Police make arrest in Uganda gay activist death

Ugandan authorities have arrested a key suspect in the killing of a prominent gay rights activist who was bludgeoned to death last week, police said.

Ugandan authorities have arrested a key suspect in the killing of a prominent gay rights activist who was bludgeoned to death last week, police said.

Police spokesman Vincent Sekatte said that the suspect made a confession before a magistrate. Mr Sekatte added that police will charge the man with murder.

Police insist David Kato’s killing had nothing to do with his sexual orientation. Investigator Ronald Gata said the suspect is an ex-convict Mr Kato employed three days before his death.

But gay rights campaigners insist that Mr Kato’s death was linked to his activism and that the government has failed to protect gays in the country.

The killing came after a year of stepped up threats against gays in Uganda, where a bill has proposed the death penalty for some homosexual acts.

A Ugandan tabloid newspaper called Rolling Stone had listed a number of men they said were homosexuals last year, including Mr Kato. His picture was published on the front page, along with his name and a headline that said “Hang Them”.

Mr Kato, who had been threatened multiple times, was found with serious wounds to his head caused by an attack with a hammer at his home. He died on the way to the hospital.

Police had to intervene midway through Mr Kato’s funeral after a homophobic outburst from Anglican priest Thomas Musoke led to a scuffle with mourners, and Mr Musoke was escorted away.

While no one was hurt in the melee, gay rights campaigners said they had received threats that their cars would be stoned as they left the service.

US President Barack Obama has called on the Ugandan government to hold the perpetrators accountable.

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