NPWJ and Certi Diritti mourn the death of the Ugandan LGBT activist David Kato Kisule

27 Gen, 2011 | Comunicati Stampa

The Radical Association Certi Diritti and No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) mourn the death of David Kato Kisule, a prominent leader of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), and the preeminent representative of the gay rights movement in Uganda.  According to initial reports, David was murdered in unclear circumstances yesterday afternoon at his home. Kampala police opened an investigation, which is still underway.

Thanks to the commitment of Elio Polizzoto and No Peace Without Justice, David was hosted by the IV Congress of the Radical Association Certi Diritti, of which he became a member. On that occasion, he spoke about the persecution and outright lynching that homosexuals fall victim to, often instigated by fundamentalist religious organizations.

On 16 October 2010, in a front-page report, the Ugandan magazine Rolling Stone published the photos of 100 alleged gay rights activists, demanding their arrest. A photo of David Kato Kisule, the most prominent representative of the movement, was among them. This climate of hate against homosexuals is fueled by evangelical preachers, who find fertile ground in a population living in misery and desperation.

At the time, many international NGOs mobilized in a number of countries against this assault on human rights. Thanks to the international campaign of NPWJ, the European Parliament adopted a Resolution condemning the situation in Uganda, and David gave testimony to the Parliament’s Human Rights Sub-committee after his participation in the Certi Diritti Congress.

With courage and determination, David Kato sued the Rolling Stone tabloid and on January 3rd, the Ugandan High Court found the magazine guilty of having violated privacy laws.  In a step that defended the rights of persecuted homosexuals, the Ugandan High Court declared that none of the people whose photos had been published was guilty of the crimes that the Ugandan criminal code specifies for homosexuals.  David Kato, during his time in Rome, had spoken about the increasing danger in which gay rights activists found themselves in Uganda.  During the court case, he was protected by volunteers from international NGOs who followed the case, and was defended by diplomats from western embassies who on various occasions rescued him from attempted lynchings by the crowds gathered outside the courthouse.

The Radical Association Certi Diritti and NPWJ join Sexual Minorities Uganda, Human Rights Watch, Global Rights, Global LGBT Advocacy, and other NGOs in demanding that the government acknowledge its responsibilities in not having until now intervened to put an end to the campaign of hate and violence against the LGBTI community, and protect the activists whose lives continue to be in danger, by undertaking immediately to create a climate of tolerance and dialogue among the authorities and political and religious organizations.   In the upcoming days, the Radical Association Certi Diritti and No Peace Without Justice will promote an initiative to remember and honor its member David Kato Kisule. We will also remember his commitment and contributions in the course of the XXXIX Congress of the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty, in which David had planned to participate.

For further information, please contact Elio Polizzotto (NPWJ), email:, phone: +32 2 548 39 21. Check also the websites: and