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Human rights groups report surge in gay rights abuses in Uganda

Thursday, May 15, 2014
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Rebecca Vassie, APUgandans supportive of their government's anti-gay stance attend a march and rally organized by a coalition of Ugandan religious leaders and government officials, at the Kololo Independence Grounds in Kampala, Uganda, Monday, March 31, 2014.

Rebecca Vassie, AP
Ugandans supportive of their government’s anti-gay stance attend a march and rally organized by a coalition of Ugandan religious leaders and government officials, at the Kololo Independence Grounds in Kampala, Uganda, Monday, March 31, 2014.

KAMPALA, Uganda — Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International are reporting a surge in the rights violations of gay people in Uganda following the enactment of a severe anti-gay law.

The rights groups said in a statement Thursday that LGBTI people face “a notable increase in arbitrary arrests, police abuse and extortion, loss of employment, evictions and homelessness.”

The groups say scores have fled the country.

In February Uganda’s president enacted a bill that strengthened criminal penalties against gay sex, despite widespread international condemnation of the measure.

The new law allows jail terms of up to life for those convicted of engaging in gay sex.

Gay leaders say the measure has sent many underground in a country where known homosexuals face severe discrimination and even attacks.

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