A seriously injured gay couple in Kenya have been saved from a brutal mob attack by police, although their assailants were allowed to go free.
According to Standard Media, the two men from Garissa County, Ahmed and Noor, were in a hotel room in the town of Mororo when a group of youths stormed in and started beating them.
“I thought I was going to die. I thought for sure this was the end. We were stripped naked and hit by glass, stones, metals, whips just to mention a few,” said Noor, who is a doctor.
“These guys were animals. I could hear them say God hates gay people, we should die, our private parts should be chopped off, we should be thrown into the river and let the crocodiles deal with us, we deserve to rot in hell.”
Police officers intervened, firing shots into the air to disperse the violent crowd. The horrific attack left the men with serious injuries including fractured facial bones, while Noor reportedly lost his left eye.
The couple of two years were briefly detained by the authorities before being released. Their attackers, however, have not been arrested or charged.
Noor said that he and Ahmed now plan to relocate to the capital Nairobi where they believe they may be safer. “Our wish is to live in a world where one can love freely and not be judged based on his or her sexual preference.”
Noor went on to movingly add: “Despite all that we have been through, we are still happily gay and nothing can change that. Love is always a hard thing to find. Love is love to anyone who finds it.
“Whether it is two women or two men who are in love, or whether it is one man and one woman, they all feel it the same exact way. Homosexual love is natural and essential for homosexuals; just as heterosexual love is natural and essential for heterosexuals.”
Homosexuality is outlawed in Kenya, with penalties including five to 14 years in prison. LGBT expression is also banned by the country’s censors.
In July 2016, the Mombasa High Court allowed the Kenyan authorities to continue to force anal exams on men accused of homosexuality in order to use the results as “evidence” in criminal prosecutions against them.