US to consider visa restrictions over Uganda anti-gay law

Secretary of State Antony Blinken says legislation, which includes the death penalty for some offences, is deeply troubling.

Aljazeera reports

Secretary of State Antony Blinken says the United States may consider restricting visas for some Ugandan officials after the country adopted one of the world’s toughest anti-LGBTQ laws.

Blinken said the US was “deeply troubled” by Uganda’s  Anti-Homosexuality Act, which was signed into law by President Yoweri Museveni on Monday.

While same-sex relations were already illegal in Uganda, the new law imposes capital punishment for some behaviours including “aggravated homosexuality”, and 20 years in prison for “promoting” homosexuality. Museveni had previously urged lawmakers to delete the provision on “aggravated homosexuality”.

US President Joe Biden quickly condemned the law as “a tragic violation of universal human rights” and threatened to cut aid and investment to the East African country.

He urged Uganda to repeal the measure.

In a statement later on Monday, Blinken said the US would “consider deploying existing visa restrictions tools against Ugandan officials and other individuals for abuse of universal human rights, including the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons.”

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