On the 8th of August 2017, Kenyans shall be going to the ballots. Information from state security organs, and the Kenya Human Rights Commission points to possible violence and unrest during and/or after the election period. Recognizing that the LGBQ community is a group that is often targeted with violence, here is some information that is geared at keeping you and your loved ones’ safe during this period.
The GALCK security team has mapped out specific areas around the country where crimes against LGBQ persons are committed the most. Kindly get in touch your cluster security team to get a list of hotspots in your area. Additionally, the state has also identified these 20 Counties as violence hotposts: Nairobi, Kisumu, Mombasa, Nakuru, Uasin Gishu, Narok, Kisii, Homa Bay, Isiolo, Turkana, Bungoma, Kiambu, Kilifi, Lamu, Migori, Baringo, West Pokot, Elgeyo Marakwet and Meru. If you live in these areas or in an area where you feel your security may be compromised, try to find a safe haven. If you live alone try to check in with your friends and family regularly. If you move away from your home, travel with your important documents like your passport and certificates.
We urge all LGBQ persons in these areas to keep safe and be mindful of their personal security. Try not to call undue attention to yourself that could put you in physical danger. Additionally, try to keep abreast of the situation on the ground by watching the news or looking for alerts on social media. SAFETY STARTS WITH YOU!
Although social media is one of the chief avenues for expression, kindly be mindful of the language you use and the spaces you occupy on social media. This applies, especially to online groups that are non-LGBQ and/or hostile towards LGBQ persons.
Be your brother’s keeper
During this time, it is possible that people shall be cut off from their LGBQ spaces and groups. If possible, keep in touch, via phone, with your various networks. Moreover, do not divulge information about your LGBQ networks or people within your networks to third parties especially if they are not from the community. Let’s help keep each other safe! If you are attacked because of your sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression, or you witness an attack based on these parameters, kindly call 0795 059 800 for assistance:
This period is shrouded in uncertainty. If you can, stock up on necessities especially dry food. Keep some money on you as well as in your MPESA, try to keep your phone battery fully charged and keep spare air time with you. Buy supplies like candles and flashlights in case of service interruptions. If you have a chronic illness make sure you stock up on, or have access to medication. Additionally, try to keep a well-stocked first aid box in the house.
GALCK will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates where necessary. We urge you all to exercise your democratic right to vote and try and keep as safe as you can during this period.