Africa

Non-binary lesbian ‘raped and murdered by six men’

Josh Milton April 24, 2022
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Selfies of Sheila Lumumb

Sheila Lumumba. (Twitter)

In a grisly attack that has appalled Kenya, a non-binary lesbian reportedly was raped and murdered by six men in their home.

Sheila Lumumba, a 25-year-old hospitality worker, was found dead in their home in Karatina, a town in Nyeri County, earlier this week, LGBT+ groups and activists and BBC Africa reported.

K24TV said that it is understood that the gang also broke Lumumba’s leg during the incident, according to an autopsy report.

They were discovered four days after the attack by colleagues from FK Resort and Spa. Karatina police have not yet determined a motive behind the killing.

Their alleged killing has touched off intense outrage and despair online among national rights groups.

Under the hashtag #JusticeForSheila, activists expressed a disturbing sense of familiarity over Lumumba’s death. To campaigners, Lumumba has become the latest example in a long legacy of violence against LGBT+ people in Kenya, where same-sex activity is illegal.

LGBT+ people in Kenya face fierce and relentless discrimination, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights reported, from arbitrary arrests to mob justice.

“It bears mentioning that unfortunately these are not isolated incidences [sic] and are part of a pattern of attacks and violence against LGBTIQ+ persons in the country,” Kenya’s National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission tweeted.

“No one deserves such cruel treatment. Sheila didn’t have to experience all this pain,” Amnesty Kenya tweeted.

More than 86,520 Kenyan shillings (£580) have been raised to cover Lumumba’s funeral costs on M-Changa, Africa’s largest online fundraising platform.

“Sheila and I are both 25 and lesbians. I can’t rest because I am one statistic away from being this,” tweeted Afrika, director of the queer-led women’s group the Kisumu Feminists’ Society.

“I can’t rest because I know my silence will mean Sheila’s death goes unpunished. I can’t rest because Sheila and I experience violence both as ‘female-presenting bodies’ and lesbians.

“I can’t rest… I can’t.”

More: Kenya

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