Monday, February 15, 2010

Gay Pogrom in Mombasa, Kenya. UPDATE

I am not kidding you.

This is happening in this world of ours. And, it is the year of our lord 2010

David Kuria  
The attacks on Gays which started on Thursday, and continued to  Friday and Saturday are bound to take a new twist today, with the presentation of 6 gay men to court. Although being homosexual is not a crime in Kenya, the police with the help of the public have continued to arrest people suspected of being homosexuals. Most of the people have been arrested from their offices or as in the case of two of the men, while boarding public transport - each in a different location.

Reports from Mombasa indicate local politicians are actively involved in the exercise of identifying people suspected to be homosexuals. On Monday 15th Feb, media reports indicated that police in the coastal town have beefed up security operations, with the intention of identifying and arresting suspected homosexuals. Public facilities and clubs suspected of hosting homosexuals will be closed down - reports indicate.

Medical professionals have also been relocated from attending normal hospital operations to help the police with quick identification of the homosexuals through medical examinations. It is assumed that many people will be arrested during the police swoops and the medical professionals will help in filtering those who will be taken to court and those to be released.

 Kenya, with a population of 40 million people has less than 5000 doctors. Reassigning the doctors to identify suspected homosexuals is interesting for a country where patients share single beds in most district hospitals. It is not clear how many doctors have been taken to Mombasa to help with this exercise.

Last Updated ( Monday, 15 February 2010 06:25 )


I did notice some funny things about what the BBC was reporting in Mombasa Kenya. Matter of fact, I noted that the report from the Daily Nation seemed  to be more factual and the narrative more 'there on the spot' and logical.

Canning said that a number of Kenyan gay sources have confirmed there was no wedding including the Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya, which blamed the riot on media incitement.

The first BBC report had carried a brief reference to statements by Kenyan gay community condemning arrests of gays by local police but not their refutation of the wedding claim.

Canning has tracked the timeline of the events.

A riot started on Friday following a report in Kenya's newspaper The Daily Nation, and subsequent radio reports, of a supposed 'gay wedding' at Mtwapa, a Indian Ocean beach resort, north-east of Kenya's second city.

Kenyan gay activists say the newspaper report was based on "rumors started in a hair salon" following a practical joke on a local radio station and that there never was a planned 'wedding'.GayUganda reports receiving email saying that "one of our Guys made a joke last week that he was getting married to his lover, this issue has been picked by Radio Rahma and it's inciting Muslims against Gay men".

Activists claim that presenters on the radio stations Kaya and Baraka FM had been inciting people, with Radio Rahama asking Muslims to "find these men".

Canning said:

"It is shocking that the BBC is carrying the incitement to murder of gay men by the local media and clerics, repeating as fact their claims. The local TV footage shows terrified gays holding a meeting at a clinic as part of a HIV vaccine research project surrounded by a mob being hauled out by police - but the BBC refers to 'Crowds gathered' and 'protests'."

"This reporting plays down what it is a clear attempt to massacre local gay men. Why has the BBC not spoken to the organised gay community?"

"Would the BBC have carried the fantastical claims made by Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines prior to the Rwandan genocide as fact? African media regularly carries fantastical claims about gays. The BBC should be far more careful than it is being in repeating those claims as fact."

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