Gay rights activist murdered in Uganda

January 27th, 2011 - 11:15 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Jan 27 (IANS) A leading gay rights activist has been murdered in Uganda a few months after a newspaper printed his photograph and called for him to be killed, the Sky News reported.Witnesses said David Kato was attacked at his home by a man who hit him in the head and then drove off in a vehicle. Kato died on the way to hospital.

Last year, a news story “Hang Them” and a picture was printed on the front page of the Ugandan Rolling Stone newspaper as part of a campaign against homosexuality.

The paper published the names and photographs of what it described as “Uganda’s 100 top homos” and called for them to be executed.

Kato, the advocacy officer for Uganda’s Organisation of Sexual Minorities, reportedly later received death threats.

“David Kato’s death is a tragic loss to the human rights community,” said Maria Burnett of Human Rights Watch.

“David faced the increased threats to the Ugandan LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) people bravely and will be sorely missed,” she added.

The editor of the newspaper, Giles Muhame, said he condemned Kato’s murder and insisted that his publication had not called for gays to be harmed.

“We want the government to hang people who promote homosexuality, not the public to attack them,” Muhame said.

The growing persecution of homosexuals in Uganda was highlighted in October 2009 when a bill was tabled in the country’s parliament proposing the death penalty for “repeat offenders”.

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