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Tough penalties loom as Museveni signs Anti-Pornography Bill into law

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Ethics minister Simon Lokodo addressing journalists in Kampala yesterday.

Ethics minister Simon Lokodo addressing journalists in Kampala yesterday. Fr Lokodo said the President assented to the Bill on February 6. PHOTO BY RACHEL AJWANG 

By Emmanuel Mulondo & Marvin Kirunda

Posted  Wednesday, February 19   2014 at  08:00

In Summary

Tough penalties. The new law spells out tough measures against promoters of ponographic content.

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Promoters of pornographic material could soon be in trouble after the President signed the Anti-Pornography Bill, 2011 into law. Publishers, broadcasters, film importers and exporters, artists, bar owners and internet café operators are the likely culprits.
Ethics minister Simon Lokodo announced the President’s assent to the Bill at the government Media Centre yesterday.

The announcement came on the heels of Mr Museveni’s indication at the weekend that he would soon sign the anti-gays Bill into law, provoking a backlash from the West where US President Barack Obama called the legislation an “affront to human rights” with potential to “complicate our valued relationship with Uganda.”

Fr Lokodo said pornography had pervaded the Ugandan society, becoming an insidious social problem that had eaten society to the “marrow.” He said children had become innocent victims. Other costs of the vice, he said, included the rise in HIV/Aids infections, murders, teenage pregnancies and school drop-outs.

Section Two of the law defines pornography as “any representation through publication, exhibition, cinematography, indecent show, information technology, or by whatever means of a person engaged in real or stimulated explicit sexual activities or any representation of sexual parts of a person for primary sexual excitement.”

Under this definition, people who skimpily dress may fall prey to the legislation. “If your miniskirt falls within the ambit of this definition then I am afraid you will be caught up by the law,” the minister said.

editorial@ug.nationmedia.com