IBTimes UK has spoken with activist and lawyer Eric Gitari, director of the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, to talk about the persecution of LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer) people in Kenya, where homosexuality is a crime. According to Kenyan laws, gay people can be imprisoned for 14 years – 21 in aggravated circumstances.
The Kenyan government has stated homosexuality is an 'unnatural act'. The country has been subjected to international pressure to amend its anti-gay laws, while NGOs warned violence against gay Kenyans is widespread.
Anti-homosexuality laws in Kenya
- According to Section 162 of the Kenya's Penal Code, which deals with so-called 'unnatural offences': "Any person who has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature; or permits a male person to have carnal knowledge of him or her against the order of nature, is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for 14 years."
- Jail sentences of 21 years are handed down when: "The offence was committed without the consent of the person who was carnally known; or the offence was committed with that person's consent but the consent was obtained by force or by means of threats or intimidation of some kind, or by fear of bodily harm, or by means of false representations as to the nature of the act.
- According to section 163, people who try to commit offences contained in the previous section can be imprisoned for seven years.
- Section 165 deals with so-called "indecent practices between males". This section states: "Any male person who, whether in public or private, commits any act of gross indecency with another male person, or procures another male person to commit any act of gross indecency with him, or attempts to procure the commission of any such act by any male person with himself or with another male person, whether in public or private, is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for five years."