A Pretext for Persecution

Ugandan authorities are using the cover of COVID-19 pandemic emergency powers to crack down on LGBTQ+ people, targeting them for arrest and extortion, a Bureau of Investigative Journalism report reveals.

LGBTQ+ homeless shelter residents were rounded up, arrested, imprisoned, and tortured for 2 months, with no access to lawyers for 6 weeks. Arrests in the community have at least doubled since March, human rights organizations report.

Many imprisoned have been denied health care, including essential HIV and TB medicines.

The LGBTQ+ community has long suffered from discrimination in Uganda, where same-sex sexual acts are punishable with a life sentence. Politicians have repeatedly pushed for the death penalty.

It’s not just Uganda: Emergency legislation is being used to target and abuse LGBTQ+ and HIV+ people around the world, according to the Bureau's mapping project documenting violence and discrimination from Latin America, to Europe, as well as Africa.

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