PRESS STATEMENT | Taking Steps to Impose Visa Restrictions for Undermining Democracy And for Repression in Uganda

File photo: U.S Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivers remarks about priorities for administration of US President Joe Biden in the Ben Franklin room at the State Department in Washington, DC on March 3, 2021. (© Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images)

Taking Steps to Impose Visa Restrictions for Undermining Democracy And for Repression in Uganda

After Uganda’s flawed 2021 presidential elections, I announced a visa restriction policy targeting those believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic process in Uganda.  At that time, I implored the Government of Uganda to significantly improve its record and hold accountable those responsible for flawed electoral processes, violence, and intimidation.

Today, I am announcing the expansion of the visa restriction policy to include current or former Ugandan officials or others who are believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic process in Uganda or for policies or actions aimed at repressing members of marginalized or vulnerable populations. These groups include, but are not limited to, environmental activists, human rights defenders, journalists, LGBTQI+ persons, and civil society organizers.  The immediate family members of such persons may also be subject to these restrictions.

The United States stands by the Ugandan people and remains committed to working together to advance democracy, human rights, public health, and mutual prosperity.  I once again strongly encourage the Government of Uganda to make concerted efforts to uphold democracy and to respect and protect human rights so that we may sustain the decades-long partnership between our countries that has benefited Americans and Ugandans alike.

This visa restriction policy is pursuant to Section 212(a)(3)(C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act and expands upon the policy Secretary Blinken approved in 2021.