Plenary speech on Uganda, the Bahati Bill and discrimination against the LGBT population

Marietje
Marietje Schaake – Mr President, the so-called Anti-Homosexuality Bill before the Ugandan Parliament provides for the punishment of homosexual acts by imprisonment for terms ranging from seven years to life, or even the death penalty. The European Parliament strongly condemns this bill and, in so doing, we are not imposing European values on other states, as some have suggested, in an attempt to avoid responsibility for human rights violations and responsibility for protecting citizens from being attacked on the basis of their sexual orientation. The real threat and the climate of fear were underlined in the October and November issues of Rolling Stone , a local newspaper, which listed the names and personal details of people alleged to be homosexual, inciting readers to harm or hang them. Several people were consequently attacked. In fact, homosexuality is legal in only 13 African countries and it is a criminal offence in 38 others. In Mauritania, Sudan and northern Nigeria, it is punishable by death. The Ugandan authorities are obliged, in accordance with the Cotonou Agreement, to observe international and human rights, and the Commission, the Council of the European Union and the External Action Service should also make full use of the toolkit for promoting and protecting the enjoyment of human rights by all LGBT people.