US bars Ugandan officials for gay rights abuses

By Matthew Lee, Associated Press | Posted - Jun. 19, 2014 at 9:50 p.m.



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WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. is imposing visa bans on Ugandan officials who are involved in corruption and are violating the rights of gay people and others.

The Obama administration did not identify the targeted officials.

Uganda passed a law in February that strengthened criminal penalties for gay sex and made life sentences possible for those convicted of breaking the law.

Human rights groups have reported a surge in rights abuses of gay people since the law took effect.

"LGBT rights are human rights and the steps taken today make clear that the United States will take action to defend those rights," U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power said in a statement. "The discriminatory law in Uganda that criminalizes homosexual status should be repealed, as should laws and policies in the more than 76 countries around the world that criminalize homosexuality. We will do everything we can to work with governments and our non-government partners to end anti-gay discrimination around the world."

The U.S. already has said it would discontinue or redirect several million dollars in assistance to Uganda. The Pentagon also canceled a training exercise in Uganda.

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Associated Press writer Edith M. Lederer at the United Nations contributed to this report.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Matthew Lee

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