Press Statement on the tragic murder of Edwin Chiloba in Kenya


The African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights has learnt through the Country Rapporteur for Kenya, Commissioner Solomon Ayele Dersso, of a tragic murder in Kenya, that has the hallmark of the killing of someone for the only reason of who that person is.


The African Commission received from various reports that a Kenyan by the name Edwin Chiloba was brutally murdered. From all indications, this tragic death has the appearance of being a hate crime.


The African Commission learned that Chiloba was a Queer activist and a celebrated designer and model. It is to be recalled that the African Commission through its Resolution 275 condemned violations of human rights including murder, rape, assault, arbitrary imprisonment, and other forms of persecution of persons on the basis of their imputed or real sexual orientation or gender identity, as acts contrary to the core tenets of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (African Charter).


The African Commission expresses in the strongest terms possible its condemnation of the brutal murder of Edwin Chiloba and affirms following its Resolution 275 that everyone is entitled to the protection of their lives and the integrity of their persons irrespective of their real or perceived sexual or gender identity, and by the mere fact of their being human.


The African Commission calls on the Republic of Kenya to initiate transparent, thorough, and prompt investigation into the tragic death of Edwin Chiloba, bring those responsible to justice and grant effective remedies including reparation to the families, in fulfilment of the obligations that it freely subscribed to as a State party to the African Charter.


The African Commission reaffirms its fidelity to the sanctity of human life without distinction on any basis and reiterates following its Resolution 275 its rejection of any form of attack or violence against any one on account of their real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.


The African Commission would like to remind the Republic of Kenya and other States parties to the African Charter that the faithfulness of a society to equality and human rights is to be measured not by its protection of the majority and mainstream members of society, but by the safeguard that it puts in place to secure the lives and liberties of those who are perceived to be or are actually different from the mainstream.


The African Commission accordingly calls on the Republic of Kenya and other member States to take legislative or other (institutional, administrative, policy, public awareness etc.) measures, in accordance with Article 1 of the African Charter, to ensure that all vulnerable members of society, including those who are or are perceived to be different from the mainstream members of society including on account of their sexual or gender identity, are guaranteed to live a life free from the threat of violent attacks that fundamentally negates the right to life under Article 4 and the right to protection of bodily integrity under Article 5 of the African Charter.


Commissioner Solomon Ayele Dersso
Commissioner Rapporteur for the Republic of Kenya
06 January 2023