About sixty people were arrested by Kenyan police recently at a nightclub in Nairobi, and were detained at the Central Police Station in the city for ‘suspected homosexuality’.
Patrons of the Envy nightclub in central Nairobi were arrested by Kenyan authorities over the weekend according to local media, who claim that the reason for the arrests was based on the fact that Envy is regarded as a gay bar. Kenyan law still retains a colonial-era law against ‘buggery’, and former prime minister Raila Odinga once called for the arrest “of all gays” in Kenya.
Speaking to local newssite ghafla.co.ke, LGBT rights advocate, Joji Baro, told Nwasante Khasiani that such an occurance was ‘part and parcel’ of being LGBT in today’s Kenya:
“The arrests at Envy had nothing to do with [alcohol sales] law but just trying to suppress the visibility of gays and lesbians. So finally someone just realized gays and lesbians have money and they know where to spend it… Just a remainder of the little rights we enjoy – we have a right to spend our money where and whenever we want to.”
It is not known whether or not any of the arrested were charged under the outdated law, although as Ghafla points out, the patrons were merely customers at the bar and were not partaking in any sexual activity.