Lawyer Vivian Tayebwa goes into hiding over links to LGBTQ activities

City Lawyer Vivian Tayebwa reportedly went into hiding after discovering that plans were finalized by Government to have her arrested and persecuted for promoting and practicing homosexuality (PHOTO/Courtesy).

KAMPALA, (UG): A Ugandan young lawyer, Vivian Tayebwa is in hiding after learning that plans were underway by authorities to arrest and persecute her for promoting and practising acts of homosexuality in the country.

A news report that first appeared on UgStandard (an online publication) indicates that the recently graduated lawyer and human rights activist has been protecting the rights of minority groups in Uganda.

Security sources say the city lawyer is now sought for practicing and aiding criminality.

Human rights advocates in Uganda say the harsh legislation promotes a “witch hunt” of sexual minorities, those who are perceived to be sexual minorities and anyone who offers them support.

The law has already sent many from the LGBTQ+ community into hiding.

The law also makes it a challenge for journalists in Uganda to freely cover such cases, fearing their reporting may be perceived by authorities as promotion of homosexuality.

After the new law came into force, Human Rights Watch criticized it, saying it “violates multiple fundamental rights guaranteed under Uganda’s constitution and breaks commitments made by the government as a signatory to a number of international human rights agreements.”

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Defying pressure from Western governments and rights organisations, Uganda in May enacted one of the world’s harshest laws targeting the LGBTQ community.

The legislation has been condemned by rights groups and other campaigners. A group of UN experts described the law as “an egregious violation of human rights”, while Amnesty International called it “draconian and overly broad”.

Four people have been charged under the law since its enactment and if arrested, Vivian will be among those to be prosecuted for helping gay people.

Uganda has not executed anyone in about 20 years, but capital punishment has not been abolished and President Yoweri Museveni threatened in 2018 to resume executions to stop a wave of crime.

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The law’s enactment three months ago drew widespread condemnation and threats of sanctions. Earlier this month, the World Bank suspended new public financing to Uganda in response to the law.

Homosexuality is criminalised in more than 30 of Africa’s 54 countries.

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