The UN’s top human rights official has called on Uganda to drop a proposed anti-homosexuality law that would impose the death penalty on some gay and lesbian people.
Navi Pillay, the UN’s high commissioner for human rights, joined a growing chorus of opposition condemning the bill as discriminatory and called for homosexuality to be decriminalised in the country.
“The bill proposes draconian punishments for people alleged to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered – namely life imprisonment, or in some cases, the death penalty,” she said.
Pastor Martin Ssempa, who has close ties to US evangelicals and to the family of the president, Yoweri Museveni, said the demonstration was being organised for 17 February.
“We want to show how many people support the bill,” Ssempa told journalists in the Ugandan capital, Kampala. Ssempa, one of the east African country’s most prominent anti-gay campaigners, criticised western countries as “failed states” for supporting gay rights.
“We want to give a postcard that [Museveni] can send to his friend Barack Obama,” Ssempa said in front of posters saying “Africans Unite Against Sodomy” and “Barack Obama Back Off”.