, pub-7771400403364887, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 Closure of UN Human Rights Office in Uganda Raises Concerns over Human Rights Violations

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Closure of UN Human Rights Office in Uganda Raises Concerns over Human Rights Violations

The United Nations' human rights office in Uganda will be closing this weekend after the Ugandan government decided not to renew the agreement allowing it to operate. This closure comes at a time when there are growing concerns over human rights violations in the country, including extrajudicial killings and a controversial law imposing the death penalty for certain homosexual acts.

The UN's human rights office in Uganda has been actively working with civil society organizations, engaging with state institutions, and promoting and protecting the human rights of Ugandans for the past 18 years. However, the closure was prompted by the government's decision not to renew the host country agreement.

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Growing Concerns:
The closure of the UN human rights office raises concerns about the deteriorating human rights situation in Uganda, particularly ahead of the upcoming elections in 2026. The country has witnessed an increasingly hostile environment for human rights defenders, journalists, and other individuals advocating for human rights. The suspension of 54 non-governmental organizations two years ago further exacerbates these concerns.

Discriminatory Laws and Rights Violations:
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, expressed concern over Uganda's commitment to human rights treaties, citing the deeply discriminatory and harmful anti-homosexuality law as an example. This law has already had a negative impact on Ugandans and has faced international criticism while garnering support domestically. Additionally, Uganda's security forces have been accused of brutality against perceived opponents of President Yoweri Museveni's government, raising further concerns about rights violations.

Call for Action:
Türk called on the Ugandan authorities to ensure the effective functioning of the national human rights body, the Uganda Human Rights Commission, which currently suffers from chronic underfunding and understaffing. Reports of political interference in the commission's mandate undermine its legitimacy, independence, and impartiality. International experts have also called for the repeal of the discriminatory anti-homosexuality law and expressed broader concern over the overall human rights situation in Uganda.

The closure of the UN human rights office in Uganda reflects the challenging human rights landscape in the country. Civil society organizations, journalists, and human rights defenders face an increasingly hostile environment. It is crucial for Uganda's government to address these concerns, respect its commitments under international human rights treaties, and take immediate action to protect and promote the rights of all Ugandans. The international community should continue to monitor the situation closely and support efforts to uphold human rights in Uganda.8

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