Under the new law, the death penalty is prescribed for "aggravated homosexuality." This applies when the act involves a minor, elderly, or disabled person. The death penalty is also applicable for transmitting HIV.
The reasons behind charging the 20-year-old suspect with "aggravated homosexuality" are not clear. Reuters news agency has reviewed the charges but they do not explain why the suspect is being prosecuted under this specific offense. The charges merely state that he engaged in "unlawful sexual intercourse."
Lawyer Justine Balya, representing the suspect, considers the law unconstitutional. She declined to provide further details about the case to Reuters. According to Balya, four individuals have already been charged based on the new anti-homosexuality law. Her client is the first to be suspected of "aggravated" homosexuality and could potentially be the first to receive the death penalty.
The Ugandan law has faced criticism from Western nations. Despite efforts by the United States and the European Union, President Yoweri Museveni enacted the law without using his veto. The World Bank has suspended its funding to the country, and several Western nations have cut off subsidies.
Homosexuality remains a significant taboo in Uganda. LGBT+ individuals systematically experience repression and humiliation. The president refers to homosexuality as a "deviation." This year, parliamentarians also called for the castration of homosexuals.