• After 26 years of President Yoweri Museveni’s rule, ongoing threats to freedom of expression, assembly, and association continue to raise serious concerns. Security forces largely enjoy impunity for torture, extrajudicial killings, and the deaths of at least 49 people during protests in 2009 and 2011.  The government banned a political pressure group calling for peaceful change, obstructed opposition rallies, and harassed and intimidated journalists and civil society activists working on corruption, oil, land, and sexual rights. On July 31, 2014, Uganda’s constitutional court ruled that the Anti-Homosexuality Act, signed into law by President Museveni on February 24, was null and void because there was no quorum in parliament on the day of the vote. Uganda’s penal code already criminalizes “carnal knowledge against the order of nature,” but the new law went much farther, criminalizing various forms of same-sex conduct with life imprisonment and the undefined “promotion of homosexuality” which put legitimate human rights and public health work at risk of criminal prosecution. The law criminalizing torture went into force, though challenges to prosecutions persist.

  • Street children in Mbale town, east of Kampala sleep on shop verandas after owners have closed for the day.
    Uganda is failing to protect homeless children against police abuse and other violence, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Street children throughout Uganda’s urban centers face violence, and physical and sexual abuse. National and local government officials should put an end to organized roundups of street children, hold police and others accountable for beatings, and provide improved access for these children to education and healthcare.

Reports

Uganda

  • Aug 7, 2014
    The country's infamous anti-homosexuality law has been struck down, but homophobia is still dangerously enshrined in the country's penal code.
  • Aug 4, 2014
    Three notorious African leaders -- Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe, Eritrea's Isaias Afewerki, and Sudan's Omar al-Bashir -- are not invited to this week's U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C. But a number of other long-ruling African strongmen, like Angola's José Eduardo dos Santos, Equatorial Guinea's Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, and Uganda's Yoweri Museveni, will be there. In fact, over a dozen African countries which will be represented at the summit boast disturbing human rights records of ruthlessly suppressing freedom of expression and freedom of association through harassment, arrest, torture, and trumped up charges and killings.
  • Aug 1, 2014
    Uganda’s constitutional court took a positive step when it ruled today that the dreaded Anti-Homosexuality Act is unconstitutional. The judges ruled on procedure rather than substance – they said the lack of quorum in parliament on the day of the vote violated the legislative process.
  • Jul 28, 2014
    While President Obama has unveiled specific initiatives to strengthen US development work in Africa and connect it to core national security objectives, he has not done the same for human rights and the rule of law.
  • Jul 16, 2014
    Uganda is failing to protect homeless children against police abuse and other violence, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Street children throughout Uganda’s urban centers face violence, and physical and sexual abuse. National and local government officials should put an end to organized roundups of street children, hold police and others accountable for beatings, and provide improved access for these children to education and healthcare.
  • Jul 11, 2014
    The decision of the Ugandan High Court published on July 9, 2014, endorsing the government closure of a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights workshop violates the right to freedom of assembly, Human Rights Watch said today.
  • Jun 25, 2014
    In February, President Obama announced that Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s signing the Anti-Homosexuality bill into law would “complicate our valued relationship with Uganda.” On June 19, the US finally announced what those “complications” look like: visa sanctions for human rights abusers, including for violations of LGBTI rights and those involved in public corruption, a $2.4 million cut in U.S. aid to the police, reallocation of some funds for the Health Ministry to nongovernmental groups, and the cancellation of plans to conduct an East African “military aviation exercise” in Uganda.
  • May 14, 2014
    Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) people in Uganda have reported a surge in human rights violations since the passage of the Anti-Homosexuality Act on December 20, 2013, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International said today.
  • May 13, 2014
    The HIV Prevention and Control Act passed by the Ugandan parliament on May 13, 2014, is discriminatory and will impede the fight against AIDS, Human Rights Watch, HEALTH Global Advocacy Project, andUganda Network on Law, Ethics & HIV/AIDS said today.
  • Apr 3, 2014
    The Uganda Police Force (UPF) and the Directorate of Public Prosecutions should complete investigations into the August 2010 killing of a suspect in police custody and ensure that a trial begins expeditiously, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to officials at both offices. Three implicated police officers were arrested in 2010, charged with murder, and spent six months in prison, but they were released on bail in early 2011.