward again if a vote does not take place on Friday.