- Steven Kabuye, a well-known gay rights activist from Uganda, is in critical condition after being stabbed.
- “Steven claims that the intentions of these two men were to kill him not a robbery and he also claims that it appears he was being followed for several days,” fellow activist Hans Senfuma wrote of the attack.
- Homosexual activity in Uganda is subject to considerable cultural stigma and, in some cases, legal scrutiny.
A well-known gay rights activist in Uganda was stabbed by unknown assailants on Wednesday and police said he was hospitalized in critical condition.
A video posted on social media platform X shows Steven Kabuye lying on the ground writhing in pain with a deep and long cut on his right hand and a knife stuck in his abdomen.
Police spokesman Patrick Onyango said residents found Kambuye after the attack and that the activist was in a critical condition.
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One of the two assailants who arrived on a motorcycle tried to stab Kabuye in the neck, Onyango said.
“He (Kabuye) managed to shield his neck with his right hand, resulting in a stab wound to his hand. Despite trying to run away, the assailants chased him and stabbed him in the stomach,” Onyango said .
Ugandan gay rights activist Hans Senfuma said in another X post that the attackers wanted to kill Kambuye.
“Steven claims that the intentions of these two men were to kill him not to rob him and also claims that it appears they have been following him for several days,” Senfuma wrote.
Ugandan activists have expressed fears that a new homosexuality law introduced last May will increase attacks on the gay community.
Homosexuality has long been illegal in Uganda under a colonial-era law that criminalizes sexual activity “against the order of nature,” with a possible life sentence for conviction. The new law added more offenses and penalties.
Kabuye had posted on X that he was deeply concerned about the implications of Uganda’s 2023 anti-homosexuality law.
“This law violates basic human rights and sets a dangerous precedent for discrimination and persecution against the LGBTQ+ community. Let’s stand together in solidarity and fight against bigotry and hatred,” he said.
The new law provides for the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality”, which is defined as cases of sexual relations involving people infected with HIV or with minors and other categories of vulnerable people. “Attempted aggravated homosexuality” carries a maximum sentence of 14 years.
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In addition, there is a 20-year prison sentence for “promoting” homosexuality, a broad charge that covers everyone from journalists to rights activists and campaigners.