Ugandan gay refugee in Kenya kills himself outside UN office

Michael Eli Dokosi April 14, 2020
LGBT refugees at Kakuma Camp. (Photo courtesy of Thomson Reuters Foundation)

Kenyan police and LGBT+ refugee groups have acknowledged the suicide of a gay refugee in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi outside the office of the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR). The deceased’s body was found on Monday, according to the BBC.

Meanwhile, LGBTI refugees community leader Pio Pat has said Aneste Mwiru from Uganda was allegedly beaten up moments before he killed himself, although he failed to give a name.

He had gone to ask about funding from the UNHCR, which was cut off two months ago. “We have to do an inquest into the cause of the death and it has to go before a magistrate, but from early indications it looks like suicide,” Police spokesman, Charles Owino Owino, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Experts say it can take more than five years for LGBT+ members to be granted refugee status, during which time asylum seekers cannot work.

According to Pat, 25-year-old Mwiru was among the LGBTI refugees who were moved from Kakuma camp to a safe house in Nairobi because of attacks from other refugees.

Gay sex is punishable with up to 14 years in jail in Kenya although the law is rarely enforced. LGBT+ rights groups now want increased support for the over 750 LGBT+ refugees in Kenya, mainly from Uganda.

Last Edited by:Kent Mensah Updated: April 14, 2020


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