The US government has offered to assist Kenyan authorities with their investigations into the killing of gay rights activist Edwin Chiloba.
A US State Department spokesperson called for thorough and transparent investigations into the killing of the LGBTQ activist.
A Kenyan court on Monday allowed the police to detain five suspects linked to the murder of Chiloba, whose body was found dumped by the roadside in Eldoret last Tuesday.
The killing has sparked an outcry among human rights crusaders, who have condemned violence against members of the LGBTQ community, saying, intolerance has no place in a free and open society.
“Violence against LGBTQI+ persons or anyone, of course, is unacceptable. But when violence stems from possible bias or stigma, it indirectly harms all members of the targeted community,” said Mr Ned Price, US State Department spokesperson, during a news conference.
Eldoret Senior Principal Magistrate Richard Odenyo on Monday granted detectives 21 days to detain five suspects linked to the murder of the fashion designer and gay rights activist whose decomposing body stashed in a metallic box was dumped along the Kipkenyo – Kaptinga road, in Kapsaret, Uasin Gishu County.
The five suspects are Mr Jacktone Odhiambo, Mr Dennis Litali and three minors. Mr Price said the American government was saddened over Chiloba’s murder.
“We’ve sent our condolences to his family, to his loved ones, but also to the LGBTQI+ community in Kenya during their time of mourning. There were so many in that community in Kenya who benefited from his leadership, from his visibility, from his support,” said Mr Price.
Investigators are yet to recover Chiloba’s phone, whose data could aid in the arrest of more suspects. The deceased had his eyes gouged out, with preliminary investigations indicating that he died of strangulation.
“Apart from the eyes being gouged out, there were no other physical injuries on the body, suggesting that the victim might have [been strangled to death],” said Uasin Gishu County Directorate of Criminal Investigations Officer Peter Kimulwa.
Chiloba’s family has refuted reports that he was gay, describing him as a dedicated Christian since secondary school.
“We are perturbed by what we are hearing on social media that he was involved in ungodly practices,” his cousin, Ms Gaudencia Tanui, told Nation.