UK Government plays host to Ugandan President on same day anti-gay trial begins

The UK government today played host to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni less than four months after he passed a draconian anti-gay law in Uganda which carries life imprisonment for people accused of homosexuality.

Foreign Office Minister Mark Simmonds spoke at the UK-Uganda Business Forum at Lancaster House in London, which was designed to promote UK investment in Ugandan’s economy.

The opening of the forum saw President Museveni speak about trade and investment on the same day as the trial of two men charged with homosexuality starts in Uganda. The trial is the first since the new anti-gay law was passed earlier this year.

Mark Simmonds, Minister for Africa spoke of the significant potential of the Ugandan market and commented that, “a country that is more accountable and treats its people with dignity is more likely to foster creativity, ingenuity and economic opportunity.”

Tim Hancock, Director of Policy at Amnesty International UK, said:

"While President Museveni tries to drum up business in London, with the support of our government, outrageous, homophobic persecution takes a chilling turn in Uganda. Ministers should ensure that business leaders know about Uganda's violation of precious, fundamental human rights."

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