The United States has imposed visa restrictions on Ugandan government officials after the country’s parliament passed an anti-LGBTQ law that has been condemned by many countries and the United Nations.
The law was enacted in May and carries the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality,” an offence that includes transmitting HIV through gay sex.
The law also imposes a life sentence for same-sex intercourse and a 20-year sentence for promotion of homosexuality.
Firms including media and non-governmental organizations that knowingly promote LGBTQ activity will also incur harsh fines, the law says.
The law drew immediate rebukes from the Western and put some of the billions of dollars in foreign aid the country receives each year in jeopardy.
After the law was passed, U.S. President Joe Biden threatened aid cuts and other sanctions, while Secretary of State Antony Blinken said last month the government would consider visa restrictions against Ugandan officials.
On Friday, June 16, the State Department released a statement saying it had given visa restrictions but did not mention any names or even the number of officials that would be hit with the visa restriction .
The statement said the U.S. would hold accountable those who are responsible for abusing human rights in Uganda, “including those of LGBTQI+ persons.”
The State Department also updated its Uganda travel guidance for U.S. citizens to highlight the risk that LGBTQI+ persons could be prosecuted and subjected to life imprisonment or the death penalty based on provisions in the law, it said.
“The United States strongly supports the Ugandan people and remains committed to advancing respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in Uganda and globally,” the State Department said.
Homosexuality was already illegal in the East African country, and homosexuals faced ostracism and regular harassment by security forces, the Us department added.