Amnesty: Ugandan Minister’s comments are advocating hate

Minister Simon Lokodo

Minister Simon Lokodo

Amnesty International says that the Ugandan minister who promised to “suppress” and “rehabilitate” LGBTI people is promoting hate.

Minister of Ethics and Integrity Simon Lokodo insisted this week that a violent police raid on a Uganda Pride pageant was justified in order to protect Ugandan culture and values and to stop others from joining “this LGBT movement”.

“Through the Uganda Police Force, Government worked to ensure that the criminal and illegal activities of the Gay community were halted and we will continue to suppress them,” he said.

Lokodo farther revealed that “a programme to rehabilitate members of the LGBT Community, with the ultimate aim of giving them a chance to lead normal lives again has been developed”.

In response to his threats, Sarah Jackson, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes, said that the remarks “are hugely irresponsible and are tantamount to advocacy of hatred and incitement to discrimination”.

She continued: “The Ugandan government should be working to bring to account those responsible for the criminal attack that left one person hospitalised with serious injuries, and dozens more injured, instead of condoning these attacks and inciting further hostility against LGBTI people.”

Lokodo has dismissed reports that one person suffered severe spinal injuries after jumping out of a sixth floor window in order to escape being beaten by police officers during the raid.

Colonial-era legislation criminalising gay sex remains in force in Uganda, allowing the courts to imprison anyone found guilty of homosexuality for life.

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