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Report: Kenyan Cops Blackmailing Gay Men

KenyagateA report from the LGBT magazine Identity Kenya claims that police officers there are taking advantage of the African nation's ban on homosexuality by luring gay men out of hiding to blackmail them.

Anthony Oluoch, the former Legal and Human Rights Officer based at the Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya (GALCK) said that blackmail and extortion is the leading form of violation reported at his desk by Kenyan gay men most of whom are married.

‘It accounts for over 30% of cases we see in a year,’ said Oluoch.
Oluoch said that most blackmailers are either gays or straight people acting gay in order to get targets.

One avenue they mostly use is social networks and sites. ‘One of the places they often visit is Facebook and dating sites like Gay Kenya, GayRomeo, GayDar and ManJam where people put their profiles for dates, sex or mutual friendship,’ Oluoch reported.

It's unclear how many men have been blackmailed, but this news is just the latest example of how rampant homophobia has become in Kenya, where a gay man was stoned to death in June.

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  1. This is terrible, but not unexpected. The British law criminalizing homosexuality came to be known as the "blackmailers charter" due to how often it was used by police and others to blackmail gay men. In fact, one of the very first British films to feature a gay character, "Victim" starring Dirk Bogarde, was about a married gay (or bi) man being blackmailed.

    Compassion for gays was only part, arguably even a small part, of why the UK de-criminalized homosexuality in 1967. Much of the argument in Parliament was about ending the blackmail that effected hundreds of people, which the law made possible.

    Posted by: Caliban | Sep 4, 2012 1:50:47 PM

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