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Uganda gay rights activist David Kato killed

OBITUARIES
By | January 27th 2011

A Ugandan gay rights campaigner who last year sued a local newspaper which named him as being homosexual has been killed, activists say.

Police have confirmed the death of David Kato but say they are investigating the circumstances.

Uganda's Rolling Stone newspaper published the photographs of several people it said were gay next to a headline reading "Hang them".

Homosexual acts are illegal in Uganda, with punishments of 14 years in prison.

An MP recently tried to increase the penalties to include the death sentence in some cases.

Witnesses have told the BBC that a man entered Mr Kato's home near Kampala, and beat him before leaving.

Human Rights Watch says Mr Kato died on his way to hospital.

HRW called for a swift investigation into Mr Kato's death.

"David Kato's death is a tragic loss to the human rights community," said HRW's Maria Burnett.

The activist with the Sexual Minorities Uganda (Smug) group had campaigned against the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which appears to have been quietly dropped after provoking a storm of international criticism when it was mooted in 2009.

Following a complaint by Mr Kato and others, a judge in November ordered Rolling Stone to stop publishing the photographs of people it said were homosexual, saying it contravened their right to privacy.

Several activists said they had been attacked after their photographs were published.

-BBC

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