Ugandan Gay Rights Activist Beaten to Death
David Kato, a 43-year-old gay rights activist in Uganda, was murdered in his home near Kampala on Wednesday, less than four months after his picture was published in a Ugandan tabloid under the words “Hang Them” in a story about gays “recruiting” local schoolchildren. –KA
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The BBC’s Joshua Mmali, in Kampala, says it is unclear whether the death is linked to the Rolling Stone campaign but police have said there is no connection between Mr Kato’s activism and his death.
The police say that though they have arrested one suspect, the main suspect – who they say lived with Mr Kato – remains on the run.
Homosexual acts are illegal in Uganda, with punishments of 14 years in prison. An MP recently tried to increase the penalties to include the death sentence in some cases.
There has been a recent spate of “iron-bar killings” in Mukono, where Mr Kato lived, in which people have been assaulted with pieces of metal.
Witnesses have told the BBC that a man entered Mr Kato’s home near Kampala and beat him to death before leaving.
His Sexual Minorities Uganda (Smug) group said Mr Kato had been receiving death threats since his name, photograph and address were published by Rolling Stone last year.
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