The National Office of Non-Governmental Organizations, dependent on the Ministry of the Interior, announced in a press release on Friday the suspension “with immediate effect” of the association Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG).
It is “a clear witch hunt rooted in systematic homophobia and fueled by anti-gay movements”, denounced its director Frank Mugisha.
In 2012, recalled the NGO, the authorities had rejected an application for registration of the organization, judging its name “undesirable”.
The refusal was “a clear indicator” of the Ugandan government’s intransigence in “treating Ugandan gender and sexual minorities as second-class citizens”, she said.
Homophobia is widespread in Uganda, where laws against same-sex relations are strict, although there have been no prosecutions for homosexual acts in recent years.
Harassment and intimidation are the daily life of homosexuals in this country where an evangelical Christianity has developed which is particularly vehement with regard to the LGBT movement.
Uganda – where so-called “unnatural” relationships are already punishable by life since a law dating from British colonization – had adopted in December 2013 new legislation repressing in particular the “promotion of homosexuality” and making compulsory the denunciation homosexuals.
This law, which had triggered an international outcry, had been annulled for defect of form by the Constitutional Court in August 2014.