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Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Ugandan gay activist's home torched

Whirl-fireImage by Loving Earth via Flickr
Source: Behind The Mask

By Kikonyogo Kivumbi, Arcus Correspondent

The Uganda Police are investigating an arson attack on the rental home of LGBTI activist Mr Najib Kabuye on Sunday July 3, 2011 in Kampala.

The case has been reported at the Nabweru Police Post, about 20 minutes drive from Kampala City Centre.

A still shocked Mr Kabuye told Behind the Mask on July 8, that he could not comprehend why anyone would want to kill him.
“They wanted me to die in pain and agony. I do not know why?” Mr Kabuye said.
He recalled that prior to the arson attack on his home, which occurred at about 4am on July 3, some youths had approached him during the day on Saturday July 2, claiming that he was receiving a lot of grants from foreign funders to “promote homosexuality” in Uganda, a criminal activity, they said.

“Then, they also told me that I should not expect mercy in the near future,” Kabuye added. He said that on the same night that he received the warning, his home was attacked.

Kabuye also said that placards calling for an end to Homosexuality in Bwaise, a nearby trading centre, were found at the scene of the attack.

The placards were both in the English and Luganda languages. One of the posters urged people in Bwaise trading centre to be on alert and on look out for a youth organization that was promoting homosexuality. Mr Kabuye is the Treasurer of a human rights youth organization (name withheld for security reasons).

He said he was grateful to neighbours who responded to his alarm, breaking the padlocks on his doors and enabling him to escape unhurt. Almost all Kabuye’s property was destroyed in the blaze.

A police officer at Nabweru Police Post, a few metres from Kabuye’s home, said on condition of anonymity (because he is not authorised to make media comments) that “no conclusions had been reached about the intentions of the attackers.”

The officer could not however rule out attacks in relation to Kabuye’s activism. LGBTI activists in Uganda are routinely attacked on claims of receiving money to allegedly promote homosexuality.

A senior intersex rights activist was also attacked by suspected thugs last year, who demanded that he surrenders the alleged "huge amounts" of money he receives in facilitation.

In January LGBTI David Kato was found murdered in his home.
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