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AHRC KAKUMA REFUGEE PRIDE Safety Advisories Breached

Let me start off by saying that at AHRC we believe PRIDE is critical in the ecology of decriminalization and full equality. It is important to our Freedom on so many levels. The right to one's sexuality, gender identity and the right to protest anywhere at anytime, if one is willing to take the risk, is the mainstay of who we are and how we have accomplished so much in so many regions of the world. I was one of the first sponsors of Uganda PRIDE, even being named in the Red Pepper "HOMO CABINET" back in 2014. We at AHRC are still fully supportive, of Uganda PRIDE, even with the dangers it presents. We believe that UGANDA PRIDE, on home soil is an imperative defiant act of protest necessary at a time like this. However Uganda Pride will, as always, be done in privacy, at a secured venue, taking safety first into consideration. That has been the case for the past decade since it was first held. It is NOT held in front of scores of children whose parents believe that gays are out to recruit kids. If you are a foreigner in someone else's country, and you bring PRIDE into a PUBLIC FORUM - in a criminalizing country - especially while a refugee, - expect the repercussions. AND also know you may be hurting the locals and your own refugee community.

AHRC HELD A SUCCESSFUL PRIDE FEAST IN KAKUMA JUNE 18, 2023: AHRC estimates close to 600 LGBTI-declared refugees in Kakuma camp, with new arrivals coming in due to the current situation in Uganda. The vast majority of LGBTQI form very small groups and reside scattered through the camp, invested in self security. It is this larger group that AHRC, together with co-sponsors provided PRIDE MEAL CELEBRATION, and its was held in private locations, small groups and everyone had a blast. No one waved rainbow flags publicly - and indeed a muted PRIDE, it was still PRIDE, with many focused on safety, resettlement and the hope for new beginnings by the time nest year Pride rolls around. Our work and the fantastic events, held in true African tradition can be viewed here: - these events held in 3 camps did not attract unwanted attention, as they were private. And there has been no reprisal.

BUT IN KAKUMA CAMP BLOCK 13 has potentially changed all that for everyone. BLOCK 13: HELD A PUBLIC PRIDE JUNE 26, 2023: Not more than 30 tend to show up at BLOCK 13 to form a group, though the majority of the 30 do not sleep there. Because BLOCK 13 is so vocal on social media for the past 3 years, Westerners and even fellow Africans tend to think its the home to all LGBTQI+ in Kakuma camp. It is not home to the majority.

Despite constant requests for LGBTQI+ refugees to invest in self security, especially during Pride month, this small group of refugees who have claimed LGBTI identification have held a purposefully public PRIDE party which AHRC believes serves to endanger those present and the majority refugees in the camp who have chosen to keep a low profile for safety reasons. Police do arrest people for LGBTI related incidents. That is known. Kenya criminalizes LGBTI people. The Pride Party group, who allege they reside at Kakuma BLOCK 13, caused large audiences of children of straight refugees, to be present as spectators to the party as can be seen from the VIDEO screenshot here below. This video was taken by the BLOCK 13 group themselves and uploaded to social media, with minimal regard for privacy, with settings for many unknown people to see, albeit friends of friends.

The spectator children who can be seen gawking curiously at the party goers who are behaving in a manner that could be interpreted as sexualized .... as same-sex-sexualized. These children are the kids of the larger heterosexual community in Kakuma camp, who are from countries such as Somalia and South Sudan, who abhor and demonize homosexuality - and who truly believe that gays are out to recruit their children. The party-goers are aware of this and of their audience so close by. This display of "PRIDE" in this fashion, plays into their hands. It plays into the hands of those considered homophobic who can now, in their minds, and according to their narrative, "PROVE" that the gays that left Uganda are now in Kenya to convert Somali and S. Sudanese children. How do you think this looks to the Kenyan Government. Is it not obvious that this group is provoking attack from. the very refugees they say are homophobic and who they say they fear?

The ONLY participating government in East Africa to host LGBTI for the purpose of resettlement abroad has been Kenya. The Kenyan Government which previously halted the process for resettlement, for this very reason, will probably shut it down again.

The fact of the matter is that no Kenyan wants their government to host, house and help LGBTI in their country, which not only already criminalizes LGBTI but is seeking harsher criminalizing laws similar to that just passed in Uganda. So any loud noise such as "we are here we are queer" - well we know where that leads in a place like Kenya. This overt Pride Party not only ignores security, but it provokes attack on anyone LGBTI in the camp. It provokes the shutting down of the platform for all, it hurts Kenya's LGBTQI community, and it invokes the use of the a new clause in the NEW Refugee Act - clause 19(2) that essentially allows the Kenyan Government to REFOUL a refugee whose behavior they deem to be immoral. Kenya is now legally (unless challenged) allowed to use the "indecency" clause to rid its country of any refugee. Of course: "bye bye gays." The group was warned about the harm - but together with sponsoring Westerners saw fit to ignore.

This group at Block 13 will now point fingers at UNHCR and blame UNHCR for failing to protect them while they place themselves squarely in this situation. Again, why would you stage a PUBLIC PRIDE in KAKUMA, when you would not dare stage a PUBLIC PRIDE in Kampala? The Block 13 Pride Party group know this! They know. They have been told by well respected leaders, including Ugandans, that they should refrain from self outing in front of dangerous crowds in the camp, least of all put on displays such as the video depicts. They know Kenya is a sensitive environment - and that the camp is dangerous. WHY would any gay, lesbian or trans person do in KAKUMA what they would not dare do in KAMPALA? WHY? Well from my vantage point the answer is clear. While it does tap into the desperation to invoke a catastrophe in the hope of a quick airlift out - that cannot happen due to the encampment LAW of the country. So in effect all it invokes is - 'the gays are too much trouble' - and bam - shuts down resettlement and triggers refoulment / deportation - via clause 19 (2) in the Refugee Act.

The refugees who organized the event spent money on PA systems and other party materials, while at the same time they declare they are starving. .... one wonders? THAT SAID less then a few hours later the same person posting these videos on social media to include Facebook - and tagging me without my permission - POSTED THE PREDICTABLE THIS:

I would guess that people tagged in this post probably sponsored the event or are donors to this type of harm! As my name has been tagged in this post, I find it absolutely necessary to post THIS advisory to disassociate myself and AHRC from PRIDES in PUBLIC in REFUGEE CAMPS and foreign countries where no regard is given to the well being of all - of the majority and the local LGBTI populace. I also am posting this in the hope that people who supported may see the truth and know the harm gthey have caused. with more to come. t We at AHRC are the ones dealing with advocacy and feeding with supplemental rations. We know what is going on with the majority and now because of a few their own private safe PRIDES have been tainted - by those who have rattled the anti-gay cage in a hostile host environment with a very complex milieu. MOST IMPORTANTLY AHRC is warning all people in Kakuma to maintain a low profile during this time of heightened concern. BY MELANIE NATHAN



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