Uganda, Nigeria anti-gay crackdown denounced by LGBT-rights groups

A 20-year-old Ugandan man has been charged with “aggravated homosexuality”, an offense punishable by death, and at least 67 people celebrating a gay wedding have been detained by the Nigerian police in a raid targeting outlawed homosexuality, defying pressure from Western governments and rights organizations that have long criticized ‘an egregious violation of human rights’ in many African countries.
A 20-year-old man has become the first Ugandan to be charged with “aggravated homosexuality” — an offense punishable by death under the country’s recently enacted anti-gay law — though the charge sheet did not specify why the act was considered aggravated. The defendant’s lawyer said the entire law was unconstitutional and while the law has been challenged in court, the judges have not yet taken up the case. Meanwhile, police in Nigeria said Tuesday (29 August) they detained at least 67 people celebrating a gay wedding, in what is one of the country’s largest arrests of gay people where gay marriage is punishable by up to 14 years in prison. Following the arrests of the “gay suspects”, state police spokesman Bright Edafe told reporters that homosexuality “will never be tolerated” in the West African nation.
Defying pressure from Western governments and rights organizations, Uganda in May enacted one of the world’s harshest laws targeting the LGBTQ community. A group of UN experts described the law as “an egregious violation of human rights”, while Amnesty International called it “draconian and overly broad”. “Sadly, Uganda is not an outlier in Africa, posing a challenge for President Biden and other Western leaders as they seek to engage with countries on the continent — and keep them from joining China’s orbit,” said the editorial board of The Washington Post in April. “Of the 64 or so countries that still criminalize same-sex relationships, at least half — at least 32 by most counts — are in Africa. While generally the world is moving toward more acceptance on LGBT rights, Africa forms a near-unanimous block of intolerance.”

About Geraldine Boechat 2735 Articles
Senior Editor for Medafrica Times and former journalist for Swiss National Television. former NGO team leader in Burundi and Somalia