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Uganda Abolishes Anti-porn Mini-skirt Law

 Kampala (AFP), August 18 - Uganda's Constitutional Court struck down a controversial anti-pornography law whose provisions included a ban on wearing miniskirts in public, in a decision hailed by women's rights activists on Tuesday.

 The judgment, seen by AFP, said the 2014 legislation, which had been dubbed the "anti-miniskirt law", was "incompatible or contrary to the constitution of the Republic of Uganda."

 "The articles ... of the anti-pornography law are declared null and void," Judge Frederick Egonda-Ntende said in Monday's ruling, which also struck down the powers of a nine-member committee tasked with making to apply the law.

 The law criminalized any activity deemed pornographic, from wearing short skirts to writing daring songs, and led to increased public harassment of women who wore clothing considered too revealing.

 In 2014, Ugandan pop star Jemimah Kansiime was arrested for starring in a music video showing her in her underwear. Currently on trial, she faces up to 10 years in prison, although the future of the case is unclear due to the new ruling.

 Women's rights activists hailed the verdict, which followed street protests by activists calling for the legislation to be dropped.

 "It has been an uphill struggle and we are grateful (that) those who believe in women's rights have come out on top," Lillian Drabo, one of nine petitioners who challenged the law, told AFP on Tuesday.

 The petitioners said the legislation encourages harassment and abuse of women in public and denies them control over their bodies as well as access to public spaces.

 Senior government lawyer Imelda Adong told AFP she was "studying the decision" and would respond in due course.

 Former Ugandan ethics and integrity minister Simon Lokodo was a longtime advocate for the law, threatening to shut down a prestigious private school in 2016 for storing copies of a UK children's book on trial too sexual.

 In the past, Lokodo has ordered police to arrest men who have sex with prostitutes and called a popular local television dating show prostitution.

 Local media reported that he also faced Proscovia Alengot Oromait, then Uganda's youngest MP, when she entered parliament in a short skirt.

Content created and supplied by: LNews (via Opera News )

AFP Constitutional Court Frederick Egonda-Ntende Kampala Republic of


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