POTUS, Joe Biden

US Visa Restrictions On Uganda

The United States has implemented visa restrictions on Ugandan officials in response to the country’s enactment of an anti-LGBTQ law, which has received condemnation from various nations and the United Nations.

The law, known for its severity, was passed in May and carries the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality,” including the transmission of HIV through gay sexual activity.

Western governments were quick to criticize the law, and it jeopardized significant amounts of foreign aid that Uganda receives annually

.The U.S. State Department announced on Friday that it has imposed visa restrictions on officials from Uganda after the African nation passed a law targeting the LGBTQ community, drawing condemnation from numerous countries and the United Nations.

The law, considered one of the most severe worldwide, was enacted in May and prescribes the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality,” encompassing the transmission of HIV through same-sex intercourse.

Western governments swiftly expressed disapproval, which placed at risk, a substantial portion of the country’s foreign aid, amounting to billions of dollars each year.U.S. President Joe Biden had previously threatened to reduce aid and impose other sanctions, while Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, stated last month that the U.S. government would contemplate visa restrictions against Ugandan officials.

Although the State Department’s statement on Friday did not mention specific names or the number of officials affected by the visa restrictions, it asserted that the United States would hold accountable those responsible for human rights abuses in Uganda, including those affecting LGBTQI+ individuals.

Furthermore, the State Department updated its travel guidance for U.S. citizens visiting Uganda to highlight the risks faced by LGBTQI+ individuals, who could potentially face life imprisonment or the death penalty under the law.

In its statement, the State Department emphasized its strong support for the people of Uganda and its unwavering commitment to promoting respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms both within Uganda and globally.

Additionally, the law imposes a life sentence for same-sex intercourse and a 20-year sentence for the promotion of homosexuality.

The law also includes provisions for imposing severe fines on media outlets and non-governmental organizations that knowingly promote LGBTQ activities.

Prior to the enactment of this law, homosexuality was already illegal in Uganda, a conservative and deeply religious country, where individual’s identifying as LGBTQ faced marginalization and harassment by security forces.