Kenya: Pervasive homophobic violence in coastal region

Mobs in Kenya’s coastal region have repeatedly attacked people based on their sexual orientation and gender identity, says a new report. In at least six incidents between 2008 and 2015, mobs in the coastal counties of Mombasa, Kwale, and Kilifi have attacked or threatened LGBT people or health workers serving the LGBT community, without sufficient response from authorities.

The 70-page report, “The Issue is Violence: Attacks on LGBT People on Kenya’s Coast,” is based on research conducted in 2014 and 2015 by Human Rights Watch and PEMA Kenya, a community organization in Mombasa that provides support to gender and sexual minorities on human rights, health, HIV/AIDS, and economic well-being. 

Unchecked violence on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity not only constitutes a serious human rights abuse, it also jeopardizes Kenya’s efforts to address an HIV epidemic that is highly concentrated among vulnerable populations. In three of the mob attacks, violence or threats from residents and local religious leaders caused health providers serving MSM to temporarily or permanently close their doors or shut down workshops.  Read More via Human Rights Watch