Human rights defenders arrested in Nairobi following peaceful protests against IMF loan to Kenya

Published by Brent Patterson on

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).

Categories: News Updates

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