A row has broken out over a claim that three gay men, two lesbians and a trans person were stoned to death this month in rural Uganda.
Over the past couple of days, the question of whether these murders happened has stunned, shocked and infuriated activists and groups around the world – as people know very little more than this.
Human rights leaders around the world have been trying to discover more about the alleged slayings.
It began after Friends New Underground Railroad, a US-based Quaker group, released a statement claiming seven were dead and 65 had fled the country.
‘They were killed by stoning. One who survived (still breathing after stoning) was burnt alive using kerosene/paraffin and a match box,’ stated the alleged witness.
Then, a seventh gay man was reportedly attacked by a mob and died a day later from head injuries. The picture used on this article, believed to be of this man, was attached to the press release.
It was claimed the killings came in anger after Uganda’s Constitutional Court nullified the Anti-Homosexuality Act earlier this month.
But following the report, including its publishing on several respected LGBTI news sites, Ugandan LGBTI rights leaders questioned its validity.
GSN chose to not report on the alleged slayings, concerned the facts had not been fully substantiated.
Pepe Julian Onziema, the LGBTI rights advocate with one of the biggest contact list of the community in Uganda, said he believed the story was a fabrication.
Some LGBTI Ugandans commented on social media they were surprised to find out a US group knew more about the suffering of their people more than they did.
But Friends New Underground Railroad is sticking to their account of the murders.
They said they have provided additional information about the reported incidents to the Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum and to Human Rights Watch in order to allow them to conduct their own independent investigations.