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Kenyan LGBTQI Activist brutally murdered and body dumped in metal box

By AHRC Team, January 06, 2023.

We are devastated to receive the news that Edwin Chiloba, a popular fashion designer and LGBTI activist, has been brutally murdered. His body was found dead with his body stuffed inside a metal box in the Mogombet area of Kapsabet in Uasin Gishu County, Kenya.

It is believed the killers dropped his body at Simat Kapseret the same day in the afternoon by car with a concealed number plate. Reports emerged that A body of a middle-aged man abandoned at Simat Kapseret in a metal box. According to area residents said the body was dropped by a numberless car in the area at noon. we have heard that Police have transferred the body to MTRH mortuary as the investigation began.

Melanie Nathan, African Human Rights Coalition: "Conditions for LGBTQI+ people and human rights defenders are particularly dangerous in Kenya. At African Human Rights Coalition we receive consistent reports of attacks and kidnappings where people who are gay meet other gay people online and through hook up or dating apps. They build trust and relationships which lead to assault, torture and kidnappings. I am speculating here - but from the many reports we have received and cases for asylum that I have taken on, this is familiar.

People are kidnapped, tortured, beaten, and held hostage in exchange for blackmailed money and are often released, only to have the blackmail persist, until such time as they are able to flee. The kidnapped party draws money out of bank accounts or transfers money to mobile accounts in exchange for their release. This is done under threat of beatings, killings and also under threat of outing or exposure to press and families.

The kidnappers know that gay people, who are victims are often seen by police to be perpetrators, merely by virtue of their sexuality. This perception is due to the criminalizing laws of the country. These laws equate LGBTI people with the likes of bank robbers. They are treated accordingly by state and non-state actors. These gangs get away with these kidnappings and other crimes, as cases are not generally reported to police, for fear of reprisal. It is time for Kenya and other African countries to not only decriminalize sexuality and gender identity, but also to stop taboos that are based on colonizing values nad the resulting demonization of good people, because it leads to these horrific crimes. The criminalizing laws, societal taboo and demonization give license to such crimes. Edwin Chiloba was a good person who did not deserve to die so horribly. He was successful in his life, the antithesis to a criminal, yet criminalized. He was considered a criminal by his own country merely because he was an LGBTI human rights defender." We at African Human Rights Coalition grieve the loss of Edwin and extend our deepest sympathy to Kenya's fashion community, LGBTI community, human rights defenders and all family and friends. May his memory be a blessing, his dear soul rest in peace and the killers be brought to justice to the fullest extent of the law.


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