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Ugandan court's ruling against gay activists criticized as 'deeply flawed' by rights group

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KAMPALA, Uganda — Human Rights Watch is criticizing a Ugandan court's decision against gay activists who sued a Ugandan official for violating their rights.

The group said the court's decision is "deeply flawed" and violates the activists' right to freedom of assembly.

Four Ugandan gay activists had challenged in court the legality of Ethics Minister Simon Lokodo's action to close their workshop and his threats to arrest the participants in 2012.

A Ugandan judge ruled in favor of Lokodo, saying workshop participants were promoting homosexuality.

Homosexuality is criminalized in Uganda, which in February passed a new law that strengthened penalties.

Rights groups are outraged the new law, which allows jail terms of up to life for gay sex.

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