Today the European Parliament formally condemned the murder of David Kato Kisule, a long‑standing human rights defender for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in Uganda. David Kato was brutally murdered on 26 January 2011, after fearlessly challenging the Anti-Homosexuality Bill (sic) and nation‑wide calls to ‘hang’ LGBT people.
Today’s resolution points to Uganda’s enduring failure to abide by international human rights law, and protect LGBT people from violence. It strongly condemns the use of the death penalty under any circumstances, and instructs the European Commission and EU Member States to support LGBT people and human rights defenders in Uganda.
The resolution, which garnered wide support from six different political groups, follows posthumous tributes to David Kato by the President of the European Parliament, as well as by the Chair of the Subcommittee on Human Rights, the Co-President of the Africa Caribbean Pacific-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, and the Co-Presidents of the LGBT Intergroup.
Ulrike Lunacek MEP, Co-President of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBT Rights, declared today: “It is very positive that six political groups could agree on a text condemning violence and hatred against LGBT people, demanding that European institutions make full use of the Toolkit for LGBT people’s human rights. We demand that soon-to-be elected leaders refrain from demonizing sexual minorities, once and for all!”
Ulrike Lunacek had first met David Kato in 2005, soon after the foundation of the LGBT rights organisation Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG).
Michael Cashman MEP, Co-President of the LGBT Intergroup, continued: “It is always sad when we have to vote resolutions on the death of human rights defenders. I thank the House for its unity in declaring that LGBT people’s rights are human rights. After this senseless murder, real justice would be nothing short of the universal decriminalisation of homosexuality.”
The European Parliament previously adopted two resolutions on the human rights of sexual minorities in Uganda, in December 2009 and December 2010.
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