Gay Rights Campaigner in Uganda Was Beaten To Death – Uganda gay rights campaigner, David Kato, has been beaten to death. Police have confirmed the death of David Kato but say they are still investigating the circumstances.
Last year Kato sued a local newspaper which named him as being homosexual. Homosexual acts are illegal in Uganda, with punishments of 14 years in prison.
Uganda’s local newspaper, Rolling Stone newspaper, published the photographs of several people it said were gay next to a headline stating “Hang them”.
As a matter of fact, an MP recently tried to increase the penalties to include the death sentence in some cases.
The witnesses to the incident said that a man entered Kato’s home near Kampala, and beat him to death before leaving.
His Sexual Minorities Uganda (Smug) group said Kato had been receiving death threats since his name, photograph and address were published by Rolling Stone last year. Not only that, several activist claimed they had been attacked after their photographs were published.
Following a complaint by Kato and others, a judge in November ordered Rolling Stone to stop publishing the photographs of people it said were homosexual, indicating it contravened their right to privacy.
For the meantime, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has called for a swift investigation into his death. According to HRW’s Maria Burnett, David Kato’s death is a tragic loss to the human rights community.
David Kato had campaigned against Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which appears to have been quietly dropped after provoking a storm of international criticism when it was mooted in 2009.