United States says it’s contemplating visa restrictions against officials of Ugandan government and others for what it called abuse of human rights following the signing into law by the country’s President, Yoweri Museveni anti-gay laws passed by the parliament, considered as one of the harshest in the world.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he has instructed the State Department to update travel guidance to U.S. citizens and businesses over travel to Uganda.
The measures follow President Joe Biden’s condemnation of the Ugandan legislation, saying the United States apart from the possibility of the visa ban would also evaluate the implications of the law “on all aspects of U.S. engagement with Uganda.”
Yoweri had on Monday signed the anti-LGBTQ laws, which includes the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality,” drawing Western condemnation and raising the risk of sanctions by aid donors.
“This shameful act is the latest development in an alarming trend of human rights abuses and corruption in Uganda,” Biden said in a statement.
He said he had directed the White House National Security Council to evaluate the implications of the law on all aspects of U.S. engagement with Uganda, including the ability to safely deliver services under the Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and other forms of assistance and investment.
Biden said the U.S. government would consider the impact of the law as part of its review of Uganda’s eligibility for the African Growth and Opportunity Act, which provides duty-free access to goods of designated sub-Saharan African countries.
“And we are considering additional steps, including the application of sanctions and restriction of entry into the United States against anyone involved in serious human rights abuses or corruption,” said Biden.
Same-sex relations were already illegal in Uganda, as in more than 30 African countries but the new law goes further.