UK home secretary urged to ban Uganda leader

(Last Updated On: 4 March 2024)

London, UK | LGBT+ campaigner Peter Tatchell has written to the Home Secretary, James Cleverly, urging him to ban the Speaker of the Ugandan Parliament, Anita Among, from entering Britain for the Commonwealth 75 celebrations next week.

Tatchell said Among was the main backer of Uganda’s “draconian Anti-Homosexuality Act (AHA) 2023” dubbed the “Kill the Gays” law.

“It includes the death penalty for some forms of consenting same-sex behaviour.”

The US government has already banned Anita Among. Britain should do the same, he told Cleverly.

Acting at the request of Ugandan LGBT+ campaigners, Tatchell’s letter advised the Home Secretary, thus:

 “Ms Among’s presence in the UK would send a terrible signal that Britain tolerates the extreme homophobia of those who advocate the execution of LGBT+ people.

“There should be no facilitation and collusion with a politician who has blood on her hands… She should be denied admission to the UK on the grounds that she opposes the British values of respect, tolerance, equality and human rights, and that her presence would not be conducive to the public good, harmonious community relations and public order.”

Also read: House of Commons to block Speaker Among from entering UK in March 

Tatchell’s letter to James Cleverly went on to highlight some of the key repressive measures in the AHA:

 “It is one of the world’s harshest anti-LGBT+ legislations, with automatic life imprisonment for consenting same-sex acts, and the death penalty for repeat offenders and, bizarrely, for homosexuality involving a person aged 75 and over – which effectively paves the way for the execution of elderly same-sex couples.

 “The AHA stipulates a maximum of 20 years in jail for merely advocating LGBT+ equality. It also imposes up to seven years imprisonment for anyone who rents property to persons who commit offences under the legislation.

The public have a duty to report to the police anyone who they suspect may violate the AHA and failure to do so where the persons involved are ill or elderly, can result in a top sentence of five years in jail.”

Discrimination and violence against LGBTs have intensified, as Tatchell’s letter to James Cleverly, explains:

“Since the law was enacted last year, local Ugandan groups have documented a rise in anti-LGBT+ hatred and abuse.

“The Strategic Response Team, supported by a coalition of Uganda LGBT+ rights organisations, reported in September 2023 that LGBT+ people have experienced “intensified violence and discrimination,” including beatings, sexual and psychological violence, evictions, blackmail, loss of employment and denial of access to healthcare on the basis of their perceived or actual sexual orientation or gender identity.

“As Home Secretary, you have the power to deny or revoke visas on the above grounds. Your predecessors have exercised this power in the past to exclude similar anti-human rights persons from the UK. I urge you to follow suit in the case of Anita Among,” Tatchell’s letter to the Home Secretary concluded.

This month, the UK will most a historic event to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Commonwealth and countries like Uganda will send a delegation.


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