Ugandan newspaper publishes list of 'top 200 homosexuals'
A Ugandan newspaper has published a list of what it called the country's "top 200" homosexuals, the day after the country's president signed an anti-gay law. The bill toughens already strict legislation against homosexuals.
A day after Uganda's president signs anti-gay bill, local tabloid prints list of 200 gay Ugandans. Amnesty calls it 'chilling'
Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni enacted a bill on Monday that punishes gay sex with up to life in jail - a measure criticised as draconian in a country where homosexuality had already been criminalised.
A spokesman for Ugandan police Patrick Onyango said no homosexuals have been arrested since Museveni signed the bill.
Gay and lesbian organisations fear the Ugandan anti-gay bill will encourage other governments to strengthen penalties, increase harassment, discourage people from taking HIV tests and make it impossible to live an openly gay life.
"Clawing back these basic rights and criminalising the expression of divergent views doesn't bode well for anyone in Uganda," said Maria Burnett of Human Rights Watch.
Foreign Secretary William Hague has said he was "deeply saddened and disappointed" by Uganda's decision to extend the ban on homosexuality.
The bill, which was signed into law by President Yoweri Museveni, calls for first-time offenders to be sentenced to 14 years in prison and makes it a criminal offence not to report someone for being gay.
He said: "The UK strongly opposes all discrimination on any grounds. We question the Bill's compatibility with Uganda's constitution and international treaty obligations.
"There can be no doubt that this Bill will increase persecution and discrimination of Ugandans, as well as damage Uganda's reputation internationally."
Homosexuality is already a criminal act in Uganda and the new bill is set to recommend a term of life imprisonment for those found guilty of "aggravated homosexuality", defined as repeated gay sex between consenting adults.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has said "you can come back with worms" after engaging in gay sexual acts as he claimed the nation's anti-gay legislation that will see repeat 'offenders' locked up for life is backed by scientific "facts".
Mr Museveni, a devout evangelical Christian, said homosexuals were "heterosexual people" who act as "prostitutes because of money" in an astonishing statement deliberately intended as a rebuke of "Western countries".
He said he had received scientific "facts" before signing in the anti-gay laws, saying: "No study has shown you can be homosexual by nature."
He said homosexuality in Uganda has been "provoked by the arrogant and careless Western groups that are coming in our schools and recruiting homosexuals into homosexuality and lesbianism".
Mr Museveni also issued a sharp warning to outside nations not to interfere on the matter.
"I would advise Western countries, this is a no-go area," he said. "I don't mind being in a collision course with the West. I am prepared."
In a statement by Desmond and Leah Tutu, the pair said they were "disheartened" by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni's decision to sign an anti-gay bill.
The statement reads: "When President Museveni and I spoke last month, he gave his word that he would not let the Anti-Homosexuality Bill become law in Uganda. I was therefore very disheartened to hear last week that President Museveni was re-considering his position...
"We must be entirely clear about this: The history of people is littered with attempts to legislate against love or marriage across class, caste and race. But there is no scientific basis or genetic rationale for love. There is only the grace of God.
The statement added: "There is no scientific justification for prejudice and discrimination, ever. And nor is there any moral justification. Nazi Germany and apartheid South Africa, among others, attest to these facts."