Based in Kenya
Faith tradition: Muslim
Pronouns: He, his
Ishmael Bahati is the Executive Director of PEMA Kenya (a place of solace in Kenya), – an organization in the coastal region of Kenya that works to protect human rights and advance social inclusion through policy and advocacy interventions, health promotion and socio-economic empowerment programs for the Gender and Sexual Minority community (GSM). He has been in the forefront in the fight for GSM rights. He was one of the LGBTI activist in Kenya who presented affidavits, which would present a petition in the Kenya High Court seeking the repeal of a section of the penal code that criminalizes consensual same sex engagements, as well as being actively involved in policy reforms and advocacy. Bahati, is a co-founder in both PEMA-Kenya and the Centre for Minority Rights and Strategic Litigation (CMRSL). He has served in the Key Population consortium and Global Fund’s Kenya Coordination Mechanism, Community Advisory Board (CAB) KEMRI representing interests of Men who have Sex with Men (MSMs). He is a certified trainer in Comprehensive Sexuality Education and religion.
As a member of the GIN Speaker Bureau, was selected to prepare a statement for the 40th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council that would ensure the respect of the principle of non-discrimination and equality in law and in practice, including LGBTI persons of faith. Mr. Bahati also sits as a board member in the Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya (GALCK), the Defenders Coalition’s Protection Working Group for human right defenders as well as the Mombasa and Shimo la Tewa Court Users Committee (CUC).