HRHN calls for investigation of the murder of LGBT activist David Kato in the Republic of Uganda
More than 40 members and partners of the Human Rights House Network issued a letter of concern today calling for an immediate investigation into the murder of David Kato and for effective protection of all human rights defenders in the Republic of Uganda.
Tuesday, 01 February 2011
David Kato, Advocacy and Litigation Officer of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), was beaten to death on 26 January 2011. He received death threats after the tabloid Rolling Stone in Uganda published in October 2010 the lists of presumed homosexual Ugandans, along with their names and addresses and a yellow banner on the side reading “Hang them.” David Kato was named and pictured on the front page.
David Cato was one of the three LGBT activists who sued the publication and obtained on 4 January 2011 a condemnation and a strong High Court judgement on the universal right to life and dignity. The High Court awarded each of the three 1.5 million Ugandan shillings (649 USD), and issued an injunction prohibiting the publication of the identities and addresses of homosexuals. However, the ruling also made a point of stressing that the decision reached made no pronouncement whatsoever on the legality of homosexuality, which remains a crime under Ugandan law.
HRHN is deeply concerned about the security of LGBT activists in Uganda and across the East and Horn of Africa region. Lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender persons continue to be subjected to harassment, threats, violent attacks and even murder. HRHN is also deeply concerned with the situation where religious and political leaders, as well as the media continue to demonise LGBT activists in Uganda and LGBT persons are frequently exposed to hate speech, attacks and harassment.
In its letter of concern HRHN members and partners call upon the Ugandan authorities to investigate the murder of David Kato bringing the responsible to justice, to decriminalise homosexuality and to ensure the security of LGBT.
Statements of HRHN members:
HURINET-U calls for a thorough investigation into the death of Human Rights Defender, Human Rights Network Uganda