Ugandan gay-rights activist asks for US asylum

BOSTON — A Ugandan gay-rights activist is seeking asylum in the U.S. to escape a harsh law in his home country that toughened criminal penalties against gays.

Days after John Wambere came to the U.S. for a speaking tour in February, Uganda’s president signed the law, which could put Wambere in prison for life for being openly gay or for advocating gay rights.

The 41-year-old Wambare who now lives in Cambridge said Tuesday it is heartbreaking that he will have to leave his community at home as well as his 16-year-old daughter, but it is too dangerous to return.

In the past 14 years, Wambere says he has been jailed, harassed, and had his life threatened.

His lawyers say seeking asylum could take months but are hopeful it will be granted.

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