Main | Thursday, February 17, 2011

Wikileaks: Ugandan Activist David Kato Was Mocked At UN Human Rights Seminar

According to U.S. embassy cables released by Wikileaks, Ugandan panelists at a 2009 United Nations seminar on human rights openly mocked activist David Kato as he attempted to deliver his speech denouncing his country's still-pending "kill the gays" bill. Attending the meeting were the bill's author, Ugandan MP David Behati, and Pastor Martin "Eat Da Poo Poo" Ssempa. Kato was bludgeoned to death last month in a crime the corrupt Ugandan police have classified as a "personal disagreement."
Throughout his talk a member of the Ugandan Human Rights Commission "openly joked and snickered" with supporters of the bill, the diplomat claimed in the cable. The "consultative meeting" in December 2009, organised with funding from the UN, aimed to discuss the bill, which would impose the death penalty for "aggravated homosexuality" and life imprisonment for consenting adults who have gay sex. In the cable, dated 24 December 2009, the diplomat claimed Ugandan politicians, including the author of the anti-homosexuality bill, David Bahati, had channelled anger at the country's socio-political failings into "violent hatred" of gays. Other confidential memos sent between Kampala and Washington in 2009-2010 and sent to WikiLeaks paint a picture of a worsening human rights climate in the run-up to Ugandan elections Uganda's "chilling" descent from tolerance to violent homophobia and a deepening fear among gay activists, who claim they are being increasingly monitored and harassed.
According to the confidential cables, Behati believes increasing revenue from Uganda's oil industry will soon free from his nation from the influence of foreign countries, leaving them free to persecute homosexuals in whatever fashion they choose.

UPDATE: Box Turtle Bulletin has posted the diplomatic cables in their entirety as well as some excellent analysis.

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