Human rights groups condemn planned anti-LGBTQ protests

Amnesty International Kenya Executive Director Irungu Houghton. [Denis Kibuchi, Standard]

Amnesty International Kenya has expressed concern over the surgency of attacks on the LGBTQ community.

Amnesty Executive Director Irungu Houghton in a statement on Thursday, October 5, stated LGBTQ identifying persons have recently been the target of hateful online and verbal attacks, which pose a threat to their lives.

Houghton cited that they have noted with concern a rise in attacks on LGBTQ in different social places including churches ever since the court ruling allowing homosexuals to form associations.

"This radicalisation is being actively stimulated and has the potential to endanger the lives of members of this diverse community. While we uphold the fundamental rights of every individual we also recognize that the increase in anti-LGBTQ rhetoric poses a significant threat to the safety and well-being of Kenyan community," said Houghton.

The human rights body is now calling on leaders to restrain from making offensive remarks regarding homosexuals.

"It is our earnest appeal to political and religious leaders in Kenya to exercise care and caution in their public statements regarding the LGBTQ+ communities. Instead of promoting hostility, discrimination and violence against other Kenyans, we urge them to engage in respectful dialogue with community representatives," he added.

Their counterparts, the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) has also warned against a planned protest that is likely to take place in Nairobi today.

"A dangerous protest will occur on Friday, October 6 in Nairobi calling for the attack of LGBTQ persons culminating in a hateful campaign that started in Mombasa in September," the commission stated.

Expressing fear on the planned protest in the capital, KHRC has called on security officers to help call off the demonstrations. "We call upon the Kenyan police to immediately disallow these groups illegal activities and initiate investigations concerning the culprit involved," it added.