Doctor Barbara Abindabyamu has become the latest health professional to suffer state-inspired victimization and homophobia because she offered her professional services to homosexuals.
The Sunrise has learnt from professional colleagues that Dr. Abindabyamu was forced to seek refuge outside Uganda after enduring torture at the hands of suspected security operatives who accused her of breaking the anti-homosexuality law which criminalizes promotion of homosexuality including through provision of health assistance to LGBTQ persons.
Our reporter confirms that the HIV-Aids expert was arrested on 30th May 2023 following a laid trap at her residence in Masooli, Kasangati, in Wakiso district, by the state operatives who disguised as Patients.
She was charged under police file no CRB 105/2023 opened up at Wandegeya Police Station.
Our impeccable sources who preferred anonymity have confirmed that Dr. Abindabyamu was released on bond, but has since left the country to an unknown destination for fear of facing prosecution and likely conviction for contravening the Provisions of the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023.
Under the controversial law, as a medical doctor who knowingly offers treatment to homosexuals, promoting the banned behaviour is a serious crime that is punishable with 20 years imprisonment.
Besides the risk of jail, Dr. Abindabyamu faces serious social ramifications, including stigma, from her work.
For example, some people in her neighborhood are celebrating the fact that their community is free from promoters of the vice of homosexuality.
One resident who preferred anonymity told this writer that: “Wherever she may be, we don’t care. Her departure is good news because her work was dangerous to our children and the community at large. If she dares to return, we shall handle her as a community.”
Although some neighbors applauded the government for the spirited fight against homosexuality reasoning that African cultures should be respected, one Peter Ntimba, a youth Councillor in Ntinda, condemns the mistreatment of health professionals especially when they are doing their work, because he argues, the ill-treatment of health professionals will retard the country’s progress.
Uganda earned worldwide condemnation when it’s Parliament in early May 2023, passed the anti-homosexuality act with strict provisions that include up to 20 years imprisonment for anyone who gets convicted for promoting homosexuality.
The Uganda Medical Association expressed concern that provisions of the law will target its members because they frequently interface with homosexuals and yet their profession requires them to keep confidential information about their patients, something that would appear illegal under the law.
There is also fear that the law will likely increase new infections as LGBTQ patients fear to access prevention and treatment services for fear of being arrested.