Watch full video: LGBTQ rights activist Edwin Chiloba’s body found stuffed in a metal box on roadside in Kenya
Edwin Chiloba, a well-known LGBTQ activist, was discovered murdered in western Kenya on Tuesday, according to local authorities. His body was found put inside of a metal box and showed signs of a severe attack.
One suspect has been detained by police in connection with the alleged murder, which has prompted outrage and demands for justice from friends and rights organizations.
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According to a statement from the county commissioner, Eddyson Nyale, a village elder called attention to the body’s box that had been pushed from a car outside the town of Eldoret in Uasin Gishu County.
According to Nyale, the suspect, 24-year-old Jactone Odhiambo, was detained after being spotted out and about with Chiloba. According to him, the arrest was made in order to “collect information on the circumstances of the death” and support the hunt for the mysterious car.
According to Resila Onyango, a police spokeswoman, “We don’t know for now why he was killed that manner.” “Experts are in charge of the situation.”
Chiloba was a popular figure in the Kenyan LGBTQ community and a fashion designer with his own clothing line, ChilobaDesigns, on Instagram.
He was a rising human rights advocate who frequently emphasized the value of diversity. His close friends characterized him as a fearless, ardent individual who adored people and style and used his work as a platform for action. The news of his death provoked widespread grief and requests for authorities to bring charges against those guilty on social media.
The killing of nonbinary lesbian Sheila Adhiambo Lumumba, 25, in April, was cited by the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC), a nongovernmental group, as “this is a frightening crime but it’s becoming prevalent in Kenya – proof of a growing epidemic of violence in the country.”
The KHRC requested that the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations “perform speedy investigations and guarantee the killers are arrested and convicted.”
In Kenya, where conservative Christians have significant political sway, LGBTQ rights organizations have only made minor progress. Gay sex is illegal under a section of the penal code that dates back to British colonial control and carries punishments of up to 14 years in jail. Human Rights Watch claimed that despite infrequent enforcement, the rule fosters a “environment of discrimination and violence.”
The Kenyan High Court declined to overturn the statute in May 2019. In an interview with CNN just before the decision, Kenya’s then-President Uhuru Kenyatta called homosexuality “a nonissue.” William Ruto, the recently elected president of Kenya, has also spoken out against LGBTQ rights in interviews, claiming they are at odds with Christian principles.
Friend of Chiloba and co-founder of the LGBTQ rights organization Queer Republic MaryLize Biubwa claimed that Chiloba had previously been attacked twice in the previous year, first in July and once in September.
Because he was a life-giver, Biubwa remarked, “He was full of life; it’s very painful to think about his life in this way at this time.
After the incident, Biubwa expressed concern for her personal safety, saying, “His struggle is not only for him; it’s for everyone who is gay, who is different, and who is criminalized by the society we live in.” “The worst thing is that Chiloba might have been any queer person,” said the author.
Her fears are shared by many others. In Nairobi, peer educator Nyakwar Okinda, 28, claimed that he was assaulted in 2021 and that friends are afraid to come out as gay, “particularly because of occurrences like these.”
Do we not possess rights? The example of Chiloba is not the first, he claimed. “They promise to carry out justice when we pass away, but they forget. We start to doubt our rights because of this.
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