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[16days_discussion] [WorkingWithBoysandMen] Fwd: MenEngage Press Statement Condemning the Murder of David Kato 10 Feb 2011

Laxman Belbase l.belbase at
Tue Feb 22 08:13:57 EST 2011

Dear Friends,

FYI & Apologies for cross posting if any


Please consider the environment before printing this email!

*From:* Sonke Gender Justice Network [mailto:tim at]
*Sent:* Monday, February 21, 2011 10:36 AM
*To:* Laxman Belbase
*Subject:* MenEngage Press Statement Condemning the Murder of David Kato 10
Feb 2011

The MenEngage Alliance, a global network working worldwide to increase men’s
support for gender equality and human rights, mourns the death of David
Kato, a fearless advocate for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and
Intersexed people (LGBTI) rights in Uganda. We call on the Ugandan
Government and the African Union to take swift action to bring his murderers
to book and to make clear their commitment to protecting the rights of LGBTI
people across the continent.

David was murdered on Wednesday, January 26th, 2011 in a brutal attack. We
express our sincere condolences to his family, to Sexual Minorities Uganda,
for whom David Kato tirelessly campaigned and his many friends and
colleagues from civil society. The MenEngage Network stands in solidarity
with the courageous LGBTI activists in Uganda and across the continent.  We
are greatly saddened by this loss.
Uganda has been the epicenter of vitriolic hate campaigns against LGBTI
communities. An anti-homosexuality bill currently before the Ugandan
Parliament has been roundly condemned across the world and a number of
newspapers have published inflammatory and hateful articles, including an
article in the extremist newspaper The Rolling Stone with the inflammatory
headline, ‘Hang them, they are after our kids’ and photographs of members of
Ugandan LGBTI organisations. Articles such as these contributed to the
escalating death threats Kato and others advocating for LGBTI rights had
reported receiving.

We agree with the statement issued by the South African human rights
organisation Amandla who say, “the killing of  Kato and persecution of
lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people on our
continent is an attack on democracy, equality and human rights for all.
Struggles for justice and human rights are not complete without addressing
state and religion sponsored homophobia and persecution of LGBTI people.”

In their statement condemning David’s murder, the Ugandan Civil Society
Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law said: “the climate of fear
and homophobic hatred stirred up in Uganda by political and religious
leaders, as well as some sections of the public media, a murder of this kind
was increasingly possible; the question was not whether it would happen, but
when. David, along with fellow activists, had been facing direct
intimidation, including receiving threats, for many months before he was
killed. The matter now, therefore, is to ensure that those who survive can
be better protected from violence.”

The MenEngage Alliance and its member organisations across the world,
including in many African countries, urge the Ugandan government to take
immediate action to arrest the perpetrators of David’s murder and make clear
to the Ugandan people that such acts of hatred will be met with swift and
severe sanction. We call on the Ugandan government to decriminalize same-sex
relations and withdraw the Anti-Homosexuality Bill currently before the
Ugandan Parliament. This bill has fanned the flames of hatred and led to
many acts of violence. We also call on the Ugandan government to ensure the
safety of the LGBTI community, including activists working to advance LGBTI

We echo the call made by the Uganda Ugandan Civil Society Coalition on Human
Rights and Constitutional Law that political and religious leaders abandon
hate speech and fulfill their constitutional obligations to promote a
political culture that unflinchingly promotes a human rights culture. As
they did, MenEngage also calls on all religious leaders, whatever their
denomination to promote love of one’s neighbour rather than narrow-minded
bigotry. Religious fundamentalism has done much to make such a murder
possible in Uganda.

The MenEngage Alliance also calls on the African Union to take action to
prevent the routine violation of LGBTI rights, including taking a firm
position against bills criminalizing homosexuality currently under review in
a number of African countries.  The International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights (ICCPR) and the African Charter for Human and Peoples’
Rights, both extend equal rights and equal protection to all persons without
distinction. The United Nations Human Rights Committee has ruled that this
protection extends to sexual minorities. We call on the African Union to
deliver on their commitments to protect the rights of LGBTI communities as
outlined in the ICCPR and the African Charter for Human and Peoples’ Rights

MenEngage country networks across Africa will deliver petitions to the
Ugandan embassies and consulates in their respective countries and hold
demonstrations calling for action from the Ugandan Government. For more
information on how to participate in these activities, please follow up with
the people listed below.

The MenEngage Alliance represents hundreds of organisations and thousands of
individuals committed to achieving a more just and gender equitable world in
which all people can enjoy their full human rights. The MenEngage Alliance’s
founding principles include a firm commitment to advancing the rights of
LGBTI communities and the Alliance recognizes the link between homophobia
and restrictive gender roles for women and men. More information on the
MenEngage Alliance can be found at<>

*Contact information:**
*• Reverend Desmond Lesejane, Deputy Director, Sonke Gender Justice Network,
Johannesburg, South Africa:
desmond at<>
27 11 339-3589 (office) and 27 84 581-6306 (mobile)
• Monica Mbaru, Proramme Coordinator Africa, International Gay and Lesbian
Human Rights Commission,  mailto: mmbaru at, 27 21 4693704 (office)
and  27 729 284706 (cell).

*Click here*<>
online endorsement.

 *Endorsing organisations:*
1. The Athena Network
2. Sonke Gender Justice Network, South Africa
3. Instituto Promundo, Brazil
4. EngenderHealth, USA
5. Men’s Resources International, USA
6. International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, South Africa
7. Men for Change, Mozambique
8. PADARE and the Zimbabwe MenEngage Country Network
9. Salud y Genero, Mexico
10. White Ribbon Campaign, Canada
11. Save the Children
12. Cultura y Salud, Chile
13. The White Ribbon Campaign
14. Salud y Genero, Mexico
16. Zimbabwe MenEngage Country Network
17. The Men For Change Network, Mozambique
18. HOPEM, Mozambique
19. Men’s Resources International
20. Olive Leaf Foundation, South Africa
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