Ugandan Arrests: Alleged Homosexual Acts Lead to Detentions

Four people in Uganda have been arrested for practicing “homosexual acts”, the country’s police announced on Monday.

The authorities arrested the four people, including two women, on Saturday in a massage parlor in the eastern district of Buikwe, a police spokeswoman told AFP.

“The police operation was carried out following information from a woman indicating that homosexual acts were taking place in the massage parlour,” said Hellen Butoto.

At the end of May, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signed into law an anti-homosexuality law which imposes heavy penalties for those who have same-sex relationships and who “promote” homosexuality. A crime of “aggravated homosexuality” is punishable by death, a sentence which has not, however, been applied for years in Uganda.

This law has sparked outrage from the United Nations, human rights groups and many Western countries. At the beginning of August, the World Bank announced that it would no longer finance new projects in Uganda following the enactment of this law, considering that this text “went fundamentally against the values of the World Bank”.

US President Joe Biden has called the law a “tragic violation” of human rights and threatened to suspend aid and investment in Uganda, while the head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell saw it as a law “contrary to human rights humans”.

The new legislation nevertheless received broad support in Uganda, a country with a conservative Christian majority, where lawmakers said the text was a necessary bulwark against alleged immorality in the West. President Museveni also accused the World Bank of wanting to “put pressure” on his country. Ugandans “will grow with or without loans”, he said.

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