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OJ 16/12/2010 - 217
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Thursday, 16 December 2010 - Strasbourg Final edition
Uganda: the Bahati Bill and discrimination against the LGBT population
P7_TA(2010)0495B7-0709, 0710, 0711, 0718, 0727 and 0729/2010

European Parliament resolution of 16 December 2010 on Uganda: the so-called ‘Bahati bill’ and discrimination against the LGBT population

The European Parliament ,

–  having regard to the international human rights obligations and instruments, including those contained in the UN conventions on human rights and in the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, guaranteeing human rights and fundamental freedoms and prohibiting discrimination,

–  having regard to the Partnership Agreement between the members of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States of the one part, and the European Community and its Member States, of the other part, signed in Cotonou on 23 June 2000 (the Cotonou Agreement) and the human rights clauses contained therein, in particular Article 9,

–  having regard to Articles 6 and 7 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) and Article 19 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), which commit the European Union and the Member States to upholding human rights and fundamental freedoms and provide means to fight discrimination and human rights violations at EU level,

–  having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, in particular Article 21 thereof, which prohibits discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation,

–  having regard to all EU activities that relate to fighting homophobia and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on homophobia, protection of minorities and antidiscrimination policies,

–  having regard to its resolution of 17 December 2009 on Uganda: anti-homosexual draft legislation(1) ,

–  having regard to the Declaration by the High Representative, Catherine Ashton, on the International Day Against Homophobia, 17 May 2010,

–  having regard to the ACP-EU JPA resolution of 3 December 2009 on social and cultural integration and participation of young people,

–  having regard to Rule 122(5) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the Anti-Homosexuality Bill tabled by private Member David Bahati MP on 25 September 2009 before the Ugandan Parliament foresees the punishment of homosexual acts by imprisonment between seven years and life as well as the death penalty; whereas the Bill foresees the punishment of a failure to disclose a child's or patient's homosexuality by up to three years‘ imprisonment; whereas the Bill is still under consideration,

B.  whereas the international community at large has strongly condemned the proposed law, with some EU Member States threatening to revoke their development aid to Uganda should this bill pass into law,

C.  whereas on 9 October and 15 November 2010 the local newspaper ‘Rolling Stone’ listed the names and personal details of people alleged to be homosexual, inciting readers to harm or hang them; whereas the Ugandan High Court temporarily ordered the newspaper to cease publication,

D.  whereas in Africa homosexuality is legal in only 13 countries and a criminal offence in 38 countries; whereas Mauritania, Sudan and northern Nigeria punish homosexuality by death,

1.  Reiterates the fact that sexual orientation is a matter falling within the sphere of the individual right to privacy as guaranteed by international human rights law, according to which equality and non-discrimination should be protected, whilst freedom of expression should be guaranteed;

2.  Reminds the Ugandan authorities of their obligations under international law and under the Cotonou Agreement, which calls for universal human rights to be respected;

3.  Reiterates its commitment to universal human rights, notes in this regard that the defence of the fundamental rights of LGBT people cannot be qualified as imposing European values, but rather as the defence and promotion of shared universal human rights, which is one of the EU's objectives in all its external activities;

4.  Denounces any attempt to incite hatred and advocate violence towards any minority group, including on grounds of sex or sexual orientation; in this context condemns the tabling of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Parliament and urges the Ugandan authorities not to approve the Bill but to review their laws so as to decriminalise homosexuality and decriminalise marginalised groups, including LGBT activists; underlines that an anti-homosexuality law would be extremely detrimental in the fight against HIV/AIDS;

5.  Once again strongly rejects any moves to introduce the use of the death penalty under any circumstances and extradition procedures for Ugandan citizens who perform homosexual acts abroad;

6.  Welcomes the fact that the Ugandan High Court ordered the newspaper ‘Rolling Stone’ to cease publication; nevertheless, remains concerned that many Ugandans have been attacked as a direct result of the article, with many still fearing attacks, and calls for their protection by the authorities;

7.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the High Representative/Vice-President for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the President of the Republic of Uganda, the Speaker of the Ugandan Parliament, the East African Legislative Assembly and the African Union Commission and its institutions.

(1) OJ C 286 E, 22.10.2010, p. 25.

Last updated: 29 May 2012Legal notice