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Murder of LGBTQ activist in Kenya: suspect pleads not guilty

Murder of LGBTQ activist in Kenya: suspect pleads not guilty
Edwin Kiprotich Kipruto, better known as Edwin Chiloba, poses for a ...   -  
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The suspect in the murder of an LGBTQ rights activist, which sparked national outcry and international condemnation, pleaded not guilty on Wednesday.

The body of Edwin Chiloba, a 25-year-old designer and model, was found on January 4 in a trunk on the side of the road in the western Rift Valley.

Jacktone Odhiambo, a freelance photographer, who according to press reports was a lover of the victim and who is accused of killing her, pleaded not guilty in a court in Eldoret, in the Rift Valley, saying: "I I didn't kill him."

Jacktone Odhiambo will remain in custody until a bail hearing on February 16.

According to an autopsy, Edwin Chiloba died of suffocation, with socks found in his mouth.

In Kenya, LGBTQ people face precariousness and discrimination in a predominantly Christian and conservative society where homosexuality is taboo, as in many African countries.

Sexual relations between people of the same sex are punishable by law, with penalties of up to 14 years in prison.

The murder of the young LGBTQ activist has drawn strong international condemnation.

He succeeded the unsolved murders of several other sexual minority rights defenders, Sheila Lumumba, Erica Chandra and Joash Mosoti, according to the Kenyan National Human Rights Commission.

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