Ugandan LGBTQ+ activist in critical condition after stabbing

An LGBTQ+ activist working in Uganda in the wake of the country’s draconian Anti-Homosexuality Bill, has been left in a critical condition after being stabbed. 

Steven Kabuye, a prominent LGBTQ+ rights activist in the East African nation, was attacked by two men who had allegedly been following him for a number of days, sources close to Kabuye claimed on social media. 

Graphic video footage shared on Kabuye’s X/Twitter account shows him lying in pain on the floor, his arm sliced open and a knife embedded in his stomach, as well as him on a blood-soaked hospital bed following emergency surgery.

Kabuye’s organisation, Coloured Voices Media Foundation-Truth to LGBTQ Uganda, wrote that he was “stabbed to near death by unknown assailants a few meters from our home as he was heading for work this morning”. 

Frank Mugisha, one of the best-known LGBTQ+ activists in Uganda and the executive director of Sexual Minorities Uganda, said on social media: “Haterade and hate crimes have no place in Uganda.”

Speaking to Reuters, Mugisha cited Uganda’s anti-gay law for inciting the violence. 

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“The deep hate for sexual minorities that the law unleashed created an atmosphere in which such attacks are happening,” he claimed.

The Anti-Homosexuality Act, signed into law by President Yoweri Museveni in May, severely restricts LGBTQ+ rights in Uganda. 

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It imposes the death penalty for “aggravated” same-sex acts, which includes sexual activity with disabled people and those who are HIV positive. 

Arthur Kayima, a queer Ugandan human rights activist, condemned the legislation as “vile” and “deadly”, saying it will do nothing to improve Uganda or the lives of Ugandans. 

“Rather than focusing on the real issues Uganda is facing – poverty, poor infrastructure, the economy, domestic violence – Museveni cause[s] distraction by attacking our fundamental right to exist,” he added.

Police in Uganda said they are unaware of the incident but will now be investigating.

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