On January 26 2011 Ugandan human rights activist David Kato, co-founder and advocacy officer of the organisation Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), was murdered in his home – shortly after he had won a lawsuit against a tabloid newspaper called “Rolling Stone”. The magazine had published his name and photograph amongst the ones of another 99 supposedly gay people under the headline “Hang them”. Its makers were sentenced to pay 1.5 million Ugandan shillings plus court costs to Kato and the other injured persons in this case.
The activist, who had left Uganda in 1992 and after spending 6 years in South Africa came back to fight for sexual equality, was amongst the most visible opponents of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, a draconian legislative proposal brought to Uganda’s parliament in 2009. 22-year-old Nsubuga Sydney, who was the prime suspect in the murder case, was sentenced to 30 years in jail in February 2011.
On Thursday, one year after his murder, more than 100 activists have paid tribute to Kato in his hometown Kampala. In honor and remembrance of his live and his achievements Jamaican LGBT and human rights activist Maurice Tomlinson will be the first person to receive the David Kato Vision & Voice award in London tomorrow.
Also, a new documentary entitled “Call Me Kuchu” pays tribute to the live and work of Kato and other Ugandan activists. The film project by US filmmakers Katherine Fairfax Wright & Malika Zouhali-Worrall was started in 2010, shortly after the Anti-Homosexuality Bill had been introduced in Uganda’s Parliament. “Call Me Kuchu” will premiere at the Berlin Film Festival on Saturday, February 11 and will have two more screening dates, which you find on the films website. The directors are currently seeking for support on Kickstarter to professionally finish the movie before the premiere and start a campaign for it. The donations will also cover the flights and visas for one of the Ugandan LGBT activists featured in the film, so that he or she can join the film team in Berlin. In conjunction with the anniversary of Kato’s death the filmmakers have also just released a short film, which gives a first insight on their recordings of Kato. You can watch “The Will Say We Are Not Here” on the New York Times website.
Here’s the trailer for “Call Me Kuchu”:
Great blog about the African LGTB rights movement: http://www.mask.org.za/