Uganda’s parliament on Tuesday approved a bill against homosexuality, which provides for a prison sentence of 7-10 years and heavy fines. During the debate before the vote, some MPs indulged in homophobic comments and one even called for the castration of homosexuals.

Human Rights Watch condemned the bill before the vote took place. “Politicians in Uganda need to focus on passing laws that protect vulnerable minorities and ensure fundamental rights, and stop targeting members of the LGBTQI+ community for political gain,” said Oriem Nyeko.

A few days ago President Museveni, who has ruled Uganda with an iron fist since 1986, had described homosexuals as “abnormal”.

Uganda has strict anti-gay laws inherited from colonial times. But since 1962, when it gained independence from Britain, there have been no prosecutions against people who had consensual same-sex relationships.

In 2014, the country’s Constitutional Court had annulled a bill that provided for life imprisonment for those convicted of same-sex relationships.

Homophobia is particularly prevalent in East Africa. A few days ago the ruling party in Tanzania proposed the castration of homosexuals. Earlier this month, Kenyan President William Ruto stressed that homosexuality has no place in his country.