Ugandan MP’s Face Travel Bans for Anti-Homosexuality Support

By Melanie Nathan, May 08, 2014.

bahatiMembers of Uganda’s Parliament and ministers, have according to the Ugandan press, been notified of visa restrictions because of their “public utterances” during the passing of the disputed Anti-Homosexuality Act, which makes same-sex relations  punishable with life imprisonment.

International Affairs minister Okello Oryem told MPs on the Foreign Affairs Committee yesterday that some MPs and ministers will find difficulties traveling to certain countries in the West. However, the minister did not name the countries.

The minister was responding to a question from Helen Grace Asamo (PWDs, Eastern) on whether there were undisclosed plans to ban MPs from traveling to certain countries because of the passing of the Anti-Homosexual Law.

“On the Anti-Homosexuality Law, I want to assure members that it is only a few MPs and ministers who are targeted and they know themselves,” Mr Oryem said.

“They (ministers and MPs) will always have difficulties getting visas and if they do get the visas, then, they will certainly find problems going through particular international airports because of the manner they handled the Anti-Homosexuality Law and their utterances towards homosexuals,” he added.

When MPs led by the committee chairperson, Dr Sam Okuonzi and Mr Fred Ebil (Kole) demanded that the minister names the affected politicians and the countries that have slapped the visa bans, he said “those affected have been contacted individually”.

I have no doubt that MP David Bahati, the author of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, who had drafted in the death penalty for gays and once told me on the phone that he would even turn his own child in, under threat of death penalty, is on the list.



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