David Kato (Pic: Jocelyn Edwards)

A US embassy cable from Uganda, leaked by Wikileaks, has revealed that slain activist David Kato was mocked at a UN sponsored meeting.

The meeting was held in Kampala in December 2009 to debate the notorious and still-pending Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

According to the Guardian newspaper, a US diplomat reported in the cable that a member of the Ugandan Human Rights Commission “openly joked and snickered” with supporters of the bill as Kato gave a speech.

The diplomat described the speech as well-written, but noted that Kato delivered it badly because of “his evident nervousness”.

Other leaked cables from a period between 2009 and 2010 paint a picture of growing homophobia in Uganda as activists became increasingly concerned about their safety.

Referring to the author of the anti-homosexuality bill, MP David Bahati, the diplomat wrote that, “his homophobia… is blinding and incurable”.

“Bahati, [Uganda’s minister for ethics and integrity, David] Buturo, and particularly [anti-gay Pastor Martin] Ssempa’s ability to channel popular anger over Uganda’s socio-political failings into violent hatred of a previously unpopular but tolerated minority is chilling,” the diplomat said.

Kato, a leading LGBT rights activist with Sexual Minorities Uganda, was bludgeoned to death with a hammer in his home at the end of January. It remains unclear if his murder was tied to his activism and/or sexuality.

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