The Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights (JBI) and the American Jewish Committe's Africa Institute condemn the murder of David Kato, a prominent Ugandan human rights defender.
Kato faced threats and harassment in the months preceding his death, fueled in part by a local newspaper’s publication in late 2010 of the names, images, and addresses of a number of LGBT activists, including Kato, alongside statements explicitly calling for them to be hanged. Despite this, pending completion of the police investigation, Ugandan authorities have not yet attributed the motive of the killing to discrimination.
“President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda should respond to this horrible event by ordering a thorough, impartial investigation and ensuring that those who murdered David Kato are apprehended and punished,” said Felice Gaer, Director of JBI. “Only by countering hate-filled rhetoric against and harassment of LGBT individuals, and publicly reaffirming that all Ugandans are entitled to equal enjoyment of their rights, can Museveni hope to ensure that others do not share Kato’s tragic fate.”