70 MEPs condemn Uganda’s persecution of the LGBTI+ community

A cross-party letter signed by 70 MEPs has been sent to Federica Mogherini to condemn the situation in Uganda, where new legislation to bring back capital punishment for being homosexual is set to be introduced in the upcoming weeks.

Julie Ward MEP, who led on the letter and is a member of the LGBTI Intergroup, said the situation in Uganda was “harrowing and frightening”

“What we are witnessing in Uganda is harrowing and frightening – immediate action is required from the EU and other global leaders. President Yoweri Museveni must cease pushing forward this piece of legislation which is contravenes international law.

“I stand with all LGBTIQA+ people and the thousands of activists and protestors who are fighting against this Bill. While we have seen progress for LGBTIQA+ people across the world over the past decade, the fact people’s lives are at risk for merely being who they are demonstrates we are still a long way from equality.

“Same-sex sexual activity is a crime in 70 countries, and a capital punishment offence in nine countries – we must not allow that to become ten.”

15th October 2019

Dear High Representative Mogherini,

RE: The situation in Uganda

The Ugandan government has recently outlined a plan to reintroduce legislation that would impose the death penalty for homosexuality, the Bill itself is called “Kill the Gays”.

The legislation was abolished five years ago but is due to be reinstated in the upcoming weeks; this cannot be allowed to come into force.

Only last week we advocated against capital punishment on the 17th World Day Against the Death Penalty, about which you spoke on behalf of the European Union, alongside the Council of Europe, to firmly “oppose the death penalty at all times and in all circumstances”.

While we have seen huge progress for acceptance of the LGBTQAI+ community over the past decade we are still a long way from equality. Same-sex sexual activity is a crime in 70 countries, and can result in a death sentence in nine countries.

The European Union and Uganda have strong links, and through the European Development Fund, the EU has committed and invested €578 million between 2014-2020. This has been to encourage and foster sustainable development through improved governance and strengthened economic growth. Only last May, in accordance with Article 8 of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement, Uganda and the European Union reaffirmed their close partnership in a Political Dialogue.

While we need to tackle abject poverty throughout the African continent, not just in Uganda, through further investment and trade, we must also respect and honour Article 2 of the Treaty of the European Union to protect the rule of law and ensure the respect for human rights.

Given the gravity of this matter, an immediate response is essential in order to prevent such persecution through the use of capital punishment.


Julie Ward MEP

Malin Björk MEP

Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield MEP

Lydia Casagrande MEP

Erik Marquardt MEP

Dimitrios Papadimoulis MEP

Grace O’Sullivan MEP

Ellie Chowns MEP

Barbara Gibson MEP

Karen Melchior MEP

Silvia Modig MEP

Svenja Hahn MEP

Izaskun Bilbao Barandica MEP

Hilde Vautmans MEP

Nathalie Loiseau MEP

Maria Noichl MEP

Rasmus Andresen MEP

Maria Walsh MEP

Moritz Körner MEP

Martin Hojsik MEP

Maria Walsh MEP

Seb Dance MEP

Jude Kirton-Darling MEP

Jackie Jones MEP

Marie Toussaint MEP

Monika Vana MEP

Clare Daly MEP

Jörgen Warborn MEP

Tanja Fajon MEP

Petri Sarvamaa MEP

Vera Tax MEP

Marianne Vind MEP

Martina Anderson MEP

Matt Carthy MEP

Ernest Urtasun MEP

Mónica Silvana González MEP

Heidi Hautala MEP

Sérgio Aires MEP

José Gusmão MEP

Sophie in ‘t Veld MEP

Petra De Sutter MEP

Robert Biedroń MEP

Stelios Kouloglou MEP

Fred Matić MEP

Tomas Tobé MEP

Attila ARA-Kovàcs MEP

Arba Kokalari MEP

Radka Maxová MEP

Jan-Christoph Oetjen MEP

Hannes Heide MEP

Theresa Griffin MEP

Karin Karlsbro MEP

Bill Newton-Dunn MEP

Rosa D’Amato MEP

Josianne Cutajar MEP

Irène Tolleret MEP

Jessica Polfjärd MEP

Lukasz Kohut MEP

Antony Hook MEP

Kinda Almaaz MEP

Sándor Rónai MEP

Dr. Milan Brglez MEP

Rory Palmer MEP

Giorgos Georgiou MEP

Manuel Bompard MEP

Tilly Metz MEP

Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana MEP

Elżbieta Łukacijewska MEP

Anne-Sophie Pelletier MEP

Olivier Chastel MEP