Anti-Gay Law: US slaps new travel bans on former and current govt bosses and immediate family members


In response to Uganda's contested 2021 presidential elections, the United States has escalated its stance by imposing additional visa restrictions on current and former Ugandan government officials, as well as their immediate family members. This move follows the earlier announcement of a visa restriction policy targeting individuals deemed responsible for undermining the democratic process in Uganda.

Initially, the restrictions were aimed at those believed to have played a role in flawed electoral processes, violence, and intimidation surrounding the presidential elections. However, this latest expansion includes officials involved in policies or actions suppressing marginalized or vulnerable populations, including but not limited to environmental activists, human rights defenders, journalists, LGBTQI+ individuals, and civil society organizers. Notably, the immediate family members of such individuals may also be subjected to these travel bans.

"Today, I am announcing the expansion of the visa restriction policy to include current or former Ugandan officials or others who are believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic process in Uganda or for policies or actions aimed at repressing members of marginalized or vulnerable populations. These groups include, but are not limited to, environmental activists, human rights defenders, journalists, LGBTQI+ persons, and civil society organizers. The immediate family members of such persons may also be subject to these restrictions," the statement reads.

The U.S. government "emphasizes its commitment to the people of Uganda and its dedication to working collaboratively to promote democracy, human rights, public health, and mutual prosperity."

As the travel bans take effect, this development adds a diplomatic layer to the ongoing dialogue between the United States and Uganda, raising questions about the future of their longstanding relationship and mutual cooperation.

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