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Ugandan Gay Rights Activist Bludgeoned To Death

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This is terrible.

A Ugandan gay rights activist was bludgeoned to death in his home.

David Kato's name was listed as one of the nation's "top 100 homosexuals" in an a tabloid story that included a list of names along with photos, addresses, and a banner that read, "Hang Them."

A neighbor found Kato's body and notified authorities. Arrest warrants have been issued for two suspects: a taxi driver found near Kato's house and an ex-convict who was staying with Kato before the killing.

After the list was released last year, Kato had told sources that he feared for his life. "The villagers want to set my house ablaze," he said. "They want to burn my house. … (They say,) 'Can you go away before my house is burned?'"

Activists urged authorities in Uganda to investigate the killing and have called on the government to protect them from violence.

"David Kato's death is a tragic loss to the human rights community. David had faced the increased threats to Ugandan LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people bravely and will be sorely missed," said Maria Burnett, senior Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch.

The U.S. Mission in Kampala, Uganda, issued a statement saying it "mourns" Kato's death.

"The U.S. extends its sympathies to David's family, friends and human rights colleagues. David's courageous devotion to promoting the universal human rights of members of Uganda's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community improved the lives of minority populations in Uganda and throughout Africa, and his selfless dedication to defending human rights and speaking out against injustice served as inspiration to human rights defenders around the world."

This was such unnecessary violence and so unfortunate that a life was lost so tragically.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to David's family.

[Image via AP Images.

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