BY NATASHA BARSOTTI – Almost a year after Ugandan gay
rights activist David Kato was bludgeoned to death with a hammer, his
comrade-in-activism, Frank Mugisha of Sexual Minorities Uganda, says he's now being
targeted with threatening emails, phone calls and other intimidatory tactics
and is afraid for his life.
In an interview with the Huffington Post, Mugisha says he now leaves his home with a heightened sense of anxiety and is
apprehensive about eating in restaurants for fear of being poisoned.
"Even when I want to go shopping I have to call a
friend and say, 'Can you come with me?' because my face has been in the newspapers;
my face has been in the media," he says.
Mugisha, the 2011 recipient of the Robert F Kennedy Human
Rights Award, has been vocal internationally about the violence meted out to
queer Ugandans and has spoken out against the still-lingering
"Kill the gays" bill that MP David Bahati has been championing since
he introduced it in 2009.
The mobilization of international pressure has been credited with preventing the bill's passage.
Mugisha warns that the bill, which would make
homosexuality punishable by death, could be reintroduced at any time.
The recent threats against Mugisha have come in the wake
of a New York Times opinion piece he wrote in December, again shedding light on
the atrocities his fellow queer Ugandans confront on a daily basis:
"Here, lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender people suffer brutal attacks, yet cannot report them to the police
for fear of additional violence, humiliation, rape or imprisonment at the hands
of the authorities. We are expelled from school and denied health care because
of our perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. If your boss finds out
(or suspects) you are gay, you can be fired immediately. People are outed in
the media — or if they have gay friends, they are assumed to be 'gay by