Friday, 25 February 2011
African Bloggers Statement on the Murder of David Kato. Uganda
"We the undersigned wish to express our deep sadness at the murder of Ugandan human rights defender David Kato on 26th January 2011. David's activism began in the 1980s as an Anti-Apartheid campaigner where he first expressed a strong passion and conviction for freedom and justice which continued throughout his life. David was a founding member of Sexual Minorities Uganda where he first served as Board member and until his death as Litigation and Advocacy Officer and he was also a member of Integrity Uganda, a faith-based advocacy organization.
David was a man of vision and courage. One of his major concerns was the growth of religious fundamentalism in Uganda and across the continent and how this would impact on the rights of ordinary citizens including lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered / Gender Non-Comforming and Intersex [LGBTIQ] persons. Years later his concerns were justified when the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill backed by religious fundamentalists was outlined in 2009. David was also an extremely brave man who had been imprisoned and beaten severely because of his sexual orientation and for speaking publicly against the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.
Many African political and religious leaders in countries such as Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Zambia, Gambia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Malawi and Botswana, have publicly maligned LGBTIQ people and in some cases directly incited violence against them whilst labeling sexual minorities as “unAfrican”.
In October 2010, the Ugandan tabloid, Rolling Stone published the names and photographs of "100 Top homos" including David Kato. David along with two other LGBTIQ activists successfully sued the magazine on the grounds of "invasion of privacy" and most importantly, the judge ruled that the publication would threaten and endanger the lives of LGBTIQ persons.
The court did not only rule that the publication would threaten and endanger the lives of LGBTIQ persons but it issued a permanent injunction against Rolling Stone newspaper never to publish photos of gays in Uganda, and also never to again publish their home addresses.
Justice Kibuuka Musoke ruled that,
"Gays are also entitled to their rights. This court has found that there was infringement of some people’s confidential rights. The court hereby issues an injunction restraining Rolling Stone newspaper from future publishing of identifications of homosexuals."
Every human being is protected under the African Charter of Peoples and Human Rights and this includes the rights of LGBTIQ persons. We ask the governments of Uganda and other African countries to stop criminalizing people on the grounds of sexual orientation and afford LGBTIQ people the same protections, freedoms and dignity, as other citizens on the continent."
1. Alix Mukonambi, Molisa Nyakale
2. Anengiyefa Alagoa, Things I Feel Strongly About
3. Anthony Hebblethwaite African Activist
4. Barbra Jolie, Me I Think
5. Ben Amunwa, Remember Ken Saro-Wiwa
6. Bunmi Oloruntoba, A Bombastic Element
7. Chris Ogunlowo, Aloofaa
8. Eccentric Yoruba, Eccentric Yoruba
9. Exiled Soul ExiledSoul
10. Francisca Bagulho and Marta Lança, Buala
11. Funmilayo Akinosi, Finding My Path
12. Funmi Feyide, Nigerian Curiosity
13. Gay Uganda , Gay Uganda
14. Glenna Gordon, Scarlett Lion
15. Godwyns Onwuchekwa, My Person
16. Jeremy Weate, Naija Blog
17. Kayode Ogundamisi Canary Bird
18. Kadija Patel Thoughtleader
19. Keguro Macharia, Gukira
20. Kenne Mwikya, Kenne’s Blog
21. Kinsi Abdullah Kudu Arts
22. Laura Seay, Texas in Africa
23. Llanor Alleyne Llanor Alleyne
24. Mark Jordahl, Wild Thoughts from Uganda
25. Matt Temple Matsuli Music
26. Mia Nikasimo, MiaScript 27. Minna Salami, MsAfropolitan
28. Mshairi, Mshairi
29. Ndesanjo Macha Global Voices
30. Nyokabi Musila, Sci-Cultura.
31. Nzesylva, Nzesylva’s Blog
32. Olumide Abimbola, Loomnie
33. Ory Okolloh, Kenyan Pundit
34. Pamela Braide, pdbraide
35. Peter Alegi, Football is Coming Home
36. Rethabile Masilo, Poefrika
37. Saratu Abiola, Method to Madness
38. Sean Jacobs, Africa is a Country
39. Sokari Ekine, Black Looks
40. Sonja Uwimana, Africa is a Country
41. Spectre Speaks, Spectre Speaks
42. TMS Ruge, Project Diaspora
43. Toyin Ajao StandTall
44. Tosin Otitoju, Lifelib
45. Val Kalende, Val Kalende
46. Zackie Achmat, Writing Rights
47. Zion Moyo, Sky, Soil and Everything in Between
Kayode Ogundamisi is a commentator on Nigerian and international affairs, he was involved in the Nigerian pro-democracy struggle, Ogundamisi survived a trumped up charge of treasonable offence against the military government of General Babangida, he was detained in Jos prison in 1991 and released after intensive local and international campaigns against the government charging him and 12 other students before a military tribunal. Ogundamisi was a frontline member of the National Association of Nigerian Student and a former secretary general of the the University of Jos Students Union in Nigeria and the O'dua Peoples Congress.