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Kenyan LGBTQ activist Edwin Chiloba smothered to death

Friends described Edwin Chiloba as an “iconic fashion designer”

Kenyan LGBT activist Edwin Chiloba was smothered to death, a pathologist has said, giving the latest details of a murder that has caused outrage.

Socks were stuffed into his mouth and a piece of denim from jeans tied around his face, Johansen Oduor said.

“He died from asphyxia, which is caused by smothering,” the pathologist added.

Chiloba’s body was found last week in a metal box, dumped on the roadside near the western Kenyan town of Eldoret, where he was a university student.

The murder drew global condemnation, with human rights groups linking it to his sexuality.

But the police have not done so, and have not yet given a motive for the murder.

They have arrested five people in connection with the murder, including Chiloba’s long-time friend Jackton Odhiambo, whom the police have described as the main suspect.

A magistrate gave police permission on Monday to detain the five for a further 21 days, as they continue with their investigations.

The five have not yet been charged with any crime.

Dr Oduor, the chief government pathologist, said the post mortem also revealed that Chiloba’s nails were discoloured, indicating that he died from a lack of oxygen.

Chiloba had not sustained any other injuries, Dr Odouor said, dismissing media reports that his eyes had been gouged out.

Tributes on social media described the activist, who was in his mid-20s, as “an amazing human being” and an “iconic fashion designer”.

He had moved to Eldoret from the capital, Nairobi, in 2019 to study fashion and was beginning to make a name for himself in design, a friend said.

Last month Chiloba wrote on Instagram that he was “going to fight for all marginalized people”, saying that he himself had been marginalised.

Human rights groups have called on the police to swiftly resolve his killing.

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