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Warnings to LGBTI Refugees in Kenya during Kenyan Taxation Riots

By Melanie Nathan, June 26, 2024.

African Human rights Coalition is addressing this warning to LGBTQI+ refugees in Kenya. Firstly we urge refugees to remain calm during this very dangerous period, as there are measures you can take to best protect yourselves.

Stay away from Kenyan protests and below the warnings, see the CNN Report to explain what is happening.

Here are the measures for self- protection; 1. AHRC understands that LGBTQI+ people are at particular risk in a country like Kenya which criminalizes LGBTI people and where being a refugee under the LGBTI profile is not generally safe.

2. If you are undocumented for Nairobi, you should re-examine your options by contacting a UNHCR protection officer for advice.

3. You should have a copy of your Refugee mandate/ Registration documents and ID on you at all times.

4. Due to the Kenyan encampment laws, all refugees, unless specially permitted under certain exceptions, are required to be in a refugee camp such as Kakuma or Dadaab. A breach of this law can result in arrest of a refugee and could even lead to refoulement, although against Refugee treatise. Travel in the country or leaving the camps without movement passes can lead to arrests.

5. Arrests of LGBTQI+ in Kenya opens the person to many harms including torture, forced anal exams, beatings, sexual assault, rape, unlawful detentions, disappearances, blackmail and even killing.

6. Stay away from Parliament, city centers, the streets in general, travel, and remain indoors in safe shelters.

7. ANY ARRESTS should be reported immediately to UNHCR protection officers. If someone has been arrested who is a refugee, UNHCR must be alerted as soon as possible. You are welcome to copy AHRC at

8. Use common sense. DO NOT PARTICIPATE in protests or riots. You are a guest in Kenya!

SCAMS: Westerners and social media users should be alerted to the very many opportunistic scammers who are taking advantage of the anti LGBTQI+ conditions. This also includes LGBTI refugees themselves who are alleging friends have been arrested or held and raising money purportedly for their release. Scamming hurts everyone and so we urge you find a process whereby these fundraisers can be properly vetted before sending funds.

CNN REPORT Kenya is in the grip of nationwide protests against proposed tax hikes, culminating in Tuesday’s “total shutdown,” which quickly turned violent.

At least five people were shot dead and around 31 injured after Kenyan police fired live rounds at demonstrators in the capital of Nairobi. A CNN team witnessed Kenyan police beating and later arresting some paramedics who were helping injured protesters.

Here are other headlines you should know:

The bill behind the chaos:

  • Finance Bill 2024 has unleashed widespread protests under the slogan of “7 Days of Rage.” Last week, the government scrapped some tax increases after people took to the streets. They included a proposed 16% value-added tax on bread along with taxes on motor vehicles, vegetable oil and mobile money transfers.

President’s response

  • President William Ruto, in an address to the nation, said the security of families and property was his utmost priority. He said Tuesday’s events marked a “critical turning point” in how the government responded “to grave threats to our national security.” He added that Kenya was “infiltrated and hijacked by a group of organized criminals.”

Injuries and damage:

  • Kenya’s Red Cross said some of its vehicles were attacked and its staff and volunteers were injured during the protests. It did not say which people or groups injured its staff and volunteers nor who attacked its vehicles. Vehicles parked at Kenya’s Supreme Court were set on fire, CNN’s affiliate Citizen TV Kenya reported.

Parliament set on fire:

  • Kenya’s parliament was set ablaze as protesters stormed the building and the ceremonial mace was also stolen. Nairobi’s City Hall, the office of the governor of Nairobi, was also set on fire.

Internet disruptions:

  • The Internet monitoring site NetBlocks reported a “major disruption” to connectivity. The outages also impacted neighboring countries, including Burundi, Uganda and Rwanda, it said.

Military intervention

  • Kenya’s military was deployed to support the country’s police services, according to the cabinet secretary of the country’s defense ministry.


  • Kenya’s opposition leader Raila Odinga called for the government to “immediately stop the violence its agencies are meting out on citizens.”

  • Several ambassadors based in Kenya said they were “deeply concerned” by the violence. The US State Department also condemned the violence while the UN Secretary-General called on Kenya’s police and security forces to “exercise restraint.”


BY MELANIE NATHAN Executive Director African Human Rights Coalition (AHRC)|


Melanie Nathan, B.A. LL.B  is a qualified country of origin expert witness in the United States and global immigration courts, providing expert written country conditions  reports and testimony for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, non-binary, LGBTQI + asylum seekers from African Countries, to include activists, allies and human rights defenders.

Melanie also consults multinational corporations regarding briefings and policy for operations and issue impacted by anti-homosexuality laws and country conditions. SEE HERE

Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Guinea-Conakry, Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, Ghana,  Kenya, Niger, Nigeria, Malawi, Mauritania, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo, Tanzania, The Gambia,  South Africa, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe


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