LGBTQ+ rights groups in Kenya are demanding justice over the killing of a nonbinary lesbian.
Queer activists have said Sheila Adhiambo Lumumba, 25, was found murdered in their home after being attacked and raped by a group of men, according to local news site K24 TV.
The outlet noted the killing happened in Karatina, which is about three hours north of the country’s capital.
Human rights activist Njeri Wa Migwi wrote on Facebook, “I just spoke to Sheila’s Lumumba best friend today, and we cried together. Today Sheila is dead...” Migwi said that, according to an autopsy report, a group of men broke into Lumumba's house and raped them before killing them.
Migwi continued, “Why? Because [they were] a lesbian. My heart is beyond broken.”
Lumumba’s body was discovered several days after their death by colleagues at the resort they worked with after they failed to show up for a couple of days, according to K24 TV.
On social media, many have used #JusticeForSheila to call on authorities to appropriately investigate Lumumba’s death and find those responsible.
Amnesty International Kenya wrote, “No one deserves such cruel treatment. Sheila didn't have to experience all this pain. We are standing in solidarity with the family of Sheila Adhiambo during this trying moment and we shall follow up on this case until justice is delivered.”
On April 30, the Kenyan LGBTQ+ group the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission will host a memorial for Lumumba.
“It bears mentioning that unfortunately these are not isolated incidences and are part of a pattern of attacks and violence against LGBTIQ+ persons in the country,” the group wrote on Twitter while offering resources to queer Kenyans.
Last year, the hashtags #JusticeForErica and #JusticeForJoash were trending after the murders of trans woman and activist Erica Chandra and LGBTQ+ activist Joash Mosoti, the BBC reports.
Same-sex sexual relations are still illegal in Kenya, and LGBTQ+ individuals face discrimination and social stigma.
Kenya's High Court ruled in 2019 against overturning a law banning gay sex. The law carries a punishment of up to 14 years in prison if violated. While the law is specific to same-sex sexual relations between men, Kenyan activists still say it affects lesbian, bi, trans, and nonbinary people and creates an environment where anti-LGBTQ+ attitudes thrive.