Minute's silence for murdered LGBT rights activist
Bairbre de Brún MEP today joined fellow MEPs in a minute's silence at the beginning of the Subcommittee on Human Rights of the European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee to mark the recent murder of LGBT rights activist David Kato. MEPs watched a video of evidence which David gave to the Subcommittee on Human Rights in November 2010 whilst the Subcommittee Chair Heidi Hautala MEP described Mr Kato as a courageous defender of human rights.
Following the tribute to Mr Kato in the European Parliament in Brussels today, Ms de Brún said "as a prominent and lifelong campaigner for LBGT rights in Uganda, David will always be remembered for his incredibly brave and noble work and sorely missed by those he fought so vigorously for."
A regular visitor to the European Parliament, David worked tirelessly to increase international awareness of the plight of Ugandan LGBT people. Many are often persecuted by both their own government and the media who propagate a campaign of hate against them. Last October he took on a Ugandan newspaper which had begun publishing photographs of people it said were gay accompanied by the headline "Hang Them". His complaint was rightly upheld as an abuse of the right to privacy.
Ms de Brún said today that "David's tragic death must be fully investigated by the Ugandan government and the criminalisation of homosexuality must be brought to an end immediately. The rights for LGBT people for which David so passionately strived must be promoted and protected."