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Uganda: gay activist David Kato murdered


David Kato brutally beaten to death on 26 January 2011

Ugandan human rights defender David Kato was brutally beaten to death in his home on 26 January 2011. The Alliance stands alongside Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) and the entire Ugandan LGBT community in condemning the killing.

David was among the men and women of the LGBT community whose photos were published in Ugandan newspaper Rolling Stone alongside the headline “Hang them” in October last year. David’s photo was printed on the cover and inside, another photo appeared with his name.

David’s death comes directly after the Supreme Court of Uganda ruled that people must stop inciting violence against homosexuals and must respect the right to privacy and human dignity.

SMUG is calling on the police and Government of Uganda to seriously investigate the circumstances of Kato's death. Human Rights Watch has called for a swift investigation, with their senior Africa researcher Maria Burnett saying "David Kato's death is a tragic loss to the human rights community,"

“The government should ensure that members of Uganda's LGBT community have adequate protection from violence and take prompt action against all threats or hate speech likely to incite violence, discrimination, or hostility toward them”, Human Rights Watch went on to say.

David had dedicated his life to fighting for the rights of lesbians, gays, bisexual, and transgender people in Uganda, facing threats and risks to his personal safety. He had campaigned with SMUG against Uganda’s proposed Anti-Homosexuality bill which has since been dropped.

David will be deeply missed by his family and friends, his students, and human rights organizations throughout Uganda and around the world. Speaking about what the death of David means in the struggle for equality, Frank Mugisha, the Executive Director of Sexual Minorities Uganda said, “No form of intimidation will stop our cause. David wanted to see a Uganda where all people will be treated equally despite their sexual orientation.”

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Read more

Read Sexual Minorities Uganda's full statement and the BBC's coverage of the story.

Read the background information on Rolling Stone’s homophobic article.

    David dedicated his life to fighting for the rights of LGBT people in Uganda