LGBT Protesters Attacked in Refugee Camp

Peaceful Assembly

On 5th November 2018, students from Maseno University staged a demonstration to protest the harassment of students by the police. The demonstration was triggered by the detention of several students after they went to report an attack by thugs. According to the University’s communications Director, the students disagreed with the police officers at the station after which they were detained. During the protest which followed the detention, the students barricaded roads and lit bonfires. Later that day, a video and pictures circulated on social media showing protesters who were beaten up and mistreated by security officers.

On 3rd December 2018, at least 20 students from the Technical University of Mombasa were arrested after they staged a demonstration to protest the introduction of new rules by the University’s administration. During the protest, the students damaged vehicles along the Nyali bridge, barricaded roads and threw stones at the police officers who had been deployed to control the situation. The police in turn fired in the air to disperse the protesting students.

In a separate incident, on 12th December 2018, LGBT refugees in the sprawling Kakuma camp in Kenya’s Turkana county were beaten with wooden sticks and iron bars while protesting outside the UNHCR office about rising homophobic attacks in recent months. About 20 people were injured during the demonstration after they were attacked by locals and fellow refugees. The UN has since confirmed that at-risk LGBT refugees were being moved to safe houses in Nairobi.


In early December 2018, Defend Defenders launched a report which examines the experiences of marginalised human rights defenders (HRDs) in Kenya. The report highlighted the challenges and vulnerabilities of women HRDs, activists working for the promotion of LGBT rights, and indigenous minority HRDs, specifically those in the northern Turkana region fighting for land rights amid a heavy presence of extractive industries and small arms proliferation.

On 14th December 2018, embattled opposition figure Miguna Miguna won a court case in which he was officially recognised as a Kenyan citizen. As previously reported in the Monitor, Miguna was seized in a dawn raid of his Nairobi home on 2nd February 2018 and subsequently deported to Canada, where he holds dual citizenship. On 26th March 2018, Miguna attempted to regain entry into Kenya but was detained for more than 72 hours at the airport before allegedly being assaulted, drugged, and forcibly put on another flight out of the country. The High Court awarded him Sh7 million (USD 70,000) as compensation for the violation of his rights during his deportation.