Britain urges investigation into Uganda gay activist death

27th January 2011, Comments 0 comments

Britain on Thursday urged Ugandan police to fully investigate the murder of a gay rights activist in the country who was killed after his name and picture were published in a homophobic tabloid.

David Kato, 43, was killed on Wednesday with initial investigations showing that a man entered his home in the capital Kampala and struck him on the head before fleeing, his lawyer John Francis Onyango told AFP.

"I was saddened to learn of the murder of David Kato yesterday," said the British Minister for Africa, Henry Bellingham, in a statement.

"His valiant work, especially his work as an LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] activist, had been important for defending the human rights of all Ugandans.

"I trust the Ugandan Police Force will thoroughly investigate Mr Kato's murder and hope that they are able to bring the perpetrators to justice."

Police chief Kale Kayihura has insisted the killing had nothing to do with Kato's gay rights activism.

Kato was pictured and named by the anti-gay tabloid Rolling Stone -- no relation to the US magazine of the same name -- that also ran a story late last year calling on readers to "hang" gay rights advocates.

Homosexuality is banned in Uganda, which is mulling a harsh new anti-gay bill -- one of the most repressive in the region -- that would usher in the death sentence for acts of "aggravated homosexuality".

© 2011 AFP

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