The BBC has issued an apology following complaints about an online debate which asked: “Should homosexuals face execution?” in response to proposed anti-gay legislation in Uganda.
Critics blasted the British broadcaster, saying the BBC should not treat the execution of gays as a legitimate topic for discussion.
Some readers mused if the BBC would have considered a topic such as the extermination of Jews in World War II a legitimate discussion as well.
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In his statement, Peter Horrocks, Director of BBC World Service, defended the topic, saying “the program was a legitimate and responsible attempt to encourage discussion about a crucial African issue.”
The original headline on our website was, in hindsight, too stark. We apologise for any offence it caused. But it’s important that this does not detract from what is a crucial debate for Africans and the international community.
The programme was a legitimate and responsible attempt to support a challenging discussion about proposed legislation that advocates the death penalty for those who undertake certain homosexual activities in Uganda – an important issue where the BBC can provide a platform for debate that otherwise would not exist across the continent and beyond.