Uganda's 'porn patrol' to jail users for up to 10 years as adult content is blamed for homosexuality

Watching porn in Uganda could land you with a 10 year jail sentence. Istock

Uganda's government has claimed that online porn is such a plague upon its society that it has blamed the material for the rise of rape cases and homosexuality. This has led to the establishment of a committee to detect and stamp out adult content.

The Pornography Control Committee has been set up after the African country's authorities believe its citizens have misused the development of technology in order to watch adult videos and images rather than for communication.

"Pornography has unfortunately encompassed the entire nation, so the role of this committee is very wide," said Simon Lokodo, Uganda's Minister for Ethics and Integrity.

Advertisement

The committee will not only raise awareness about the dangers of pornography but it will also set about destroying adult material and apprehending anybody in possession of pornography, which could be met with a jail sentence of up to 10 years.

The patrol on porn is covered under the Anti-Pornography Bill, which was passed in 2014 and will have an annual budget of two billion Ugandan Shillings ($516,000) to weed out the explicit material and offenders.

"We want to appreciate the fact that science has brought us this improvement and development of technology, but this has been misused unfortunately, so that instead of using technology for a good purpose, it has been unfortunately diverted to the use of pornography," Minister Lokodo was quoted by German media outlet DW.

"The telephone, the TV, the radio, now it's no longer used for the purpose for which it was meant – communication. It is now for dirty stories," he added.

In addition to blaming access to pornography for the rise in rape cases, Lokodo also sensationally claims it has contributed to drug abuse, incest and teenage pregnancies in Uganda. Alongside the porn law the government is also expected to enforce the outlaw of women wearing miniskirts or men wearing tight-fitting clothes.

The pornography committee has been met with concern from citizens that it could result in a dangerous fallout between police and civilians.

"Anybody on the streets who sees a woman who is indecently dressed according to them will take the law into their own hands. It's going to be a country of lawlessness; it's going to be a country of mass abuse of women," one Ugandan woman told DW.

Advertisement

While many Ugandans believe the strong approach will ultimately fail they are highly critical over how budget has been spent on the committee rather than used for investment in schools and health care.

© Copyright 2017 IBTimes Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.