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African Bloggers Statement on David Kato and Uganda

"We the undersigned wish to express our deep sadness at the murder of Ugandan
human rights defender David Kato on 26th February 2011. David's activism began
in the 1980s as an Anti-Apartheid campaigner where he first expressed a strong
passion and conviction for freedom and justice which continued throughout his life.
David was a founding member of Sexual Minorities Uganda where he first served as
Board member and until his death as Litigation and Advocacy Officer and he was
also a member of Integrity Uganda, a faith-based advocacy organization.

David was a man of vision and courage. One of his major concerns was the growth of
religious fundamentalism in Uganda and across the continent and how this would
impact on the rights of ordinary citizens including lesbian, Gay, Bisexual,
Transgendered / Gender Non-Comforming and Intersex [LGBTIQ] persons. Years
later his concerns were justified when the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill backed
by religious fundamentalists was outlined in 2009. David was also an extremely
brave man who had been imprisoned and beaten severely because of his sexual
orientation and for speaking publicly against the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

Many African political and religious leaders in countries such as Ghana, Nigeria,
Cameroon, Zambia, Gambia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Malawi and
Botswana, have publicly maligned LGBTIQ people and in some cases directly incited
violence against them whilst labeling sexual minorities as “unAfrican”.

In October 2010, the Ugandan tabloid, Rolling Stone published the names and
photographs of "100 Top homos" including David Kato. David along with two other
LGBTIQ activists successfully sued the magazine on the grounds of "invasion of
privacy" and most importantly, the judge ruled that the publication would threaten
and endanger the lives of LGBTIQ persons.

The court did not only rule that the publication would threaten and endanger the lives
of LGBTIQ persons but it issued a permanent injunction against Rolling
Stone newspaper never to publish photos of gays in Uganda, and also never to again
publish their home addresses.

Justice Kibuuka Musoke ruled that,

"Gays are also entitled to their rights. This court has found that there was
infringement of some people’s confidential rights. The court hereby issues an
injunction restraining Rolling Stone newspaper from future publishing of
identifications of homosexuals."

Every human being is protected under the African Charter of Peoples and Human
Rights and this includes the rights of LGBTIQ persons. We ask the governments of
Uganda and other African countries to stop criminalizing people on the grounds of
sexual orientation and afford LGBTIQ people the same protections, freedoms and
dignity, as other citizens on the continent."

Alix Mukonambi, Molisa Nyakale

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