Statement from Egale Canada on the death of David Kato
Toronto: Egale Canada stands in solidarity with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) community in Uganda in the wake of the brutal, horrifying murder of activist David Kato on January 26, 2011. This heinous act must be met with swift and unequivocal action, including a meticulous and impartial investigation by local authorities. Egale strongly urges Ugandan authorities to take all measures possible to ensure the safety of LGBT individuals and their families in that country.
The murder of David Kato, an advocacy officer for the LGBT rights group Sexual Minorities Uganda, comes at a time of increased threats against LGBT individuals in Uganda. In 2009, legislation was proposed in the Ugandan parliament that would prescribe the death penalty for gays and lesbians in certain cases. Additionally, a tabloid newspaper, Rolling Stone, recently published the names and photos of various LGBT activists in Uganda, including Kato, calling for their murder. Along with two other local activists, Kato successfully sued Rolling Stone, winning an injunction banning the publication of the identities and personal details of LGBT Ugandans. Such threats to the security and dignity of LGBT Ugandans must meet vociferous opposition from local authorities, backed by increased protection for those most at risk.
David Kato’s formidable leadership will be missed, but the memory of his courage and tenacity should drive us all to speak loudly and clearly against hate and violence in all their forms, wherever they appear.
Egale Canada is a national organization that advances equality and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people across Canada. It has over 4,000 members in every province and territory in this country.
For more information:
Helen Kennedy, Egale Canada, 416-964-7887