LGBT persecution in many African countries is severe, including Uganda. There persecution is openly practiced with impunity. Violence against the LGBT community is not unusual. It is institutionalized, and people have had to navigate years and years of their government threatening to enact the death penalty against them. Many have gone into hiding or exile. In my position directing The African Human Rights Coalition, I have received many wishes of condolence and support from African LGBT activist, human rights defenders, leaders, and community. This is horrific and terrifying for all and a tough reality for those abroad who perceive the USA as a sanctuary.
One human rights organization in Uganda has written the following moving letter of condolence to the people of Orlando, following the horrific massacre of 49 people in the LGBT and ally community.
The Board of Directors and Staff at Saint Paul’s Voice Centre of Uganda wish to convey our deepest and most sincere condolences and most heartfelt sympathies to the Orlando Community, family and friends of the deceased and our prayers and concerns for the healing of all those injured in the terrible, heinous, and hateful attacks on the Pulse Night Club in Orlando, Florida.
We stand with the LGBT Community and have solidarity in our concerns for their safety and well-being. We applaud the work of religiously tolerant LGBT organizations in holding vigils and multifaith prayer services in the memory of those killed. We add our prayer and our social action to their efforts. We call for an end to gun violence and homophobia. We seek equality for all peoples.
It is heavy on our heart that the attack happened on Latino/Latina/Latinx night at the club and we are standing with you as people of color. This heinous attack was a hate crime of homophobia and bigotry. We stand with Orlando community and we offer our solidarity and empathy to LGBT community as we feel the pains of violence against you all as an attack on us as well.
We know you have stood with us in our times of persecution and discrimination and we are here for you. Our supporters and advisers live in the USA, many in the Florida area. We are on your side. You are not alone and those attacked will not be forgotten. We have a saying in our movement, Luta continua vitória é certa! We are with you until the day when that victory of equality, safety for every LGBT person, and justice is ours.I was also attacked,discriminated and persecuted of being gay in Uganda.