By Guyson Nangayi – Ugandan gay rights campaigner David Kato who was outed in a local newspaper Rolling Stone as a homosexual, has been beaten to death, activists have said.
Police have confirmed the death and say they have arrested one suspect. Uganda’s Rolling Stone newspaper published the photographs of several people it said were gay, including Mr Kato, with the headline “Hang them”.
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.
Following a complaint by Mr Kato and three others, a judge in November ordered Rolling Stone to stop publishing the photographs of people it said were homosexual, saying it contravened their right to privacy.
Several activists said they had been attacked after their photographs were published. Mr Mugisha called on the Ugandan government to step up security for gay people. “We’re strongly asking every gay and lesbian and bisexual and transgender person in Uganda to watch out for their security … [they] should take extra caution.”
Rolling Stone editor Giles Muhame told Reuters news agency he condemned the murder and that the paper had not wanted gays to be attacked. “There has been a lot of crime, it may not be because he is gay,” he said.
“We want the government to hang people who promote homosexuality, not for the public to attack them.”
US President Barack Obama was quoted as saying he was “deeply saddened” to learn of Mr Kato’s death. His Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has urged authorities to investigate and prosecute the killers.