The GALCK Secretariat is deeply saddened by the news of the tragic death of one of our own Joash Mosoti, a peer educator at Pema Kenya and a security focal person at Hapa Kenya and a paralegal based at the coast. Police officers confirmed Joash’s death at the scene on the morning of 11th May 2021, his body was found in his house in Bamburi, Mombasa County. With allegations of foul play rife, Joash’s death is currently being investigated and a suspect has been arrested and arraigned in court. A few months before his death, Joash had reported concerns about his safety and his close family and friends are currently awaiting a post mortem to determine the cause of death.
In Kenya, 53% of LGBTQ+ people are physically assaulted–that’s every second person. This is despite Kenya’s progressive Constitution. These discriminatory laws create a misguided perception in society that lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer individuals are criminal; a perception that perpetuates human rights violation and other acts of violence. Further, only 29% of LGBTQ+ persons report an assault to the police because they are often revictimized if they report crimes committed against them. Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, imposes duties on the State to refrain from violence and to protect people from violence committed by non-state actors. Under this Covenant, the Kenyan government is required to adopt legislative, judicial, administrative, educative, and other measures to protect individuals from discrimination.
GALCK’s Emergency Security Response Team has developed a comprehensive framework on response, prevention and management of SGBV against the LGBTQ+ community. The guide presents key concepts of safety, protection and security. It looks at risks and threats, and how LGBTQ+ persons and SOGIE HRDs can respond to them. See here. This guide can be used to provide direction to the County Governments on critical elements and considerations for policy. We urge county governments to provide adequate resources and enhance partnerships for a comprehensive response to incidences of SGBV. We also encourage them to promote the effectiveness and efficiency in the administration of justice by providing legislative and policy initiatives to protectLGBTQ+ persons.
We send our heartfelt condolences to the friends, family, and colleagues of Joash Mosoti and the Kenyan Queer community. Joash will be remembered as a committed and fervent human rights activist who fought for LGBTQ+ rights and for those of people living with HIV and AIDS. He will forever be a survivor in our hearts and minds.
We urge all LGBTQ+persons in these areas to stay vigilant and be mindful of their personal security. Additionally, let’s all stay aware of the situation on the ground and share any suspicious incidents. Let’s help keep each other safe!
The GALCK Secretariat.