UGANDA: JUDGE WHO ANNULLED ANTI-GAY LAW FACED DEATH THREATS

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Justice Solomy Balungi Bossa

The judges who annulled Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act were on the receiving end of a widespread public backlash over their decision.

Five Constitutional Court justices ruled in August that the law was invalid because it had been voted on and passed in Parliament without the required minimum number of MPs.

According to the Daily Monitor, the justices were slammed by members of the public for their ruling, which was welcomed by Uganda’s LGBTI community.

There are also reports that one of the judges, Justice Solomy Balungi Bossa, received death threats on social media, including, “Die fat dike [sic]”, and being told that she would be “punished by God.”

At a two-day judicial symposium on Monday, Justice Bossa spoke up about the public reaction for the first time.

“We have received a lot of community backlash for the annulment of the anti-gay law. We had not responded to them since our judgement but the same is in black and white and as judges, I think we did our job,” she said.

Bossa added: “The judgement is in black and white and those who are aggrieved with it should appeal before the Supreme Court.”

While human rights groups applauded the Constitutional Court for its independence, there was widespread and unfounded speculation that the justices had acted under the influence of President Museveni, who it was claimed wanted a way of eliminating the law to appease Western nations without losing credibility.

Despite the law’s annulment, there are moves by the government to appeal the court’s decision, while the law, or possibly another version of it, is set to be re-tabled in Parliament.

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