Editar Ochieng among 56+ people arrested at protest against police violence in Nairobi, Kenya
On July 7, the Peace Brigades International-Kenya Project tweeted: “We express our concern about the arrests of various human rights defenders including @happyolal @UhaiWetu and @oeditar @feminist_centre @TOsWHRDs and the use of teargas against the protesters during today’s #SabaSabaMarch4ourlives.”
One of those arrested, Editar Ochieng, took part in the PBI-United Kingdom webinar ‘Government and grassroots responses in Kenya’ last month. You can watch that 1-hour webinar by clicking here. Editar also tells her story here.
This is a 25-second video clip from Twitter of Editar being arrested.
Reuters reports: “Kenyan police on Tuesday fired teargas and arrested activists gathering for a march against perceived government injustice that has been given extra impetus this year by allegations by rights groups of police brutality during the COVID-19 lockdown.”
At least 100 people have been killed by the police in Kenya this year.
The Reuters article adds: “Activists said protesters from several areas had planned to march from their homes to the centre of the capital Nairobi, but many were dispersed or arrested before reaching there. …For those who made it into the city centre, police fired more teargas and made further arrests, a Reuters witness said.”
Missing Voices, “a group of organizations whose mission is to end enforced disappearances and extrajudicial executions in Kenya”, has also tweeted: “56+ Protestors arrested #SabaSabaMarchForOurlives.”
And Faith4Earth tweeted the names of some of those arrested: “Editar Ochieng, Vincent Odhiambo, Frank Chacha, Ruth Ochieng, Rian Mercy, Belinda Adhiambo, Caren Akinyi, Sharon Risper, Angela Hope, Caren Brandy, Emily Akinyi, Lavian Anyango, Beryl Anyango, Beatrice Adhiambo, Millicent Atieno.”
The Saba Saba (seven seven) movement takes its name from a protest on July 7 (7/7) in 1990 in which activists mobilized for then-President Daniel arap Moi to repeal Section 2A of the Constitution and allow for a multi-party electoral system.
The Mathare Social Justice Centre has documented that the police killed 803 people in Kenya between 2013 and 2015. The Missing Voices network has reported that an additional 107 people were killed by the police in in 2019.
On June 8, Kenyans.co reported: “Mothers of police brutality victims led a huge protest in Mathare Constituency, Nairobi on Monday, June 8 as they demanded justice for victims of extra-judicial killings and police brutality.”
During that march, the Mathare Social Justice Centre tweeted: “Mathare says abolish the police! Power to the people. We want dignified lives not ‘good relations with the police’. Mathare residents demanding justice and an end to police killings now.” It also tweeted: “The ghetto can’t breathe. Mothers can’t breathe. Young people can’t breathe.”
PBI-Kenya is part of the Missing Voices network and the Police Reforms Working Group network. It also works with the Mathare Social Justice Centre and Dandora Community Justice Centre as well as other social justice centres in Nairobi.
For further updates via Twitter, search #SabaSabaMarchForOurlives, #TekelezaKatiba (implement the constitution) and #FreeEditar.