Photo: Flickr.Photo: Flickr

Norway condemns killing of gay activist

1/28/2011 // “I am saddened and shocked to hear that the brave and dedicated human rights defender David Kato was killed in his own home yesterday evening,” said Minister of the Environment and International Development Erik Solheim.

“We condemn this killing in the strongest terms. We urge the Ugandan authorities to undertake a thorough and independent investigation of the killing, and ensure that the perpetrator is brought to justice,” said Mr Solheim.

Kato was one of the most visible activists for human rights and gay rights in Uganda. He was derided in the Ugandan media on several occasions. Under the slogan “Hang them”, the newspaper Rolling Stone published photos, names and addresses of a number of gays and lesbians. Mr Kato was one of three activists who sued the newspaper and won the case in court.

“The Norwegian authorities are concerned about the security situation for homosexuals in Uganda. Reports indicate that the situation has worsened after a private anti-gay bill. Norway has expressed its concern both about the bill itself and the fact that it may legitimise hate violence against homosexuals,” said Mr Solheim.

State Secretary Fiskaa will travel to Uganda next week. She will raise the difficult situation for gays in Uganda, both with the authorities and with gay and lesbian organisations.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged all countries to decriminalise homosexuality. Legislation that criminalises people due to their sexual orientation helps to legitimise homophobia and promote a climate of hatred.


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