KAMPALA (BNO NEWS) -- A Ugandan court on Thursday sentenced a man to 30 years in prison for murdering gay rights activist David Kato earlier this year, local media reported.
Sidney Nsubuga Enoch, 22, was sentenced after he confessed to having murdered Kato, 46, on January 26. The renowned activist, who dedicated his life to fighting for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons (LGBT) in Uganda, died after Nsubuga hit him twice on the head with a hammer.
Nsubuga claimed that Kato had been demanding sex from him before the murder. "The deceased started kissing Nsubuga and tickling him but in the process, a one Kizza Akram knocked at the door and the deceased stopped what he was doing," the prosecution told the court.
The prosecution, according to Uganda's Daily Monitor, added: "Nsubuga prepared lunch for Kizza and the deceased. After lunch the deceased locked the house and informed Nsubuga that it was time for sex."
Nsubuga told Kato that he wanted to go to the bathroom first after which he would come back and have sex with him. However, when Nsubuga returned to the living room, he hit Kato on the back of the head twice with a hammer.
When Kizza later returned to the house, he asked Kato's neighbors where he was but was told they did not know. They eventually entered Kato's house and discovered him lying unconscious on the bed in a pool of blood.
Kato's murder was condemned by both local human rights organizations and the international community. U.S. President Barack Obama said he was saddened by the death and recognized Kato for showing 'tremendous courage' by speaking out against hate.
"He was a powerful advocate for fairness and freedom. The United States mourns his murder, and we recommit ourselves to David's work," Obama said in a statement in January. "LGBT rights are not special rights; they are human rights. My Administration will continue to strongly support human rights and assistance work on behalf of LGBT persons abroad. We do this because we recognize the threat faced by leaders like David Kato, and we share their commitment to advancing freedom, fairness, and equality for all."
Kato was killed a few weeks after his picture, along with dozens of other prominent people thought to be gay, was published in a local newspaper under the headline, 'Kill them.' He had been leading the fight against an Anti-Homosexuality Bill that proposed to criminalize homosexuality and make it punishable by a fine and life imprisonment. Repeat offenders and those HIV positive would be subject to the death penalty.
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