No Verification That Death Penalty Has Been Removed From Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Bill
On November 23, All Africa reported,
The Legal and Parliamentary committee has today endorsed a report prescribing life imprisonment to the offence of aggravated homosexuality in the controversial bill.
On Tuesday, November 27, All Africa also implied that the death penalty had been removed by the legislative committee, although the reference was vague.
Meanwhile the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson was in Uganda this weekend, reiterating the US administration's "vocal" concerns about the Anti-Homosexuality Bill under consideration here, the spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.It's unclear whether the "speaker" referenced in the article is Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga and according to the Washington Blade, the State Department has admitted that Nuland "misspoke." The All Africa article described the anticipated passage of the bill as a "Christmas present to the Ugandan people." From the article,
The bill was denied in 2009 but resurfaced this year in February when the parliament resumed its proceedings.Regarding the claims of the removal of the death penalty, Burroway warns,
Journalists with very short attention spans might believe it, but I don't. And neither should you until we can all see it in writing -- and the recommendation is adopted by the full Parliament. Nothing gets dropped until that vote takes place, and it hasn't happened yet.
Burroway has documented previous attempts by Ugandan legislators to mislead the press about removing the death penalty from the controversial bill, which, if passed, could jeopardize foreign aid. Earlier this month, he described in detail the process through which the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee tried to "sneak" the death penalty provision through in May 2011. Burroway adds that even if the death penalty is removed, "the bill's other eighteen clauses would still represent a barbaric regression for Uganda's human rights record."
See Burroway's overview of the 19 original clauses of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, including the provisions that could be used to imprison the family members, doctors, and landlords of homosexuals.
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