ProtectDefenders.eu partners strongly condemn the killing of human rights defender Paschal Raymond. Paschal Raymond was an LGBTIQ+ rights defender who supported the LGBTIQ+ community in Dar es Salaam, in the Mwananyamala, Kindoni area. One of his main areas of human rights work was helping homeless LGBTIQ+ people by hosting them in his own home and supporting them in solving conflicts with their estranged or homophobic families so they could reunite.
Paschal Raymond’s support for homeless LGBTIQ+ and sex worker community members was especially critical during the COVID-19 pandemic, as the virus itself and the state responses to the affected queer and sex worker communities in ways that exacerbate existing systems of classed, gendered, sexualized and racial injustice. Paschal Raymond provided life-sustaining support for LGBTIQ+ people and sex workers in Dar es Salaam until the day he was killed.
The body of Paschal Raymond was discovered in a sewage drain in Mwananyamala, Dar es Salaam, in the early morning of 20 January 2021. The human rights defender’s body was found without his phone or money. His eyes had been repeatedly stabbed.
Police in Mwananyamala in Dar es Salaam have launched an investigation into the killing of Paschal Raymond, and have held two suspects for questioning as part of this investigation. Based on the information available, the human rights defender received a phone-call which lead him to go to a local shop during the night of 19 January 2021.
Paschal Raymond’s colleagues believe he was violently “hunted” because of his well-known work defending the rights of LGBTIQ+ people in Dar es Salaam. At the time of his killing, the human rights defender was housing two homeless community members in his home.