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Gay activist named on newspaper 'hanging list' found dead

A Ugandan gay activist whose photo was put on the front page of a newspaper that called for his killing has been brutally beaten to death.

Ugandan police said yesterday that David Kato had been bludgeoned with a hammer at his home and suffered serious head wounds.

Mr Kato had been receiving death threats since Uganda's 'Rolling Stone' newspaper in October listed him among 100 gay Ugandans underneath a headline that read "Hang them". He and two other activists sued the newspaper and won the case earlier this month.

Homosexuality is illegal in Uganda, and a lawmaker introduced a bill in October 2009 that would impose the death penalty for some homosexual acts. The bill has not come up for a vote.

Police last night insisted that there was no indication the death was connected to anti-homosexual sentiment.

Police spokesman Vincent Sekatte said Mr Kato was killed by burglars who have so far killed more than 10 people in that area.

Police arrested one suspect, a driver for Mr Kato, Mr Sekatte said. A second suspect is being hunted. That suspect had been hired as a house helper and had recently been released from prison.

Mr Kato's lawyer said his client had become noticeably more worried about his safety in the wake of the 'Rolling Stone' publication.

"He was conscious that something could happen," said John Francis Onyango.

Irish Independent