NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Kenyan police were investigating the death of an LGBTQ activist whose body was found stuffed in a metal box, as human rights groups on Friday decried the killing.
Edwin Chiloba’s body was found on Wednesday on a road in Uasin Gishu County in the west of the country.
Police say a motorcycle taxi operator reported seeing the box being dumped by a vehicle with no license plates.
The rider reported the incident to police officers who were manning a nearby roadblock.
Officers who opened the box found the decomposing body of a man, whom they described as wearing women’s clothes.
The deceased was identified as Chiloba and his body was taken to the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital to establish the cause of death.
Police spokesperson Resila Onyango said the motive wasn’t yet known.
“We don’t know for now why he was killed that way. Experts are handling the matter,” she said.
Chiloba has in the past been attacked and assaulted for his activism, his friend Denis Nzioka tweeted on Thursday.
The Kenya Human Rights Commission on Friday said Chiloba was a victim of “another disgusting act of homophobic violence.”
Amnesty International secretary-general Agnès Callamard tweeted that a full and independent investigation into Chiloba’s “heart-breaking” killing must be carried out, “leaving no stone unturned.”
Chiloba, who was a fashion designer, was eulogized by local activist Njeri Migwi, who said that “he embodied fashion.”
The calls for justice have spread outside Kenya as Ghanaian human rights organization Rightify called on President William Ruto to “ensure the protection and promotion of human rights of sexual and gender minorities.”
LGBTQ people living in Kenya have often decried discrimination and attacks in a country where sex between men is illegal.
Kenya is largely a conservative society and the president has in past said that gay rights are a nonissue in the east African country.