Ugandan authorities have reported the apprehension of four individuals on Monday for their alleged involvement in same-sex conduct. This development comes three months subsequent to the implementation of stringent anti-gay laws that sparked international outcry. The legislation, which is among the most severe of its kind globally, criminalizes “aggravated homosexuality” with the possibility of a capital punishment, and it imposes penalties of life imprisonment for consensual same-sex relationships.
A police spokesperson informed AFP that the arrests were carried out at a massage parlor in the Buikwe district on Saturday, involving two women among the four detained. The operation was initiated following information from a female informant about homosexual activities taking place at the establishment, as stated by Hellen Butoto.
The global community, including the United Nations, foreign governments such as the United States, and international human rights organizations, has expressed strong criticism of the new legislation. It was enacted in May and has led to the suspension of new loans by the World Bank to Uganda, citing a contradiction with the institution’s core values.
In May, US President Joe Biden condemned the measures as a violation of human rights and indicated the possibility of reducing aid and investments in Uganda unless the laws were revoked. Despite international pressure, the Ugandan government remains steadfast in its stance, and the legislation enjoys considerable support in the predominantly Christian and conservative nation. Lawmakers in Uganda have defended the laws as a means to counter what they perceive as Western immorality.
President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda has accused the World Bank of attempting to influence the government’s decisions by leveraging financial incentives to discourage the implementation of the controversial legislation.