A well-known gay rights activist in Uganda was stabbed by unknown assailants Wednesday, and police said he was hospitalized in critical condition.

A video posted on the social media platform X shows Steven Kabuye lying on the ground writhing in pain with a deep and long cut on his right arm and a knife stuck in his belly.

Police spokesperson Patrick Onyango said that residents found Kabuye after the attack and that the activist was in critical condition.


One of two attackers who arrived on a motorcycle tried to stab Kabuye in the neck, Onyango said.

“He (Kabuye) managed to shield his neck with his right arm, resulting in a stab wound to his hand. Despite attempting to flee, the assailants chased and stabbed him in the stomach,” Onyango said.

Ugandan gay rights activist Hans Senfuma said in another post on X that the attackers wanted to killed Kabuye.

“Steven claims that these two guys’ intentions were to kill him not robbing and also claims that it seems they have been following him several days,” Senfuma wrote.

Ugandan activists have expressed fears that a new law on homosexuality enacted last May would increase attacks against the gay community.

Homosexuality has long been illegal in Uganda under a colonial-era law criminalizing sexual activity “against the order of nature,” with life imprisonment possible for a conviction. The new law added more offenses and punishments.

Kabuye had posted on X that he was 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,” he said.

The new law prescribes 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.

In addition, there is a 20-year prison term for “promoting” homosexuality, a broad category affecting everyone from journalists to rights activists and campaigners.