A young gay man who was brutally murdered on the night of 19th May, 2020 in Likoni, Mombasa by as yet unknown persons(s), was buried on Saturday 23rd May, 2020 at his rural home in Kwale. His body was discovered in a field on the morning of 19th May, 2020 lying in a pool of blood. He was a social worker in one of the LGBTQ organizations in the Mombasa.

Violence against Gender and Sexual Minorities in Kenya is common.

A report by Human Rights Watch, published on 28th September, 2015, reported that 2 gay men had been murdered in the county of Mombasa, one in Bamburi.  Five months later, on 28th March, 2016, another young man in his early twenties was murdered in a hotel in the same county.

The police have never arrested any one in connection with any of these murder cases or referred any of them to court for inquest.

Sections 162, 163 and 165 of the Kenyan Penal Code criminalize same sex sexual relations. This sanction, coupled with stigma born of strong cultural and religious sentiments, not only fuels crime against Gender and Sexual Minority persons but also discourages reporting of these crimes to the police while deterring persons willing to help in investigations from coming forward. This leaves many crimes committed against Gender and Sexual Minority persons to go unreported and unresolved.

In addition, law enforcement officials though tasked with the responsibility of ensuring the protection of all including gender and sexual minorities, are known to discriminate against them. Gender and sexual minorities seeking police assistance risk further abuse, arrest and prosecution on trumped up charges.

Repealing the offending provisions would lower the incident of crimes against gender and sexual minorities while increasing that of reporting and prosecution.

By cmrsl

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