Queer emergency aid Uganda and LSVD call for support for queer communities and activists

Berlin/ Kampala, 03.04.2024. Despite national and international protests, the Ugandan Constitutional Court upheld large parts of the draconian anti-homosexuality law on April 3, 2024. The mere “attempt” of same-sex acts can be punished with up to ten years, the “execution” with life imprisonment and repeated same-sex acts can be punished with the death penalty.

Human and civil rights activists had filed a complaint against this with the Constitutional Court. They saw a clear violation of human rights and the Ugandan constitution, which guarantees protection against discrimination and privacy.

“The Constitutional Court did overturn individual paragraphs in which all citizens were obliged to report homosexual acts and persons under threat of punishment. However, this only takes the general population out of the line of fire. Queer people are still in the crosshairs.” – Edward Mutebi, founder of the queer organization Let’s Walk Uganda.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, intersex and other queer people (LGBTIQ*) in Uganda have been living in fear and terror since the new inhumane law against queer people came into force in spring 2023. Violent attacks on the street, raids on private homes, dismissals from apartments and jobs and school dropouts are the order of the day. Many people have already had to flee Uganda to neighboring countries. Now that the law has been confirmed, even more queer people will probably have to flee Uganda.

“The so-called anti-homosexuality law in Uganda pursues only one goal: to criminalize LGBTIQ* and systematically eradicate them through state persecution. That is why today we once again express our deep solidarity with LGBTIQ* people in Uganda and demand the same from politicians. A different ruling could have sent a clear signal against the increasing discrimination and persecution of homosexuals throughout Africa, for example in Ghana, where legislators also passed an anti-homosexuality law in February,” says Philipp Braun from the Federal Board of the Lesbian and Gay Federation (LSVD).

“Unfortunately, the hope that the court would overturn the inhumane law has not been fulfilled. We are therefore calling on the national, European and international levels to support the people in Uganda and to impose sanctions against the masterminds behind the law,” says Stephan Jäkel from the Queer Emergency Aid Uganda alliance.

Queer emergency aid alliance calls for solidarity with those affected

The alliance is once again calling on the German government to issue humanitarian visas for Ugandan queer human rights activists without delay. They are currently the most threatened. They face decades in prison and life-threatening violence. In addition, safe escape routes are needed for queer people who have to flee persecution within the region.

In addition, the alliance is calling for sanctions and the withdrawal of visas for all members of parliament, government officials and religious leaders who support the law. The German government and the EU must finally and swiftly withdraw funding from all religious organizations that call for the persecution and killing of LGBTIQ* people in Uganda.

About the alliance

The Queer Emergency Alliance Uganda was founded in May 2023 by around 40 organizations, institutions and individuals from Uganda, Ghana and Germany. Since then, it has supported LGBTIQ* people in Uganda, primarily with food and funding for emergency accommodation. The alliance relies exclusively on donations.

In an open letter, Queer Emergency Aid Uganda and around 35 other organizations and initiatives have called on the German government,

  • in particular LGBTIQ activists from Uganda, who are particularly at risk due to their work with LGBTIQ NGOs, should now be granted protection with the help of humanitarian visas in Germany.
  • to support LGBTIQ organizations on the ground, in particular with emergency financial aid, in order to support urgent emergency measures to protect the LGBTIQ community on the ground
  • also work to ensure that the Ugandan MPs who introduced this law and representatives of the NGOs and churches lobbying for it can no longer enter the Schengen area.
  • not to co-finance this policy in Uganda, Germany must not strengthen anti-LGBTIQ forces in Uganda.

Queries: Stephan Jäkel (+49 179 7974307), Alliance Queer Emergency Aid Uganda, info@queere-nothilfe.de

Donations: https://www.we-aid.org/initiatives-2/queere-nothilfe-uganda/

Website: https://www.queere-nothilfe.de/uganda/

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