The report of a gay man beheaded and mutilated in Uganda quickly made the rounds among bloggers over the last couple of days. My initial reaction to the story found on Changing Attitudes was to link it to a disturbing NTV report about a man’s head found in a latrine in Uganda. However, I was unclear about the details and about who had identified him as a gay man. Read here for the details and the updates which established that the story was some kind of hoax.
Late today, Sexual Minorities Uganda released a statement indicating that they knew nothing of the man and are unaware of any gay man who has met such a tragic end. The man may have been gay but he was not an activist or known to their coalition. Apparently, someone made up the gay angle, perhaps assuming bloggers would report it falsely, thus causing their credibility to be questioned.
Here is SMUG’s statement:
July 7, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – UGANDA
Beheaded Ugandan NOT an LGBT Activist
This statement is in reference to the disturbing news reports that the Ugandan man who was found beheaded identified as Pasikali Kashusbe was a gay-rights activist working as a volunteer with Integrity Uganda.
SMUG nullifies these reports and we are not aware of any LGBTI activist who has been beheaded. However, details of the mutilated body are yet to be revealed by the Ugandan Police.
Speaking to the Chair of Integrity Uganda, Bishop Christopher Ssenyonjo, “I have never worked with anyone who goes by the name Pasikali in my organization. I also did not make any comments as quoted in earlier statements made by Rev. Erich Kasirye, Rev. Erich Kasirye no longer has any legitimate connection to Integrity Uganda and the e-mail address email@example.com is no longer available as a link to the leadership of Integrity Uganda”.
SMUG stands in solidarity with Bishop Ssenyonjo, who has worked and supported SMUG and the entire Ugandan LGBTI community for a long period of time.
Integrity Uganda which is a member organization of Sexual Minorities Uganda is a faith-based LGBT organization which gives counseling and guidance to LGBT people.
SMUG disassociates the Ugandan LGBT community from these reports, until we have substantial information.
- Frank Mugisha, Executive Director – SMUG Tel: +256 772 616 062 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Bishop Ssenyoonjo – Chairperson – Integrity Uganda Tel: +256 772 448 958
I am very sad for the man’s family and angry that his life has been hijacked for this hoax. I am also sorry for fueling the fire with my initial report. Even though I qualified my report, I thought it was credible and wrote it that way. I think the likelihood of anti-gay violence is pretty great in Uganda and I fear that we might be reporting a real situation sooner than later. However, nothing is particularly clear about this one, except that a man has been killed and someone made a false report about the circumstances.