Good news to report from Kenya. The commander of a Nairobi police division has promised to arrest the ringleaders of a notorious scheme that targets gay men for extortion, blackmail and rape, reports Identity Kenya. The extortion gang includes police officers, according to previous reports.
Speaking to LGBTI activists, Mr Odhiambo urged victims to come forward with the names and locations of where they were targeted in order to arrest the culprits. According to information received so far, a gang of around 5 men and one police officer are luring unsuspecting gay men to houses in the estate where they rob and demand money from them.
Some victims have had naked photos taken of themselves in compromising positions. In addition, several victims have said that they were raped by the gang with many saying that they went to meet a potential date whom they had met online only to be pounced on during a tryst.
The latest victim said that the gang was demanding [$755] and were calling him threatening to expose the nude photos to his wife and work mates.
Blackmail and extortion of gay men have become a "lucrative business" for criminals and some law enforcement officers in Kenya, according to several reports. Many gay men are closeted are afraid to come forward due to pervasive stigma and security concerns.
Kenya's government is considered progressive on gay rights. Same-sex relations are illegal—penalties are between five and 14 years’ imprisonment—but arrests and prosecutions are rare.
Kenya was the first African nation to include men who have sex with men in their national HIV strategy. Two pro-LGBT justices were confirmed to the Supreme Court in June 2011. The recently-appointed Chief Justice Dr. Willy Mutunga has said that "gay rights are human rights" and expressed a desire to overturn anti-gay legislation. As a result, Kenya has rapidly become a refuge for many LGBTs who have been persecuted in East African nations. See our report for EBONY, "Can Kenya Lead Africa Forward on Gay Rights?"
Some Background ...
Can Kenya Lead Africa on Gay Rights? [EBONY]
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