Uganda NGO bill will be a blow for LGBT rights

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The restrictive laws being imposed on NGOs, human rights organisations and campaign groups across the world hint at a rising tide of authoritarianism (Report, 27 August). This also raises serious concerns about the protection of free speech and expression.

And for LGBT communities in the 78 jurisdictions worldwide that still criminalise homosexuality, this crackdown may be a case of life or death.

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In Uganda, the NGO bill, due to be debated next month in parliament, will make NGOs advocating for LGBT rights illegal, including the organisation I run. If the bill becomes law it would severely weaken the capacity of NGOs to fight for human rights to be upheld and will likely pave the way worldwide for governments to introduce even more oppressive laws. Only once we have achieved freedom of association and human rights for all can we even dare to hope for equality in countries that have famously denied it.

Frank Mugisha
Executive director, Sexual Minorities Uganda

 

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