SMUG, the LGBTI organization led by Frank Magishu, had its offices in Kampala, Uganda broken into and vandalized with almost all office property stolen during the Christmas holiday.
It is unknown at this time if the motivation behind the attack was homophobic persecution. However given the anti-gay climate in Uganda and the fact that Ugandan House Speaker Rebecca Kadaga failed to deliver her promised “Kill The Gays” bill in time for Christmas, the timing of this attack is quite ominous.
A member of staff entered the premises the day after Christmas and found the office in disarray with most property taken, including five desktop computers (CPUs and flat screens), a water dispenser, a gas cooker, a gas cylinder, a refrigerator, an audio recorder, a spy pen and other unidentified property.
A police file has been opened at Naalya Housing Estates police post and statements were given by SMUG staff members. At the moment, police have started an investigation to see if they can trace the offenders.
The police with the help of SMUG lawyers, Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum (HRAPF) , Protection desk Uganda and SMUG partners are still working around the clock with investigators to establish the cause of the break-in.
Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that works towards achieving full legal and social equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender people in Uganda. It is the umbrella organization of all homosexual organizations in Uganda.
SMUG was created as a coalition of LGBTI organizations in March 2004. SMUG, now a network, addresses human-rights issues based on sexual orientation. SMUG is an integral part of the human rights advancement.
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Melanie Nathan of San Francisco is author of the O-blog-dee-o-blog-da blog. As a native of South Africa, she is an activist for LGBT rights in Africa and elsewhere. She is a frequent contributor to SDGLN.