Cyber activists are threatening Ugandan officials after the country’s Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga promised to pass the ‘Kill the Gays’ bill as a ‘Christmas gift’.
The so-called ‘hacktivists’ from Anonymous New Jersey sent a stark warning to lawmakers, urging them not rubber stamp the draconian legislation which would mean gay Ugandans could face life imprisonment or even the death penalty.
With the message, the secretive campaigners also released the names and contact details of members of the African nation’s Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, as well as Kadaga’s phone number and email address.
‘The "Kill the gays" bill has been reintroduced into the Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs in Uganda,’ Anonymous posted in Pastebin.
‘Let them know that we will not let this bill pass. And if it does they should expect us.’
On Monday (12 November), Kadaga said the anti-gay bill will become law by December 2012 since most Ugandans ‘are demanding it’.
Referring to the law as a ‘Christmas gift’ to the population, she spoke of ‘the serious threat’ posed by homosexuals.
The group also encouraged people to contact Kadaga, warning her that if the law is passed ‘we will give her a Christmas present that she will never forget.’
Her comments have sparked outrage from the international community and a petition launched in protest has already garnered more than 1.5 million signatures.
The appeal to Ugandan President Museveni, members of the Review Committee, parliament and governments which provide aid, reads: ‘We stand with citizens across Uganda who are calling on their government to withdraw the Anti-Homosexual Bill and to protect the universal human rights embodied in the Ugandan constitution.
‘We urge Uganda’s leaders and donors to join us in rejecting persecution and upholding values of justice and tolerance.’
The law will broaden the criminalization of same-sex relationships by dividing homosexuality into two categories; aggravated homosexuality and the offense of homosexuality.
‘Aggravated homosexuality’ is defined as gay acts committed by parents or authority figures, HIV-positive people, pedophiles and repeat offenders. If convicted, they will face the death penalty.
The ‘offense of homosexuality’ includes same-sex sexual acts or being in a gay relationship, and will be prosecuted by life imprisonment.
Originally put to government in 2009, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill had been temporarily shelved because of international criticism.
Several European countries have threatened to cut aid to Uganda if it passes, with the UK government warning Uganda it would face severe reductions in financial help.
US President Barack Obama has described it as ‘odious’, and Canadian politician John Baird has said it is ‘vile, abhorrent, and offends decency’.