Uganda’s constitutional court is set to kick off the hearing of three petitions challenging the anti-homosexuality law that came into effect in May.
Currently, the law imposes capital punishments for those convicted of same-sex acts including death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality” – which can involve sex with children or vulnerable people.
It can also be deemed aggravated if someone is coerced into having same-sex relations or even contracting a life-long infection including HIV or in cases of serial offenders.
The petitioners, who include a group of individuals and human rights organizations, argue that the law was passed devoid of adequate and meaningful public participation and also violates some constitutional rights and freedoms.
Since its enforcement, the law has been described as draconian, inhumane and a tragic violation of universal human rights.
The petitioners in this case argue that the legal and parliamentary affairs committee took a very short time to scrutinize the bill and missed to facilitate sufficient public participation.
The law, they say, is also in violation of constitutional rights and freedoms including the right to equality and non-discrimination, the right to dignity, privacy, health, freedom of expression and association.
In August, a 20-year-old man became the first person to be prosecuted for aggravated homosexuality and risks a death penalty.
A recent report said there had been over 300 human rights abuses this year against LGBTQ+ people.
Rights groups say people have been tortured, beaten, arrested, and outed because of their sexual orientation and gender identity.
The petition’s lawyers have told news outlets that the case has been postponed to Thursday next week.