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Photo by Themba Hadebe / AP  

Ugandan Queer activists criticize EU for inaction over draconian law
In the ongoing fallout over the enactment of a strict anti-Queer law in Uganda, Queer activists have decried the European Union's failure to suspend funding to the East African nation.

Jutta Urpilainen, the European commissioner for international partnerships, raised concerns that withholding financial assistance from Uganda due to this legislation would "deprive the most vulnerable populations, including LGBTIQ persons, [of] vital support," according to a written statement delivered to the European Parliament on September 6.

"Disengagement by the EU would also create gaps which may be further filled by other players who do not share EU values," Urpilainen said.

The Ugandan Queer organization Convening for Equality (CFE) slammed the EU's position.

"The recent EU announcement misses a critical opportunity to take more strategic action to protect the fundamental principle of nondiscrimination — something the EU and EU member states profess a deep commitment to," Clare Byarugaba, one of CFE's leaders, told Reuters.

Frank Mugisha, another CFE leader, added that the EU had other opportunities to create an "effective response" to the anti-Queer law if it didn't want to cut off financial support to Uganda.

"An effective response is one that fine-tunes and reallocates EU assistance to Uganda in ways that ensure that those who spout hatred and catalyze violence and discrimination against LGBTIQ people — including Ugandan government officials — won't benefit from EU taxpayers' money," Mugisha said.

The EU's decision comes in the wake of four arrests under the harsh and much-criticized law, which prescribes the death penalty for acts of "aggravated homosexuality" and life imprisonment for "nonaggravated" homosexuality.

The impact of this law on the Ugandan Queer community cannot be understated, with the threat of violence, blackmail, and exclusion from public life looming over their head.

DeLovie Kwagala, a Ugandan photojournalist, told PinkNews that "violence against Queer people has been happening over and over again" in the country.

"You are hunted for being Black, but at the same time you are also hunted for being Queer," Kwagala said. "Visibility without protection is also a death sentence."

Photo courtesy of Google Maps  

Arrest in anti-Gay attack outside South London nightclub
A 19-year-old suspect has been arrested on suspicion of carrying out a brutal attack that has rattled London's Queer community.

According to the Metropolitan Police, the suspect was arrested Thursday in South Norwood on suspicion of two counts of grievous bodily harm. Police had previously released surveillance images of the suspect in a search for leads, though to date, they have not publicly named him.

Metropolitan Police Det. Supt. Vanessa Britton said, "The two victims have been informed and continue to be supported by our officers, including our dedicated LGBT+ community liaison officer.

The arrest follows an August 13 incident in the London-area municipality of Clapham, where two Gay men in their twenties and thirties were stabbed in an unprovoked attack outside Two Brewers, a Gay pub. They were taken to the hospital, where they were treated for their injuries and released.

The attack put the Queer community on edge, with bars and pubs stepping up security and Metropolitan Police patrolling the area more thoroughly and escorting staff to their cars.

"I know the concern and distress this horrific incident has caused among the LGBT+ community, and I want to reassure them — and Londoners as a whole — that a team of officers is working diligently to investigate," Britton added.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan posted on X, formerly Twitter, the day after the attack, saying there was "no place for hate in London," adding that he stood with Queer Londoners.

Speaking to the BBC, Ian Howley, chief executive of the charity LGBT Hero, voiced the fear that the attack caused the Queer community, calling it "something that makes you think twice about your own actions, about the way that you talk, the way that you dress, the way that you are as a person.

"You kind of see yourself as a beacon for hate and people want to... physically and verbally abuse you for being who you are as a person. And I find that really shocking."