By Enyichukwu Enemanna
At least four persons have been taken into custody for allegedly engaging in same-sex activity, two women inclusive, Ugandan police announced on Monday.
The arrests came three months after the introduction of what has been described as draconian anti-gay legislation by the President Yoweri Museveni administration, what has attracted international condemnation.
The legislation, considered one of the harshest in the world contains provisions making “aggravated homosexuality” a potentially capital offence and penalties for consensual same-sex relations of up to life in prison.
The arrests were effected at a massage parlour in the eastern district of Buikwe on Saturday, AFP reported, quoting a police spokeswoman.
“The police operation was carried out following a tip-off by a female informant to the area security that acts of homosexuality were being carried out at the massage parlour,” Hellen Butoto to AFP.
The United Nations, foreign governments including the United States, and global rights groups have condemned the new legislation, which was signed into law in May.
Earlier in the month, World Bank announced suspension of new loans to the East African nation, saying the law “fundamentally contradicts” the values espoused by the US-based lender.
In May, US President Joe Biden called for the immediate repeal of the measures he branded “a tragic violation of universal human rights” and threatened to cut aid and investment in Uganda.
But the government has remained defiant and the legislation has broad support in the conservative, predominantly Christian country, where lawmakers have defended the measures as a necessary bulwark against perceived Western immorality.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has accused the World Bank of using money to try to “coerce” the government to drop the controversial legislation.
He said his country would survive without World Bank loans.