LGBTQ+ LIVES IN DANGER IN KENYA
Over the past several years, many people have had to flee their homes to escape persecution and severe violations of their human and civil rights. See our Press Release.
FIAR has been providing aid where possible, teaming up with The Rainbow Care Initiative to provide assistance with food, shelter, travel and hospital treatment and medicine.
The mandate of the United Nations High Commmission on Refugees (UNHCR) is to care for and provide the security ALL refugees should have. But in recent weeks, (this is written on July 1, 2020), the situation has deteriorated horribly, with nearly daily violence and assaults upon LGBTQ+ refugees. Below are some quotes of refugees and the dangers they are facing and suffering. The UN seems helpless to cajole or pressure the Kenyan government to stop the crimes being committed. Many wish to be taken from Kakuma to Nairobi but UNHCR will not provide necessary movement passes. HIAS, which had been providing support for those who fled to Nairobi has stopped.
These quotes are just from June, 2020:
- Last week our lgbti members were attacked , beaten and cut badly ;we were scared because they were bleeding so badly . we called the police for help , after the near by police arriving , they asked for some of us to help and escort the patients to the hospital and I was among them...
The police after dropping us to the hospital they went away immediately. we carried our patients up to the entrance of the hospital . when the doctors knew that we were lgbti members they rejected to work on our patients who were bleeding so much they started bringing excuses that we didn't have books so they are not ready to work on our patients...I was taken to prison were was beaten so bad , harassed, tortured and done every kind of thing in prison after prisoners knowing that I was lgbti member . we stayed there until we talked to one of the prison officers who helped us to pay our own money....;
- It was around 05pm when I almost lost my life. This wasn't just a mere attack to our community but a well planned genocide to end every life of every Lgbtiq in the camp. On addition of recent attacks, there was a previous attack that we encountered on the same day but they promised to come back to finish what they had started.
- i have been beaten several times by police,turkana people like Sudanese,and others and sleeping outside since December 2019 up to now am fade and traumatized, stressed and I feel like ending my life...
- Ever since I entered Kakuma community I have faced grave challenges from the homophobic community members to the extent that my body is full of wounds, psychologically tortured and I am currently left with no hope other than waiting for death.
- I am left with no one to listen to my concerns. UNHCR has till now decided to continuously offer a deaf ear to my sufferings. This is so because no one has ever come out to give me such a small thing I have been asking for, which has been protection. That has left me with no any other option than asking UNHCR and all relevant parties to offer me an immediate evacuation from Kakuma camp, Kenya.
- The investigation was conducted by police and UN in the camp approved that there is no safety for him and after being attacked you relocated him for the sake of his security, it could be better if you allow us to bring him back to Nairobi because we love each other and he is there suffering alone instead of taking him to karobei.
Clearly, action must be taken immediately. The failure to do so is an indictment of the UN, UNHCR and the Kenyan government. But to be clear, these clear violations of human rights and civil liberties have been largely foisted upon eastern African nations by groups from the United States, like The Family. These so-called Christians have poured millions into governments and to certain right-wing preachers who have produced a drumbeat of homophobic hate in the press and radio waves and government. This evil must end. For more on this, see Jeff Sharlet's book, The Family.
The images below, created by FIAR's activist and friend, Jamie Leo, were carried in the Reclaim Pride March in New York City on June 28, 2020.
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