President of Tonga LGBT Rights Group Murdered

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5/7/21

Media reports indicate Tonga Leitis Association President Polikalepo Kefu was killed near their home in Lapaha, a village on the island of Tongatapu on which the Tongan capital of Nuku’alofa is located. Deputy Tonga Police Commissioner Tevita Vailea on Monday in a statement said authorities have charged a 27-year-old man with murder. “This is a tragic event, and our thoughts are with Mr. Kefu’s family, friends and the wider community,” said Vailea. The Tonga Leitis Association in a statement described Kefu as “a selfless humanitarian and a tireless advocate for the rights of those with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions.” The group also announced Cruella Tuinukuafe has been named interim president. “In these dark and troubling times, we are reminded of Poli’s light and positive energy, and we encouraged knowing that this is when we are most needed to continue our work,” said the Tonga Leitis Association.

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