DPP directs on prosecution of homosexuality cases in new Anti-Gay law

Uganda's DPP Jane Frances Abodo (Photo/File)

Kampala, (UG): The Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) has directed that all case files with charges preferred under the new Anti-Homosexuality Act should first be submitted to Headquarters with a written legal opinion for further guidance before a decision to charge is made.

The Anti-Homosexuality Act (AHA) came into play after Uganda’s President, H.E Yoweri Museveni signed the bill into law on May 29, 2023.

DPP Jane Frances Abodo speaking of the new development said some prosecution officers are fond of handling cases of charges related to homosexuality and lesbianism without basing on the crucial aspects of the new law, which according to her office is unacceptable and not allowed.

“It has come to the attention of management that a number of charges of homosexuality and aggravated homosexuality are now being preferred by some officers without internalizing some crucial aspects of the act,” said DPP Abodo in a letter dated August 25, addressed to all prosecuting officers.

“It is important to note that the AHA only criminalizes offences where a sexual act has been performed. The term “sexual act” is defined under Section 1 of the Act. It is also important to note that Sections 2 (5) and 3 (5) of the AHA provide that “for the avoidance of doubt, a person who is alleged or suspected of being a homosexual and who has not committed a sexual act with another person of the same sex does not commit the offence of homosexuality under this section,” she added.

According to Abodo, “officers are therefore advised to peruse files with offences under the AHA cautiously while taking into account the abovementioned provisions.”

“You are hereby directed to ensure that all files with charges preferred under the AHA should first be submitted to Headquarters with a written legal opinion for further guidance before a decision to charge is made. Management will soon organize sensitization meetings for all officers on the key aspects of the AHA,” said Abodo.

The restrictive anti-gay law suggests tough punishments and fines for those convicted of promoting, recruiting and practicing homosexuality or lesbianism in Uganda.

The law also provides for a life sentence in prison for an individual convicted of same-sex acts in the country.

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