Reuters is reporting in an Exclusive Report the following: First Ugandan charged with 'aggravated homosexuality' punishable by death: "A 20-year-old man has become the first Ugandan to be charged with "aggravated homosexuality", an offence punishable by death under the country's recently enacted anti-gay law, prosecutors and his lawyer said. Defying pressure from Western governments and rights organisations, Uganda in May enacted one of the world's harshest laws targeting the LGBT community.
It prescribes life in prison for same-sex intercourse. The death penalty can apply in cases deemed "aggravated", which include repeat offenses, gay sex that transmits terminal illness, or same-sex intercourse with a minor, an elderly person or a person with disabilities.
According to a charge sheet seen by Reuters, the defendant was charged on Aug. 18 with aggravated homosexuality after he "performed unlawful sexual intercourse" with a 41-year-old man. It did not specify why the act was considered aggravated.
"Since it is a capital offence triable by the High Court, the charge was read out and explained to him in the Magistrate’s Court on (the) 18th and he was remanded," Jacqueline Okui, spokesperson for the office of the director of public prosecutions, told Reuters. Okui did not provide additional details about the case. She said she was not aware of anyone else having been previously charged with aggravated homosexuality.
Justine Balya, an attorney for the defendant, said she believed the entire law was unconstitutional. The law has been challenged in court, but the judges have not yet taken up the case. Balya said four other people have been charged under the law since its enactment and that her client was the first to be prosecuted for aggravated homosexuality.
She declined to comment on the specifics of his case. Uganda has not executed anyone in around two decades, but capital punishment has not been abolished and President Yoweri Museveni threatened in 2018 to resume executions to stop a wave of crime.
The law's enactment three months ago drew widespread condemnation and threats of sanctions. Earlier this month, the World Bank suspended new public financing to Uganda in response to the law.
The United States has also imposed visa restrictions on some Ugandan officials, and President Joe Bide ordered a review of U.S. aid to Uganda." "
African Human Rights Coalition (AHRC) is currently the only LGBTQI+ Africa dedicated organization engaged in extracting LGBTQI+ Ugandans and allies, who are currently in hiding, from the country on an emergency basis. Last week we extracted 3 lesbians, including a high profile public figure who shall remain unnamed. This week we are attempting to assist two more. Paths are few and far between and so durable solutions still remain a stretch. But emergency protection is critical under the current circumstances where people can be lose freedom for life and be put to death. AHRC notes that they have over 25 people on a wait list requiring emergency funds/ sponsorship to expedite the emergency extraction plans.
All people on our list have been fully vetted and are in dire situations where they could be subjected to similar fate as in this case. We believe that people are being set up and hunted as a means to justify the new legislation, notes Melanie Nathan, Executive Director of African Human Rights Coalition.
Unfortunately we are unable to make the individual stories public given the current extreme danger. It would be like advertising that Ann Frank is in hiding to the Nazis, Nathan noted.
However the lack of funding and the absence of funding and logistical partners in the triage and emergency endeavors of ordinary Ugandans requires this outreach. Often human rights defenders are given immediate attention, leaving those newly exposed who have no history in the community, without solutions. PLEASE consider donating to our emergency fund at www.AfricanHRC.org/donate It was disconcerting to note that the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Hon. Linda Thomas-Greenfield, on the Rachel Maddow show, misconstrued the Ugandan situation by saying that there was no "implementation" of the new Ugandan law- hence intimating it was of less concern. This statement reflects a deep and profound failure on the part of the USA UN representative. The fact of enforcement itself, while a major concern still, as evidenced by this case, is overshadowed by the most significant issue which she ignored, and that is that the law licenses mob violence, rape and extreme violence against LGBTQI+ people in Uganda and that such was on the uptick since the The Kill the Gays Bill became law. She ignored this and the opportunity to talk about it. Is the US unaware, or is she badly briefed?