Forwarding Kenya news- Police Arrests, Attacks of Civil Society Activists including Ann Njogu
Dear PWire community,
Today I got a note from Ann Njogu, a lawyer and fierce advocate for civil and women's rights in Kenya. She was arrested and badly attacked by police with others as they prepared a peaceful protest there. Her note is below. I am in touch with different groups including Human Rights Watch, World YWCA, Athena, ICW etc. and have developed a petition response. We're going to learn more and if it's right and helpful to the Kenyan women, will post that petition here in the coming days for you to add your voices.
For now, here is the word on the attacks, directly from Ann Njogu via private email:
The last couple of days have been a nightmare for me and several other civil rights activists who were arrested in a most brutal manner after police stormed the hotel we were in preparing to hold demonstrations over Grand Corruption ( Sale of the grand regency hotel by a cartel led by the finance Minister- who has since resigned in disgrace over the same) . But on Tuesday, 8th July, when they arrested seven of us, the police not only brutally arrested us but also sexually violated and harrased me and a male colleague . One senior officer even had the audacity to put his hand inside my trouser, fondle my private parts and my breasts all this while the rest were busy brutalising us. Upon arrival at the police station, my colleagues sort to know from the senior police officer why he had sexually assaulted me and without warning, this police officer, who we have since learnt was the deputy officer commanding Division, ( very senior position)grabbed a police batton from one of the junior officers and set upon us in a most vicious manner. Other officers joined in , hitting , kicking and insulting us and it did not matter that some of us were already bleeding - we were later taken to court , charged with participating in an illegal assembly (never mind that we were inside a hotel and its the police who stormed in) , and released on bail. The police also refused to record our complaint over the violations at the police station.
Anne, (_________) and all friends, we need you to do all you can in your various stations and networks to demand for accountability from our government as the kind of police brutality and other forms of impunity that are evident in Kenya are alarming. These and others have not only reduced the democratic spaces that tis country fought so hard to get but are in my opinion an early warning sign of things to come and the eminent breakdown of law and order.
We shall circulate a more comprehensive report with photos for your further action.