• 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 February 24, 2014 President Museveni signed the Anti-Homosexuality bill into law. Uganda’s penal code already criminalizes “carnal knowledge against the order of nature,” but the new law goes 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.

  • An asylum seeker from Uganda marches with the LGBT Asylum Support Task Force during the Gay Pride Parade in Boston, Massachusetts on June 8, 2013.
    Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s signing of the Anti-Homosexuality bill into law is a deeply worrying infringement on the human rights of all Ugandans. The law, signed by Museveni in Kampala on February 24, 2014, increases penalties for some forms of consensual same-sex conduct between adults; curtails constitutionally protected rights to privacy, family life, and equality; and violates internationally protected rights to freedom of association and expression.

Featured Content

Reports

Uganda

  • Apr 3, 2014
  • 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.
  • Mar 11, 2014
    A diverse group of Ugandan individuals and nongovernmental organizations filed a constitutional challenge to the Anti-Homosexuality Act on March 11, 2014. President Yoweri Museveni signed the bill into law on February 24.
  • Feb 24, 2014
    Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s signing of the Anti-Homosexuality bill into law is a deeply worrying infringement on the human rights of all Ugandans. The law, signed by Museveni in Kampala on February 24, 2014, increases penalties for some forms of consensual same-sex conduct between adults; curtails constitutionally protected rights to privacy, family life, and equality; and violates internationally protected rights to freedom of association and expression.
  • Feb 19, 2014
    Uganda’s pending Anti-Homosexuality bill violates the country’s human rights obligations and is a barrier to advancing critical public health goals. Uganda’s parliament passed the bill on December 20, 2013, and President Yoweri Museveni has indicated that he intends to sign the bill.
  • Feb 14, 2014
    The governments of South Sudan and Uganda should investigate new evidence that banned cluster bombs have been used in the South Sudan conflict, Human Rights Watch said today. United Nations (UN) experts found remnants of the weapons, including intact unexploded submunitions or “bomblets,” in the week of February 7, 2014, near the town of Bor in an area not known to be contaminated by remnants prior to mid-December 2013.
  • Feb 3, 2014
    Meri, an indigenous woman in northeastern Uganda, was shocked when strangers, accompanied by soldiers, showed up unannounced on her land in late 2012 and started to take rock samples without explanation. One of her neighbours described company representatives drilling and extracting samples inside her home. These stories are not isolated. Mining companies, in co-ordination with the government, are starting to explore for minerals in the Karamoja region without first getting the permission of traditional landowners. And the government has condoned these practices.
  • Feb 3, 2014
    Uganda’s nascent mining industry could do more harm than good for indigenous people unless the government makes reforms and mining companies start respecting rights, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Uganda’s government has promoted private investment in mining in the remote northeastern Karamoja region to bring economic development, but should implement reforms to respect the rights of indigenous people to determine how their lands are used.
  • Dec 22, 2013
  • Dec 20, 2013
    Uganda’s president, Yoweri Museveni, should veto the Anti-Homosexuality Bill passed by parliament on December 20, 2013, four Ugandan and international human rights organizations said today.