• 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.

  • Police arrest a man with a child in a suburb of Kampala on September 11, 2009.
    Uganda’s authorities have never investigated killings by security forces during two days of rioting in September 2009 that left at least 40 people dead. Despite numerous promises to investigate over the past five years, no police or military members have been held accountable for the killings.

Reports

Uganda

  • Sep 16, 2014
    When a Somali interpreter from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) approached Idil in July 2013 asking her to “befriend” a Ugandan soldier in exchange for money, she was struggling to survive.
  • Sep 10, 2014
    Uganda’s authorities have never investigated killings by security forces during two days of rioting in September 2009 that left at least 40 people dead. Despite numerous promises to investigate over the past five years, no police or military members have been held accountable for the killings.
  • Sep 9, 2014
  • Sep 6, 2014

    For lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people the law is a paradox. The law can operate as an instrument of repression and control, but also as a tool for resistance and liberation. 

  • 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.