Press release: First Ugandan charged with “aggravated homosexuality“ punishable by death

On 18 August, a 20-year old man became the first Ugandan to be charged with “aggravated homosexuality” under the country’s “Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023’’ enacted in May. The enacted draconian law is one of the worlds’ strictest and directly targets the LGBTIQ community[1] and criminalises consensual same-sex relations.

The 20-year old man was charged with “aggravated homosexuality”, since he had performed “unlawful sexual intercourse” with a 41- year old man[2]. The charge of “aggravated homosexuality” carries the possibility of death penalty. The specificities that warranted the 20-year old’s charges to be classified as “aggravated” are not explicitly outlined. Reportedly, four other persons are charged under the “Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023”.

In April, the European Parliament adopted the resolution on universal decriminalisation of homosexual and trans identities in light of Uganda. The resolution unequivocally opposes the use of death penalty or criminalisation based on sexual orientation or gender identity globally[3].

Kim van Sparrentak (Greens-EFA), Co-Chair of the LGBTI Intergroup, comments:

Uganda’s decision to charge someone with aggravated homosexuality and subject them to the possibility of capital punishment is not only a grave violation of human rights, but also a step backwards for the progress that the international community has made in recognizing and respecting the rights of LGBTIQ+ individuals. Such punitive measures lead to the silencing and marginalization of LGBTIQ+ voices, perpetuating a culture of fear and intolerance. We reiterate all our calls from the resolution on universal decriminalization of homosexuality in the light of recent developments in Uganda from April 2023, and we stand in solidarity with the LGBTIQ+ community in Uganda. We will continue to fight until every person is free to live their lives fully, without discrimination and fear.

Marc Angel (S&D), Co-Chair of the LGBTI Intergroup, concludes:

We are deeply concerned by the recent news of the first Ugandan individual being charged with aggravated homosexuality, an offense that carries the heinous punishment of death. This development is a stark reminder of the ongoing discrimination and persecution faced by the LGBTIQ+ community in many parts of the world, and it underscores the urgent need for continued advocacy and action to protect the rights and dignity of all individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. We will continue to engage with civil society organizations, human rights defenders, and the international community to advocate for the rights and well-being of LGBTIQ+ individuals in Uganda and across the globe.

[1] Press release (28 August 2023), “Exclusive: First Ugandan charged with ‘aggravated homosexuality’ punishable by death”. Accessible at:

[2] Press release (28 August 2023). “First Ugandan charged with ‘aggravated homosexuality’ punishable by death”. Accessible at:

[3] Press release (20 April 2023).  “Press release: European Parliament adopts first ever standalone resolutoon on universal decriminalisation of homosexuality and trans identities”. Accessible at: