US to do more in response to Uganda’s anti-gay law

Entry restrictions on some officials and funding relocation among measures

The Obama administration has announced that it will take additional measures in response to the enactment of Uganda’s anti-gay law, The White House Blog states. Measures include restricting entry into the United States for those involved in violating the rights of LGBT people, stopping support for the African country’s community-policing program, redirecting funding away from the health ministry to other partners and relocating the establishment of a public health institute and its attendant funding to another country on the continent.

The administration says that while it will not release the names of those it has put on the watch-list in keeping with confidentiality requirements, it maintains that the measure “makes clear our commitment to sanctioning individuals determined to have perpetrated human rights abuses or who are responsible for such acts in the future.”

The statement adds, “We are very concerned about the extent to which the Ugandan police may be involved in abusive activities undertaken in the name of implementing the AHA. These concerns relate to the April 3 raid on a US-funded public health program at Makerere University, as well as credible reports of individuals detained and abused while in police custody.”

These actions are in addition to other measures the White House announced in March.

In releasing the additional steps it plans to take, the administration reiterated that the Anti-Homosexuality Act “calls into question the Government of Uganda’s commitment to protecting the human rights of all its people, and complicates our bilateral relationship.”

Natasha Barsotti is originally from Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean. She had high aspirations of representing her country in Olympic Games sprint events, but after a while the firing of the starting gun proved too much for her nerves. So she went off to university instead. Her first professional love has always been journalism. After pursuing a Master of Journalism at UBC , she began freelancing at Xtra West — now Xtra Vancouver — in 2006, becoming a full-time reporter there in 2008.

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