Human Rights Commissioner Amtsberg on the anti-homosexuality law in Uganda
Luise Amtsberg, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Assistance at the Federal Foreign Office, issued the following statement on 23 March:
On 21 March, with only two dissenting votes, the Ugandan parliament approved a law that subjects homosexuality to draconian punishments ranging from life imprisonment to the death penalty, which Germany categorically rejects. Should the Ugandan President sign this law, it would be a severe human rights violation and one of the harshest laws against homosexual people worldwide.
When states violate the human rights of their citizens, the international community has a responsibility not to stand by and watch. This is all the more true when an inhumane law that threatens with the death penalty is passed by a parliamentary majority. I appeal to the Ugandan President not to sign this law and to reject it.
Many queerphobic governments argue that ‘the West’ forces its values regarding homosexuality on other countries. But when members of parliament stir up hatred of queer people, that leads to more violence and discrimination within society, too. When the authorities persecute queer people, they have no protection against this violence and discrimination. I would like to say very clearly that nobody can be locked up, mistreated or even killed because of who they love or how they are. This is not a matter of special rights, but of universal human rights that belong to us all – including queer people in Uganda.