Uganda’s suspension of LGBT charity is ‘obvious witch hunt’, say campaigners | Uganda


The Ugandan government has suspended the country’s leading gay rights organization, accusing it of operating illegally in the East African country, in a move campaigners have called a ‘clear witch hunt’ .

The National Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) Office – part of the Home Office – announced on Friday that it had suspended Sexual Minorities Uganda (Smug) for failing to register with the authorities.

“The NGO office has taken the decision to halt Smug’s operations with immediate effect,” it said in a statement.

Uganda has strict anti-gay legislation, but there have been no prosecutions for consensual homosexual acts in the country in recent years.

Smug executive director Frank Mugisha said the suspension was “a clear witch hunt rooted in systematic homophobia that is fueled by anti-gay and anti-gender movements”.

An attempt to register Smug with authorities in 2012 was rejected because the organization’s name was deemed “undesirable”, the NGO’s office and the nonprofit said.

“The refusal to legalize Smug’s operations (…) was a clear indicator that the Ugandan government and its agencies are adamant in treating Uganda’s gender and sexual minorities as second-class citizens,” the organization told nonprofit in a press release.

In 2014, a Ugandan court struck down a bill passed by MPs and signed by President Yoweri Museveni that sought to impose life imprisonment for same-sex relations.


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