Friday, January 28, 2011

Murder of LBGT Ugandan activitist David Kato: Obama, Clinton issue statements, as does Giles Muhame, of Ugandan newspaper which villified Kato

LGBT activist David Kato of Uganda
David Kato
On Wednesday, Ugandan LGBT  activist David Kato was fatally bludgeoned with an iron bar at his home in Kamapala.

President Obama: I am deeply saddened to learn of the murder of David Kato. In Uganda, David showed tremendous courage in speaking out against hate. He was a powerful advocate for fairness and freedom. The United States mourns his murder, and we recommit ourselves to David’s work.
     At home and around the world, LGBT persons continue to be subjected to unconscionable bullying, discrimination, and hate.
In the weeks preceding David Kato’s murder in Uganda, five members of the LGBT community in Honduras were also murdered. It is essential that the Governments of Uganda and Honduras investigate these killings and hold the perpetrators accountable.
     LGBT rights are not special rights; they are human rights. My Administration will continue to strongly support human rights and assistance work on behalf of LGBT persons abroad. We do this because we recognize the threat faced by leaders like David Kato, and we share their commitment to advancing freedom, fairness and equality for all.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: We are profoundly saddened by the loss of Ugandan human rights defender David Kato, who was brutally murdered in his home near Kampala yesterday. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, and colleagues. We urge Ugandan authorities to quickly and thoroughly investigate and prosecute those responsible for this heinous act.
     David Kato tirelessly devoted himself to improving the lives of others. As an advocate for the group Sexual Minorities Uganda, he worked to defend the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals. His efforts resulted in groundbreaking recognition for Uganda’s LGBT community, including the Uganda Human Rights Commission’s October 2010 statement on the unconstitutionality of Uganda’s draft “anti-homosexuality bill” and the Ugandan High Court’s January 3 ruling safeguarding all Ugandans’ right to privacy and the preservation of human dignity. His tragic death underscores how critical it is that both the government and the people of Uganda, along with the international community, speak out against the discrimination, harassment, and intimidation of Uganda’s LGBT community, and work together to ensure that all individuals are accorded the same rights and dignity to which each and every person is entitled.
     Everywhere I travel on behalf of our country, I make it a point to meet with young people and activists — people like David — who are trying to build a better, stronger future for their societies. I let them know that America stands with them, and that their ideas and commitment are indispensible to achieving the progress we all seek.
     This crime is a reminder of the heroic generosity of the people who advocate for and defend human rights on behalf of the rest of us — and the sacrifices they make. And as we reflect on his life, it is also an occasion to reaffirm that human rights apply to everyone, no exceptions, and that the human rights of LGBT individuals cannot be separated from the human rights of all persons.
     Our ambassadors and diplomats around the world will continue to advance a comprehensive human rights policy, and to stand with those who, with their courage, make the world a more just place where every person can live up to his or her God-given potential. We honor David’s legacy by continuing the important work to which he devoted his life.
Giles Muhame, editor of Uganda's
Rolling Stone (Carolyn Dunn/CBC)
    Ugandan tabloid Rolling Stone, a virulently homo­phobic news­paper founded in the wake of antigay initiatives by American evangelists like Rick Warren and Scott Lively, urged the hanging of Koto and others.     Rolling Stone had a circulation of about 2,000 before being shut down by Ugandan authorities.
     The tabloid had no connection to the American magazine founded by Jann Wenner, who never copyrighted his publication's name in Uganda.

     Giles Muhame, the managing editor of Uganda's Rolling Stone tabloid continued to make unproven, inflammatory accusations in the following statement issued after Katos' death:
     Rolling Stone newspaper has just learnt from the media about the murder of David Kato.   This gentleman is said to have been a human-rights activist, according to Human Rights Watch.
     According to the organization, witnesses told police that a man entered Kato’s home in Mukono at around 1 p.m, hit him twice in the head and departed in a vehicle. And that Kato died on his way to Kawolo hospital. Police told Kato’s lawyer that they had the registration number of the vehicle and were looking for it.
      “Kato featured in a case between Rolling Stone and homos.” The latter had sued the investigative newspaper, which will soon metamorphose into a daily online newspaper, for outing their pictures thus invading their right of privacy.
     They won the court case. Rolling Stone was ordered by Justice Kibuuka Musoke to pay the three complainants shs1.5 each, including Kato, as compensation. The newspaper early this year tendered a notice of appeal in the Court of Appeal. The lawyers are working on the submissions.
      Earlier, during the high court hearing, a former homosexual, one Kagaba, told High Court in a sworn affidavit that  Kato was seriously recruiting kids into homosexual circles. He further stated that Kato had been fired from a Christian-founded school in Nkoni, Masaka district where he was a head teacher.
    He said it could have been because of sodomizing kids including one Douglas whom he stayed with.
     Kagaba, who said he was recruited into homosexuality, intoxicated with drugs and then sodomized by Kato, later took another bold step and provided evidence to the government-controlled Media Council in December at the Prime Minister’s office. He said Kato had been chased from Nansana, a suburb of Kampala, by the area security officer over sodomy allegations. He was residing there.
     Kagaba told the council chaired by Dr. Gorreti Nassanga that the security man who chased Kagaba is a retired low-ranking army officer. That the officer had received a huge chunk of complaints from concerned neighbors that Kato was terrorizing the boys in the area.
     Kato, according to evidence provided to the Council, later fled to Mukono, where he has been staying before the attack.
     Mukono has of recent been a sanctuary of iron-bar wielding men. In the past two months alone over 15 people have been attacked and others killed in cold blood.
     Rolling Stone feels sorry for the family of Kato and prays that his soul rests in eternal peace.
     In a play A Man For All Seasons, Thomas Moore says: “Death comes to all of us”.

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