The rights of Ugandan minority activist, Patrick Mwesigye under attack

Sexual Reproductive Health financing is key

On February, 24th, 2014, the President of Uganda, H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni signed an Anti-Homosexuality Act. The bill that was turned into law looks at sentencing someone for seven years in prison to death and even those who support Gays, and homosexuality remains a controversial subject in Uganda

The government is planning to reintroduce the bill again in Parliament with a ‘death penalty’ and other local activists are trying to create safe spaces for the minorities but still a struggle

Since the LBGTQI community gained national attention in 2014, social media users have been filled with stories of hate, threat and abuse, and we have heard a little about the true impact on minority people and even less about ways they cope with the external discrimination and stigma

So Human Rights activists continue to find ways to change a culture that’s overly permissive of abuse, the LGBTQI will also face an equally complex problem because of the hostile society.

So many LGBTIQ activists have been under public threats, some are beaten and others have been killed. Last week, Patrick Mwesigye, a Team leader at Uganda Youth and Adolescents Health Forum and a renowned human rights activist  came under public attack for openly showing support and standing in solidarity with the LGBTIQ and sex work community

He posted on his social media walls that he strongly supports the LGBTQI community and the internet users, friends, relatives  weren’t happy with his decision and started threatening him and he is doing that work as a human rights defender

 He wrote, I need this. I am happy to support members of the LGBTQI community to feel safe, loved and accepted. I pity the haters. Unfriend me if you must

This post received hundreds of hate, abuse comments with some noting that the post was disgusting and there should be no one to advvocate for human rights.

Chark M Benson said; Just disgusting and you shouldn’t be at the forefront of promoting such in our generation, you are promoting a culture that is going down in history and affect our children. With such campaigns and people like you, our kids will find comfort in such. Please enjoy your thing privately, don’t come here to promote. Bum shafting is disgusting and nothing good about it

Patrick says that he has been receiving many threats from both the people he knows and some strangers. He complained of unknown people who are calling him and threatening to attack and cause him harm if he doesn’t apologiez 

Henry Sema also commented on his post saying; This man shouldn’t be blamed, this is what to stay loyal and keep his friendship and or prove himself right about fighting for human rights, he has been with them for quite for sometime, I met Patrick at the ambassador of Dutch royal in Naguru, and trust me, he won’t mince his words, guy is also not straight

Patrick Mwesigye was accused of receiving money from the western gay groups as his big motivation for advancing gay rights, but in his follow up post he insisted that this is not about money but rather standing for what is rights. Here is the post

In one of the comments to his post, One Twine Joshua Salongo who claims to have gone to the same school with Patrick Mwesigye is seen threatening him. He wrote; ”Hehe we are going to organize and look for you, you’ll explain to us what LGBT is and what you do at LGBT. I am concerned as a person that went to school and sat in class with you. We were not brought up this way to believe in such things”

There is a need to protect the LGBTQI communities in Uganda and Patrick took a leadership role but he is being threatened for showing the support

The minorities are at risk and are not given accurate medical information on how to have safe and healthy same-sex sexual relationships, they rights have been violated and because of this, there isn’t as much data available about the level of risk they face or how to mitigate the risk

The people that commented on Patrick’s post say that Uganda is a home of Christians and claims their religious freedom is infringed when having the Minorities in place and many LGBTQI activists see the lack of protection, they are discriminated against, persecuted and on an unlucky day, they are even murdered.

If the Government of Uganda would listen to human rights, the country would be safe for everyone and Patrick Mwesigye is undeniably moving in the right direction

People have been attacking LGBT public activities, individuals, in several activites. Activist, Patrick said they can only trust the police to protect them when they face such intimidation or cyber threats

The government should make and enforce public pledges to protect all people from violence and discrimination

Shall keep you posted!

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Frank Byaruhanga is a human rights activist with years of experience in community dialogues, digital communication, advocacy and digital campaigns. He specializes in Media Relation Work, Management and Training with sufficient knowledge in Governance, Accountability, Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights, Youth-led research, Content developer, Creative Activism, Social Media Management and documentary photography.

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