Action Alert from Sexual Minorities Uganda
January 31st, 2011
Frank Mugisha of Sexual Minorities Uganda sent out this action alert, offering practical advice of actions you can take in the wake of David Kato’s murder. I think one of the most salient pieces of advice he can give is this: In whatever you do, please, please not spread misinformation. “A highly political and delicate investigation is underway in a dangerous environment in Uganda,” he writes, “and therefore misinformation could be seriously damaging.”
Several resources are available to help you avoid inadvertently spreading disinformation. Val Kalende has an excellent update on the events and background surrounding David Kato’s murder. (Val was bravely featured in this Ugandan newspaper article here.) You can also review our own coverage of events in Uganda from 2009 through the Spring of 2010. For more recent events, you can follow our tags for Uganda and David Kato. Warren Throckmorton also has excellent coverage under his Uganda category.
HOW GLOBAL ALLIES SHOULD RESPOND TO THE MURDER OF DAVID KATO
29 JANUARY 2011
Our dear friend and colleague, David Kato, was brutally murdered on Wednesday, the 26th of January 2011. David was the advocacy officer of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) and a longtime leading activist for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) human rights.
The condolences and offers of support from the global community have been tremendous. On behalf of David’s family, colleagues and friends, we thank all of you.
We fully understand that many of you are full of sadness and anger and would like to take action on David’s behalf. However, we believe that first and foremost Ugandan civil society must be respected in leading and coordinating events and actions over the coming weeks and months. We also believe that it is crucial that we as Ugandans are able to document the national and international response to David’s brutal murder, which requires your regular communication with us.
WHAT ACTION TO TAKE
- Send letters urging the Government of Uganda (contact information below) to take the following steps:
- Publicly condemn David’s murder;
- Carry out a full and fair investigation into David’s murder;
- Prosecute the perpetrator(s) to the fullest extent of the law;
- Investigate David’s hacked email account in the days preceding his death;
- Assume that, until proven otherwise, David’s death was motivated by homophobia and not routine or arbitrary violence;
- Communicate frequently with LGBT leaders throughout the investigation into David’s murder;
- Ensure that members of Uganda’s LGBT community have adequate protection from violence;
- Take prompt action against all threats or hate speech likely to incite violence, discrimination or hostility toward LGBT Ugandans;
- Eliminate any possibility of consideration or passage of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.
- Contact your own governmental authorities and urge them to communicate these concerns to the Ugandan authorities in direct and private advocacy.
- Continue to expose and denounce U.S conservative evangelicals spreading homophobia in Uganda
- Organize respectful and non-violent vigils at the Ugandan embassy or consulate in your country.
HOW TO TAKE ACTION:
- Inform SMUG of all action you take around David’s murder, so that we can monitor all developments. Send copies of your press releases, statements, audio/video recordings of vigils, pictures, and action plans on this subject to SMUG email: email@example.com
- Ensure that you do not spread misinformation. A highly political and delicate investigation is underway in a dangerous environment in Uganda, and therefore misinformation could be seriously damaging.
We call for respectful responses towards David Kato’s murder and NOT to use this tragic incident for fund raising campaigns. We thank and encourage everyone who has supported SMUG’s work to continue with us in the fight for LGBT rights.
CONTACT INFORMATION FOR THE UGANDAN GOVERNMENT:
President of The Republic of Uganda H.E Yoweri Museveni
PO Box 7168
Fax: + 256 414 346 102
Salutation: Your Excellency
Inspector General of Police Major Kale Kayihura
PO Box 7055
Fax: + 256 414 255 630
Salutation: Dear Major
Minister of Justice Hon. Makubuya Kiddu
PO Box 7183
Fax: + 256 414 234 453
Salutation: Dear Minister
Frank Mugisha: firstname.lastname@example.org
Val Kalende: mailto:email@example.com
Pepe Julian: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
In solidarity together as one