Ugandan gays honour fallen leader
26 January 2012, 19:01
Kampala - Ugandan gay rights activists braved hostility and stigma
Thursday as they gathered to commemorate the first anniversary of the
murder of their fellow campaigner David Kato.
"We are here to
celebrate and thank God for our beloved friend and human rights activist
David Kato," former Anglican bishop and gay rights campaigner
Christopher Senyonjo told a crowd of around 100 activists and family
Kato, former advocacy officer for Sexual Minorities
Uganda (SMUG), was found bludgeoned to death at his home outside Kampala
on January 26 2010.
In November, a Ugandan court sentenced Enoch
Nsubuga, 22, to 30 years in jail after he admitted beating Kato to
death with a hammer. Nsubuga had claimed he was reacting to unwanted
Gay rights activists speaking at the event
called Kato, 46 at the time of his death, "the godfather" of the Ugandan
gay movement and said that his passing had left a large void in the
life of the country's gay community.
"He always looked out for
all of us even at times when we thought it was too difficult," Frank
Mugisha, director of SMUG, said at the function in central Kampala.
killing drew worldwide condemnation, coming after a newspaper in
Kampala had published a picture of him in the same issue as a headline
demanding that homosexuals be hanged.
Kato's family members at
the event spoke of the support that they had received from campaigners
both in Uganda and the international community following his death
is not easy when a loved one dies but thanks to all the friends inside
and outside Uganda who worked with David ... when I get down they lift
me up and help me," said Nalongo Kisule, Kato's mother.
is widespread in Uganda and gay men and women in the country face
frequent harassment and threats of violence. Homosexuality is punishable
by up to life in prison.