International News

Ugandan LGBTQ+ activist in critical condition after stabbing

January 4, 2024

Steven Kabuye, a prominent LGBTQ+ rights activist in Uganda, where sexual minorities have faced a wave of abuse since an anti-gay law was enacted last year, was stabbed on Wednesday, January 3, and is in critical condition, his organisation, Coloured Voices Media Foundation-Truth to LGBTQ+ Uganda, said.

Kabuye was “stabbed to near death by unknown assailants a few metres from our home as he was heading for work this morning”, Coloured Voices said on X.

Coloured Voices shared a video that showed Kabuye writhing in pain with an apparent gushing wound on his wrist and a knife protruding from his stomach.

Frank Mugisha, one of Uganda’s most prominent LGBTQ+ activists, said he believed it was a homophobic hate crime, fuelled by the law, which is one of the strictest in the world.

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

The law prescribes the death penalty for certain same-sex acts. At least seven people have been arrested under it, and rights activists say it has also led to a surge of abuse by private individuals against LGBTQ+ people, including rapes, torture and beatings.

Uganda’s government has denied this is happening and said the law is meant to criminalise same-sex activity and its promotion, not penalise LGBTQ+ Ugandans.

A police spokesman said he was unaware of the attack on Kabuye and would look into it.