Uganda LGBTQ+ rights activist stabbed

A dedicated advocate for LGBTQ+ rights in Uganda was [WARNING: GRAPHIC VIDEO] stabbed Wednesday and is in critical condition in hospital. The brutal assault comes as attacks on LGBTQ+ people in the country have surged following the implementation of a harsh anti-homosexuality law.

Steven Kabuye, a champion for LGBTQ+ rights in Uganda, posted the video to his X (formerly Twitter) account on Wednesday morning, which showed his injury. Hans Senfuma, an ally of Kabuye and an LGBTQ+ activist, posted that the activist had been stabbed with a knife in the early morning by two unknown individuals on a motorcycle. He said that Kabuye believed the men were trying to kill him and that they had been following him for several days. Senfuma later posted that Kabuye was out of surgery.

In May 2023, Uganda passed the Anti-Homosexuality Act, igniting widespread condemnation from the international community. The law criminalized same sex conduct and introduced a possible death penalty for the offense of “aggravated homosexuality.” Numerous governments and human rights organizations expressed their opposition to the law, with Human Rights Watch stating that the law violated “multiple fundamental rights guaranteed under Uganda’s constitution and breaks commitments made by the government as a signatory to a number of international human rights agreements.”

Since the passing of the act, Uganda has seen a huge rise in human rights violations of LGBTQ+ individuals, as well as assaults. A report issued by the Strategic Response Team Uganda showed that between January and August 2023, “real and perceived LGBTIQ+ persons were exposed, tortured, beaten, arrested, outed and suffered physical, sexual and psychological violence, including evictions and banishments, blackmail, loss of employment and health service disruptions.” There are currently legal challenges to the law underway and a trial is expected soon, with petitioners arguing that the law not only breaks rights under the Ugandan Constitution but also reneges on their international human rights obligations.

Kabuye has been an outspoken critic of the law and a fierce proponent for LGBTQ+ rights in Uganda. At the time of the act’s passing, he tweeted:

I am deeply concerned about the consequences of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023. This law violates basic human rights and sets a dangerous precedent for discrimination and persecution against the LGBTQ+ community. Let us stand together in solidarity and fight against bigotry and hate.

According to Reuters, the Coloured Voices Media Foundation – Truth to LGBTQ Uganda, made a statement on X regarding the assault on Kabuye. However, the statement is no longer available as the X account is no longer active. The organization’s website is also inaccessible. Dr Frank Mugisha, a prominent human rights activist and civil rights defender, stated on X that “hate crimes have no place in Uganda. We urge the police to conduct a thorough investigation.”