Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Monday, September 28, 2015 | by- JOEL MUINDE Authorities watch as mobs attack gay people in Kenya’s Coast, says report

The new report is titled 'The Issue is violence: Attack on LGBT People on Kenya's Coast.'
Gay people in the Coast counties have been repeatedly attacked by mobs because of their sexual orientation and gender identity.
This is according to a report released Monday by Persons Marginalised and Aggrieved (PEMA) Kenya and Human Rights Watch (HRW).
In at least six incidents between 2008 and 2015, mobs in the coastal counties of Mombasa, Kwale, and Kilifi have attacked or threatened lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people or health workers serving the LGBT community, without sufficient response from authorities.
The new report is titled "The Issue is violence: Attack on LGBT People on Kenya's Coast."
The rights groups documented abuses against members of sexual minorities in the Coast region, including mob violence, assault, rape, incitement to violence, and inadequate protection.
“For many LGBT people in the coast region, safety is a daily concern,” said Esther Adhiambo, executive director of PEMA Kenya.
“While police treatment of LGBT people has improved in recent years, discrimination remains a major problem.
“LGBT peoples’ justified fear of reporting hate crimes to the police means that violence continues with impunity,” she added.
HRW and PEMA Kenya have noted that the authorities' response to mob attacks and other forms of anti-gay violence has been limited with officials rarely condemning the attacks.

Police, even in the few instances in which they provide protection to victims, have not arrested anyone for participating in or inciting these attacks, say the rights groups.
Many victims do not file complaints with police, believing that the police will not help them or, worse, might arrest them instead.
In several cases, LGBT people who did attempt to file complaints were met with discriminatory treatment by the police, who mocked or harassed them or refused to take their statements.
Kenyan law provides for a sentence of up to 14 years in prison for any “person who… has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature… or permits a male person to have carnal knowledge of him or her against the order of nature.”
Prosecutions for same-sex conduct are rare in Kenya.
However, in February 2015, police in Kwale County arrested two men suspected to be gay.
The arrests took place in the context of an anti-gay witch hunt by Kwale County residents.
At least two men were physically attacked during that period, both slashed with broken bottles, in what appeared to be homophobic hate crimes.
UNAIDS has called for the decriminalising of same-sex conduct, saying that criminalisation drives vulnerable groups underground and away from essential HIV-prevention and treatment services.

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