God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensées of a Catholic priest

16.10.2009 Back to the middle ages…

This article about Uganda shows, how critical it is to get informed decisions and at the same time void all attempts of countries to deal with the criminal code regarding HIV and AIDS.

Ugandan bill proposes death penalty for sexually active HIV-positive gay men

Homosexual acts are already illegal, but the Anti-Homosexuality Bill proposes the death penalty for those having gay sex with disabled people, under-18s or when the accused is HIV-positive

A Ugandan MP has introduced a bill which would impose the death penalty on HIV-positive gay men in Uganda if they have sex with another man.

David Bahati’s bill is seeking to introduce an offence of “aggravated homosexuality” which would also impose the death penalty for same-sex activity if one of the partners is disabled or under 18 years of age. An independent Ugandan MP, John Otekat Emile, is quoted by BBC Online as saying that the bill has a “99% chance” of passing. Earlier drafts of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009 punish homosexuality with a massive fine of 10 million Ugandan shillings and a maximum of ten years in prison. The bill also seeks to punish the “promotion of homosexuality” – including funding and sponsoring LGBT organisations and broadcasting, publishing, or selling materials on homosexuality – with a fine and a minimum of five years in prison. According to the International Lesbian and Gay Human Rights Commission, anyone who fails to report known violations of the law within 24 hours will also be subject to up to six months in prison for neglecting to report in their colleagues, family, or friends.

The bill also claims jurisdiction over Ugandans who violate its provisions while abroad, so that, for example, a Ugandan citizen normally resident in the United Kingdom could be convicted and imprisoned if he or she visits Uganda, on the basis of allegations that they have committed any of these offences while in the United Kingdom. Uganda is a recipient of significant international HIV aid.Concern has been expressed that money from the US PEPFAR programme has gone to rabidly homophobic organisations. In 2008, activists were arrested at an international conference in Uganda when they protested against the Ugandan government’s decision that gay men would not receive any HIV resources. There has been an increasing level of discrimination and violence against people in Uganda because of their sexuality in recent months. The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) has highlighted the detention of four men for 90 days without trial under Uganda’s already draconian anti-homosexuality laws. A fifth man, Brian Pande, died in hospital of undisclosed causes in mid September. Anti-gay organisations organised a protest rally in Uganda’s capital Kampala in August. The IGLHRC has also highlighted that the proposed legislation is in direct contravention of numerous international human rights agreements to which Uganda is a signatory. Furthermore, they also believe that it violates several clauses of the Ugandan constitution, which supposedly guarantees the right to privacy, the right to freedom of speech, expression and assembly, the protection of minorities, and the protection of civic rights and activities.

This article was first published by NAM/Aidsmap.com and is copied from http://www.fridae.com

Filed under: HIV and AIDS, Politics and Society, Society and living environment, , , , , , , , , , ,

HIV, AIDS and HOPE – thoughts of a Catholic priest

Being a Roman - Catholic priest and working in the fields of HIV and AIDS in Africa is often a challenge. Living in Africa has also its challenges. On the other hand I feel very much blessed having all the three. So you will find stories and reflections about my work, about the church, South Africa and Africa and essential information and developments in the field of HIV and AIDS. And in between personal stories and thoughts. You are most welcome to leave a comment or to get in touch with me - blogs - "thinking loud" so to speak is a ways of communication and exchange of ideas.

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