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Wednesday, 09 March 2011 12:34

Tory Peer Urges Pressure on Uganda

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Lord Black of BrentwoodA Conservative member of the House of Lords has urged the British Government to challenge the Ugandan authorities regarding the treatment of their LGBT community.

Lord Black of Brentwood, who was the first openly-gay Conservative peer when appointed last year, made a request concerning the recent death of human rights activist David Kato and the issue of hate speech directed at Uganda’s LGBT community and other minorities.

In response, Government spokesman Lord Howell gave assurances that the UK Government “urged the Ugandan authorities thoroughly to investigate” the death of Kato and “to bring the perpetrators to justice”. He added that the high commission in Ugandan capital Kampala has “reinforced these points in discussion with the Ugandan authorities”.

On the treatment of Uganda’s LGBT community, Black learnt that the UK has “made clear to the Government of Uganda on several occasions that we are opposed to actions that will have a negative effect on the human rights of Ugandans, including the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community”. This comes in the light of a proposed Ugandan law that would potentially make homosexuality punishable by death.

Speaking on behalf of LGBTory, the Conservative Party’s affiliated LGBT group, Chairman Matthew Sephton observed,  “The situation in Uganda is absolutely horrific. Men and women are being persecuted on a very regular basis, simply because of their sexuality or gender identity. It is simply unacceptable. In Britain we are in a unique position to be able to influence other Commonwealth governments and it is vital that we continue to do so. I am delighted that Lord Black is leading this campaign and keeping up the pressure on our government to act against the continuing hate in some countries round the world. ”

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