AP

Kenyan LGBTQ activist’s body found in metal box; 1 arrested

Jan 5, 2023, 9:56 AM | Updated: Jan 6, 2023, 12:05 pm

CORRECTS NAME TO Edwin Chiloba - LGBT activist Edwin Chiloba poses in Eldoret, Kenya, in this undated photo. Police in Kenya are investigating the death of Chiluba, an LGBT activist whose body was found stuffed in a metal box on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023, on a road in Uasin Gishu County, west of Kenya. (Lawrence Leteipa via AP)

(Lawrence Leteipa via AP)

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Kenyan police investigated the death of an LGBTQ activist whose body was found stuffed in a metal box as human rights groups on Friday decried the killing and police announced one arrest.

Edwin Chiloba’s body was found Wednesday on a road in Uasin Gishu County, in the west of the country.

Police say a motorcycle taxi operator reported seeing the box being dumped by a vehicle with no license plates. The rider reported it to police officers who were operating a nearby roadblock.

Officers who opened the box found the decomposing body of a man they described as wearing women’s clothes. The body was identified as Chiloba’s and was taken to the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital to establish the cause of death.

The motive wasn’t yet known, police spokesperson Resila Onyango said.

“We don’t know for now why he was killed that way. Experts are handling the matter,” she said.

Uasin Gichu county criminal investigations boss Peter Kimulwo told journalists Friday that one person was arrested after neighbors reported seeing him and two others move a metal box from Chiloba’s house.

Neighbors said that the suspect, Jacktone Odhiambo, a photographer based in the capital, Nairobi, spent New Year’s Day with Chiloba and that they heard commotion and crying, Kimulwo said. Chiloba was not seen again by his neighbors after that night.

Neighbors were curious about a foul smell coming from Chiloba’s house, and Odhiambo told them it was from a dead rat, Kimulwo said.

It wasn’t immediately clear Friday whether Odhiambo had a lawyer or other representative to speak on his behalf.

Chiloba has in the past been attacked and assaulted for his activism, his friend Denis Nzioka tweeted Thursday.

The Kenya Human Rights Commission said Friday that Chiloba was a victim of “another disgusting act of homophobic violence.”

Amnesty International Secretary-General Agnès Callamard tweeted that a full and independent investigation into Chiloba’s “heart-breaking” killing must be carried out, “leaving no stone unturned.”

Chiloba, who was a fashion designer, was eulogized by local activist Njeri Migwi, who said that “he embodied fashion.”

The calls for justice have spread outside Kenya as Ghanaian human rights organization Rightify called on President William Ruto to “ensure the protection and promotion of human rights of sexual and gender minorities.”

LGBTQ people living in Kenya have often decried discrimination and attacks in a country where sex between men is illegal. Kenya is largely a conservative society, and the president has in past said that gay rights are a nonissue in the country.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

moore redmond washington...

Associated Press

U.S. Supreme Court rules against Redmond couple challenging foreign income tax

The court ruled in the case of Charles and Kathleen Moore, of Redmond, Washington after they previously challenged a $15,000 tax bill.

4 days ago

Image:The New York Giants' Willie Mays poses for a photo during baseball spring training in 1972. M...

Associated Press

Willie Mays, Giants’ electrifying ‘Say Hey Kid,’ dies at 93

Willie Mays, whose singular combination of talent, drive and exuberance made him one of baseball’s greatest players, has died. He was 93.

5 days ago

Image: This photo provided by the Washington Department of Ecology shows a derailed BNSF train on t...

Associated Press

Judge orders BNSF to pay Washington tribe nearly $400M for trespassing with oil trains

BNSF Railway must pay the sum to a Native American tribe in Washington after it ran 100-car trains with crude oil on the tribe's reservation.

6 days ago

Photo: In this photo provided by Tieanna Joseph Cade, an amusement park ride is shown stuck with 30...

Associated Press

Crews rescue 28 people trapped upside down high on Oregon amusement park ride

Emergency crews in Oregon rescued 28 people after they were stuck dangling upside down high on a ride at a century-old amusement park.

7 days ago

juneteenth shooting texas...

Associated Press

2 killed and 6 wounded in shooting during a Juneteenth celebration in a Texas park

A shooting in a Texas park left two people dead and six wounded, including two children, on Saturday, authorities said.

8 days ago

Photo: Israeli soldiers drive a tank near the Israeli-Gaza border, in southern Israel, Wednesday, J...

Jack Jeffery, The Associated Press

8 Israeli soldiers killed in southern Gaza in deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months

An explosion in Gaza killed eight Israeli soldiers, the military said Saturday, making it the deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months.

8 days ago

Kenyan LGBTQ activist’s body found in metal box; 1 arrested