Officials in Kenya discovered the lifeless body of notorious LGBTQ activist Edwin Chiloba on Wednesday, stuffed inside a metal box.
The body of a male, who was described as wearing women’s clothing, was discovered by the officers when they opened the box.
The Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital received Edwin Chiloba’s body so that the cause of death could be determined there.
Jacktone Odhiambo, a Nairobi-based photojournalist, was apprehended when neighbors identified him as the perpetrator.
A friend of the dead named Felix Kasanda, also known as Mama G, laments the violence and persecution the community in Kenya continues to experience.
“So many people have been killed because of their sexual orientation. No action has been taken by the government, even the previous government, even the current government. They say ‘you are gay and you deserve to be killed.’ Things like that.”
Kenya is largely a conservative society and the president has in past said that gay rights are a nonissue in the east African country.
“We are Kenyans and we are not going to sit back and listen to us being killed like dogs every time and again. We need justice despite our sexual orientation. We need justice, we are human beings” pleads Kasanda.
Amnesty International secretary-general Agnes Callamard tweeted that a full and independent investigation into Edwin Chiloba’s “heart-breaking” killing must be carried out, “leaving no stone unturned.”
The calls for justice have spread outside Kenya as Ghanaian human rights organization Rightify called on President Ruto to ensure the protection and promotion of human rights of sexual and gender minorities.
According to the International Gay and Lesbian Association, out of the 55 states recognised by the United Nations and the African Union, homosexuality is outlawed in 34 African countries. Human Rights Watch notes that Benin and the Central African Republic, do not outlaw homosexuality, but have certain laws which discriminate against homosexual individuals. South Africa is the first on the continent to have institutionalised same sex marriage since November 2006.
Though LGBT anti-discrimination laws exist in Angola, Botswana, Cape Verde, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, and South Africa, the continent is still plagued by backwards views on same sex unions.