Human rights defenders arrested in Nairobi following peaceful protests against IMF loan to Kenya
Photo from tweet by Edgar Ogutu Liberator.
On April 7, Maryanne Kasina tweeted: “Police In this Country have always decided to betray the people and protect the Oppressors.”
Kasina, the co-founder of Kayole Community Justice Centre and convener of Women in Social Justice Centres movement in Kenya, participated in a PBI-Canada webinar last November on Women Human Rights Defenders Day.
Protection International-Africa explains what has happened: “We are informed that a total of 19 #HumanRights defenders were arrested [on April 7], for marching in Nairobi City to demand the release of @MutemiWaKiama, who was arrested for a president-critiquing tweet yesterday. Some of those arrested today were in their offices.”
Protection International-Africa has also tweeted: “The police officers at Kileleshwa Police Station in Nairobi Kenya say they do not know why they arrested the #HumanRights defenders and do not know what to charge them with.”
Kahawatungu provides further context. It reports: “Over the weekend, Kenyans took to social media to protest a move by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to approve Kenya’s Sh255 billion [about USD $2.34 billion] loan.”
That article then notes the police arrested Kiama Wa Mutemi accusing him “of making a viral notice with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s face warning the world against entering into loan agreements with him on behalf of the country.”
Responding to the arrests, HAKI Africa tweeted: “The Kenyan government should ensure that law enforcement fully complies at all times with international human rights laws & standards on policing. Peaceful protesters are not criminals.”
And the Social Justice Centres Working Group has also tweeted: “Protesting against bad leadership decisions is citizen’s right.”
PBI-Kenya works with the Social Justice Centres Working Group, the collective voice of 24 social justice centres in Nairobi.
Tweet by the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC).