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Dead Tanzania gay activist was found bound, gagged and beaten

Details of the apparent murder of Maurice Mjomba emerge, along with graphic pictures of his body at his funeral
Initial unconfirmed reports indicate that Maurice Mjomba, a leading LGBT rights activist from Tanzania, may have been murdered.

A Tanzanian LGBT activist who was found dead at his house was found tied up, gagged and savagely beaten, according to eye witnesses.

Details of the apparent murder of Maurice Mjomba, who campaigned for gay rights but whose own sexuality is not known, have now emerged. GSN reported the death on 30 July when his body was discovered.

Now Identity Kenya, a campaigning African LGBT site, has published details of an eye witness report, sent in Swahili, which says Mjomba was found ‘slumped on a couch’ with his mouth and nose gaged by tape and ‘his hands tied behind his back’. He appeared to have been beaten ‘savagely’.

The witness said: ‘It seems his private parts were injured as there was a lot of blood coming out of them.’

Some reports claim there was also blood around his anus.

The eye witness said when they were allowed to view the body it had started to decompose and it is reported that the foul stench from Mjomba’s house is what made his neighbors call the police who found him dead.

He was last seen on Friday last week (27 July) and from Saturday nobody was able to contact him, implying he may have been killed by Saturday morning, given the state of decomposition of his body when it was discovered on Monday (30 July).

Mjomba was a founding member of Stay Awake Network Activities (SANA) a Tanzania group for men who have sex with men, including gay and bisexual men.

SANA has published graphic pictures of his body, draped in white cloth at his funeral yesterday in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. (You may find these images disturbing.)

It was attended by family members, friends and colleagues from his job at the Center for the Promotion of Human Rights (CPHR) where he was an outreach coordinator for drug users.

A full autopsy and police report is expected tomorrow (3 August). But so far no motive has been given and nobody has been arrested in connection with the death. Tanzania’s media have also overlooked it.

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