Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

Video: Milan is starting point for Syrian refugees’ European odyssey

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Terrorist ransoms: Should governments pay up for hostages?

Read more

ENCORE!

Kristen Stewart and Juliette Binoche star in 'Clouds of Sils Maria'

Read more

WEB NEWS

India: journalist launches "Rice Bucket Challenge"

Read more

WEB NEWS

Russian aid convoy: Mission accomplished?

Read more

WEB NEWS

Actor Orlando Jones lauches 'Bullet Bucket Challenge'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Macron Economics'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Macron-economics, the former banker turned minister

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'The capital of sex, drugs, alcohol, trash and trashy tourism'

Read more

  • French unemployment rises 0.8% in July to record high

    Read more

  • UN probe accuses Syrian regime, Islamists of ‘crimes against humanity’

    Read more

  • France’s Hollande puts young ex-banker in top economy post

    Read more

  • Video: Iraq’s Yazidis flee to spiritual capital of Lalish

    Read more

  • Video: Milan is starting point for Syrian refugees’ European odyssey

    Read more

  • Airstrikes and Assad - Obama’s military conundrum in Syria

    Read more

  • IMF’s Lagarde investigated in French corruption case

    Read more

  • American journalist held captive in Syria arrives in US

    Read more

  • In pictures: The ministers in France's new government

    Read more

  • 'Lasting' ceasefire agreed for Gaza, Abbas says

    Read more

  • Far-right ‘Russian Jihad’ fighters cross into Ukraine

    Read more

  • American 'Islamic State fighter' killed in Syria

    Read more

  • Rebels 'shoot down' UN helicopter in South Sudan

    Read more

  • Air France pilots threaten September strike

    Read more

  • WHO seeks stricter regulation for e-cigarettes

    Read more

Africa

Gay rights activist brutally murdered in Uganda

Video by FRANCE 24

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-01-27

A prominent Ugandan gay rights activist was beaten to death at his home Thursday after a tabloid article targeted him. Gay campaigners routinely receive threats in Uganda where homosexuality is illegal.

AP - A prominent Ugandan gay rights activist whose picture was published by an anti-gay newspaper next to the words “Hang Them” was bludgeoned to death after receiving multiple threats, officials said Thursday.

David Kato, an advocacy officer for the gay rights group Sexual Minorities Uganda, was found with serious wounds to his head at his home in Uganda’s capital Kampala, late Wednesday, a police spokeswoman said. Kato later died from his injuries on the way to hospital, police said.
 
“We cannot confirm that Kato was killed because he was gay or whether it was just an ordinary crime,” police spokeswoman Judith Nabakooba said. Investigations were under way and no arrests had yet been made, she said.
 
A Ugandan tabloid newspaper called Rolling Stone listed a number of men they said were homosexuals last year, including Kato. Kato’s picture was published on the front page, along with his name and a headline that said “Hang Them.” A judge eventually barred the tabloid from printing such stories and photos.
 
Homosexuality is illegal in Uganda and gay men and women face regular harassment. A controversial bill introduced in 2009 and still before the country’s parliament would see the death penalty introduced for certain homosexual acts. The bill prompted international opposition and it hasn’t come up for a vote.
 
Human Rights Watch said in a statement Thursday that witnesses had told police that Kato was hit twice on the head by an unknown assailant who had been spotted entering his property. The assailant was then seen leaving by vehicle, the statement said.
 
The rights organization called for an urgent investigation into Kato’s murder, saying that his work as a prominent gay rights campaigner had previously seen him face threats to his personal safety. The organization called on the Ugandan government to offer gay people in the country sufficient protection.
 
“David Kato’s death is a tragic loss to the human rights community,” said Maria Burnett, senior Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch. “David had faced the increased threats ... bravely and will be sorely missed.”
 
Kato and two other gay activists sued the newspaper over claims that it had violated their constitutional rights to privacy and won the case earlier this month. A judge issued an injunction banning the publication of the identities and personal details of alleged homosexuals.
 
Frank Mugisha, the chairman of Sexual Minorities Uganda, said he has asked religious leaders, political leaders and media outlets to stop demonizing sexual minorities in Uganda since doing so creates a climate of violence against gay persons.
 
“Across the entire country, straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex Ugandans mourn the loss of David, a dear friend, colleague, teacher, family member and human rights defender,” said Mugisha, who said Kato had been receiving death threats since his face was on the cover of Rolling Stone.
 
The introduction in 2009 of the anti-homosexual bill followed a conference in Kampala attended by American activists who consider same-gender relationships sinful, and believe gays and lesbians can become heterosexual through prayer and counseling. Some gay Ugandans still resent that American intervention.
 
“David’s death is a result of the hatred planted in Uganda by U.S evangelicals in 2009,” said Val Kalende, a Ugandan gay rights activist. “The Ugandan government and the so-called U.S evangelicals must take responsibility for David’s blood.”

Date created : 2011-01-27

COMMENT(S)