Streets turn red as Civil Society protest murder of lawyer, 2 others

July 4, 2016 4:20 pm
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The protestors also carrying coffins started their procession from Freedom Corner at Uhuru Park, while chanting slogans against extra judicial killings in the country/KEVIN GITAU
The protestors also carrying coffins started their procession from Freedom Corner at Uhuru Park, while chanting slogans against extra judicial killings in the country/KEVIN GITAU

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 4 – The streets of Nairobi were dripping red with figurative blood as lawyers and civil society organisations mounted pressure on police to end extra judicial killings, even after three police officers were arrested over triple murders which have shocked the country.

Led by the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, the activists donned in t-shirts emblazoned with dripping blood symbols and waving placards fashioned in a similar way held street demonstrations to protest against the killing of lawyer Willie Kimani, his client and their taxi driver who were murdered in cold blood.

Overview
  • The bodies of lawyer Kimani, his client Josephat Mwenda and taxi driver Joseph Muiruri were found dumped at a river in Kilimambogo, with signs that they were tortured before their deaths
  • Representatives of boda boda operators in Nairobi also joined the demonstrations, saying they are often intimidated by police across the country
  • The protestors also carrying coffins started their procession from Freedom Corner at Uhuru Park, while chanting slogans against extra judicial killings in the country, before marching through Kenyatta Avenue on their way to Police headquarters to present the petition

Police Spokesman Charles Owino was not spared either as he was splashed with red paint while receiving a petition seeking to bring an end to extra-judicial killings.

“The Inspector General should now clarify whether the AP officer accused of shooting Mwenda (the client) is one of those under arrest,” stated Otsieno Namwaya, a researcher at the Human Rights Watch. “It cannot be business as usual when cases of police killings are emerging from many parts of the country each year.”

The protestors also carrying coffins started their procession from Freedom Corner at Uhuru Park, while chanting slogans against extra judicial killings in the country, before marching through Kenyatta Avenue on their way to Police headquarters to present the petition.

“No more killing, No more Killing, No more Killing,” they chanted. “Willie and Joseph represent many innocent civilians killed for no apparent reason by those who are supposed to protect them.”

Law Society of Kenya (LSK) Chairman Isaac Okero who spoke outside the Judiciary said it is not just about the three murders, while demanding action on previous executions and enforced disappearances.

“We reject absolutely the notion that what has happened to the three men who went missing last week is an isolated case involving just a few rogue officers. Many more have gone missing and this is a situation that is completely intolerable,” he said. “We still have a police force and we now demand a police service.”

The bodies of lawyer Kimani, his client Josephat Mwenda and taxi driver Joseph Muiruri were found dumped at a river in Kilimambogo, with signs that they were tortured before their deaths.

Representatives of boda boda operators in Nairobi also joined the demonstrations, saying they are often intimidated by police across the country.

“We are mourning and we are crying because this business that we normally do has many challenges. Some of our members work at night, others work during the day. We are pushed by trucks on the road, we are pushed by buses on the road, the police are demanding bribes, we are [paying sh500 shillings every day to do our business,” the said.

Police Spokesman Charles Owino who received the petition also received his share of red paint/KEVIN GITAU
Police Spokesman Charles Owino who received the petition also received his share of red paint/KEVIN GITAU

Similar protests were held in Mombasa, Kakamega and Kisumu where lawyers and activists marched through major streets while waving placards.

In Kisumu, the lawyers who marched from the law courts converged at the Kisumu Central Police station where they presented a petition to the police for onward transmission to the Inspector General of Police.

The advocates have vowed that they will not to be intimidated in the course of their duties, while calling for the arrest of other officers who operate with impunity.

In Mombasa, the activists and lawyers were joined by political leaders – including Governor Hassan Joho who are demanding action on enforced disappearances and executions.

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