Fresh arrests have been made in Kenya in the investigation into the murder of an LGBTQ rights activist, which has sparked national outcry and international condemnation, local media reported on Sunday.

The body of Edwin Chiloba, a 25-year-old designer and model, was found Wednesday in a trunk on the side of the road in the Rift Valley (west).

According to a police source who requested anonymity, the victim was "strangled" after being "tortured".

On Friday, police said they had arrested a freelance photographer believed to have been a longtime friend of the victim.

On Saturday, three other suspects were arrested for their alleged role after the death of the young designer, according to local media citing police officials.

His body had been discovered about 40 km from the town of Eldoret, in a metal trunk, on the side of the road.

The trunk would have been thrown from a car.

According to the daily

The Star

, an autopsy must take place on Monday before the funeral a few days later.

A predominantly Christian and conservative society

In Kenya, LGBTQ people face precariousness and discrimination in a predominantly Christian and conservative society where homosexuality is taboo, as in many African countries.

Same-sex sexual relations are punishable by law, with penalties of up to 14 years in prison.

The murder of the young LGBTQ activist has drawn strong international condemnation.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk said he was "shaken" on Saturday, expressing his "deep sadness".

He expressed his "solidarity with LGBTQI + activists around the world" and underlined "the urgent need to redouble efforts for their protection".

African Union (AU) Commissioner for Human Rights Solomon Ayele Dersso also condemned the murder as "a result of hate", calling on Nairobi to carry out a "transparent, thorough and prompt investigation" in order to judge those responsible.

He also called on Kenya like other AU members to take steps to ensure that “all vulnerable members of society, especially those who are perceived to be different from others, including because of their identity sexual or gender, can live a life free from the threat of violent attack”.

The LGBTQ Feminist Forum, in western Kenya where Edwin Chiloba lived, pointed out that the designer had used "fashion to deconstruct gender and promote the rights of the marginalized community".

"We want to know, as a community, what happened to Edwin, why he was murdered and who deposited his body at the scene," said the group's director of programs, Becky Mududa.

In April, another LGBTQ activist had already been found murdered in Kenya.


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  • World

  • Kenya

  • LGBT movement

  • Homophobia