Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on
Thursday mourned the loss of Ugandan gay rights activist David Kato.
Kato was found bludgeoned to death with
a hammer in his home near Kampala, the nation's capital, CNN
“We are profoundly saddened by the
loss of Ugandan human rights defender David Kato, who was brutally
murdered in his home near Kampala yesterday,” Clinton said in a
statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends,
and colleagues. We urge Ugandan authorities to quickly and
thoroughly investigate and prosecute those responsible for this
Friends told the BBC that Kato had
received repeated death threats after his name, photograph and
published in Uganda's Rolling Stone newspaper late last year.
The cover story of Uganda's “top 100 homos” included a yellow
banner that read “hang them.”
While being gay in Uganda is a criminal
offense punishable by life imprisonment in some cases, lawmaker
David Bahati has sponsored legislation that includes a death penalty
provision for people who repeatedly engage in gay sex and those who
are HIV-positive. The bill also bans the “promotion of
homosexuality,” which would effectively outlaw political
organizations, broadcasters and publishers that advocate on behalf of
Kato and his group, Sexual Minorities
Uganda, had campaigned against the bill.
Kato's “efforts resulted in
groundbreaking recognition for Uganda's LGBT community, including the
Uganda Human Rights Commission's October 2010 statement on the
unconstitutionality of Uganda's draft 'anti-homosexuality bill' and
the Ugandan High Court's January 3 ruling safeguarding all Ugandans'
right to privacy and the preservation of human dignity,” Clinton
CNN reports that arrest warrants have
been issued for two suspects.