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U.S. restricts Ugandan officials’ travel over anti-LGBTQ laws | LGBTQ News

U.S. President Joe Biden has previously said that cuts and sanctions could come under the law.

The United States imposed travel restrictions on Ugandan officials after President Yoweri Museveni signed an anti-LGBTQ law last month.

The law has been condemned as one of the toughest in the world. Among other provisions, it imposes the death penalty on those found guilty of “serious homosexuality,” which includes spreading HIV through homosexuality.

It also carries a life sentence for homosexual intercourse and 20 years for promoting homosexuality.

State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said in a brief press release on Friday that the measures were in response to human rights abuses — “including by LGBTQI+ individuals” — and corruption.

It further cites the law known as the Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2023, saying the State Department “also updated its travel guidance for U.S. citizens to highlight the risk that people who are LGBTQI+ or identified as LGBTQI+ may be prosecuted and discriminated against .Sentenced to life imprisonment or death in accordance with the law.”

“The United States stands firmly behind the people of Uganda and remains committed to advancing respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in Uganda and globally,” Miller said.

The statement did not say which officials would be restricted or provide further details.

Homosexuality is already illegal in the conservative and highly religious East African country, where observers say homosexuals face ostracism and harassment by security forces.

The law goes a step further by imposing fines on media outlets and NGOs that knowingly promote LGBTQ events.

U.S. President Joe Biden last month called the Ugandan government’s latest move a “tragic violation of universal human rights” and threatened aid cuts and other sanctions. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said last month that the administration would consider imposing visa restrictions on Ugandan officials.

The US was one of several countries that cut aid to Uganda in 2014 because of previous anti-LGBTQ laws. The law was later rejected on procedural grounds.

Some Western countries and UN experts condemned the law.

In March, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said the law “contravenes international human rights law and Uganda’s obligations under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, including commitments to dignity and non-discrimination, and the prohibition of cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment.”

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also said the law was “deeply worrying”.

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