Ugandan gay activist Steven Kabuye critically injured in knife attack

Ugandan gay activist Steven Kabuye critically injured in knife attack
Prominent Ugandan gay rights activist Steven Kabuye has been critically injured in a stabbing by unknown attackers.

Kampala, Uganda | By Michael Wandati | Prominent Ugandan LGBTQ+ activist Steven Kabuye finds himself in critical condition after a brutal stabbing incident on his way to work on Wednesday 3, January 2024.

The assailants, riding a motorbike and yet to be identified, attacked the 25-year-old on the outskirts of Kampala. Local residents discovered Kabuye, who had suffered knife wounds, and promptly reported the incident to the police.

Kabuye, associated with the Coloured Voices Media Foundation advocating for LGBTQ+ youth, had been subjected to an escalating series of threats, as revealed during the investigation.

According to police spokesperson Patrick Onyango, Kabuye recounted the attack, stating that two individuals on a motorcycle, wearing helmets, approached him.

The recent assault on Ugandan activist Steven Kabuye underscores growing concerns about the safety of LGBTQ+ individuals in the region.

The passenger dismounted and targeted Kabuye’s neck with a knife. Despite attempting to shield himself, Kabuye sustained a stab wound to his hand.

The international community rallies in support of Steven Kabuye, condemning the attack and emphasizing the need for global advocacy for LGBTQ+ rights.

The assailants then chased and stabbed him in the stomach, leaving him for dead.

Human rights defenders had previously warned of the heightened risk of violence against LGBTQ+ activists in Uganda, a concern tragically realized in the attack on Steven Kabuye.

Human rights defenders had been sounding alarms about potential attacks on LGBTQ+ community members in Uganda, particularly after the country enacted stringent anti-gay legislation in the previous year. The laws, considered among the harshest globally, raised concerns about the safety of individuals like Kabuye.

Richard Lusimbo, head of the Uganda Key Populations Consortium, emphasized the urgency of ensuring Kabuye receives appropriate medical attention while advocating for accountability for the perpetrators of this heinous act.

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In a concerning post on social media platform X, Ugandan gay rights activist Hans Senfuma revealed Kabuye’s belief that the attackers intended to kill him. Senfuma mentioned that Kabuye claimed these individuals had been following him for several days.

Kabuye’s return to Uganda in December, after traveling abroad in June, marked a troubling period as he faced increasing threats since March 2023. His work in LGBTQ+ advocacy and his vocal opposition to the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023 have made him a target.

Steven Kabuye, critically injured in a knife attack, has been a vocal advocate against anti-gay legislation, facing escalating threats prior to the incident.

The legislation, implemented in May last year, introduced severe penalties, including life imprisonment for consensual same-sex relations, exacerbating an already challenging situation for LGBTQ+ individuals in Uganda.

The constitutional challenge against the law is ongoing, with the President’s government maintaining a defiant stance against perceived Western pressure.

As the incident involving Steven Kabuye unfolds, it underscores the ongoing struggles faced by the LGBTQ+ community in Uganda, emphasizing the need for both national and international attention to protect the rights and safety of individuals targeted based on their sexual orientation.