Edwin Chiloba: Five suspects appear in court over brutal murder of Kenya LGBTQ+ activist

Five suspects have appeared in court accused of the murder of Kenya LGBTQ+ campaigner Edwin Chiloba. 

The body of Chiloba, whose full name was Edwin Kiprotich Kipruto, was found on Wednesday (4 January) in a metal box on a roadside in western Kenya. 

Preliminary investigations have shown his eyes had been gouged out and according to Nation he died from strangulation before he was dumped. 

Gaudensia Tanui, cousin of the 25-year-old victim, said: “Our child has been murdered, we only want justice and nothing more, and kindly let his soul rest in peace.”

Another relative of Chiloba, Gladys Kiptoo, recalled the former model as a “quiet person who never had issues with people”. 

“I am very sure that he never wronged his killers for he has never wronged anyone in his whole life. 

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“I only bid goodbye and ask him to rest in peace. We loved you but your enemy has destroyed you, but God will help us through this.”

Edwin Chiloba smiles at the camera while wearing round framed glasses and a dark top
Last month Edwin Chiloba posted on Instagram saying that he aimed to “fight for all marginalised people”. (Facebook)

Four people were previously arrested in relation to Chiloba’s murder, and his long-time friend Jackton Odhiambo was described as the main suspect. 

Kenya’s National Commission on Human Rights has highlighted that Chiloba’s death follows the unsolved murders of several other advocates for the LGBTQ+ community, including Sheila Lumumba, Erica Chandra and Joash Mosoti.

Under British colonial-era law, it is illegal for men to engage in gay sex in Kenya under the Penal Code 1930. Those found guilty of the act can face up to fourteen years in prison. 

In recent years there have been multiple attacks targeted at queer refugees in Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya. 

One gay refugee was left with a shattered knee after a homophobe “ambushed” him, while another refugee was forced to travel to the camp to seek asylum as his parents wanted to kill him. 

PinkNews has contacted the Gay and Lesbian Coalition Of Kenya (GALCK) and the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights for comment.

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