Stop harassment, repression and police’s violences against the social movement in Nairobi (Kenya)

27 members of People’s Parliament (Bunge la Mwananchi) are in custody charged with « obstruction of Justice » and « malicious damage to property » – 5 wounde, 3 hospitalized – Right to assemble denied.

Saturday 10 march 2007 in the afternoon, 56 members of People’s Parliament (a Kenyan people’s initiative) were beaten and arrested in Jeveejanjee’s Gardens by numerous police forces. 5 of them were wounded, three more seriously. One of them at least was only transferred to hospital more than 24 hours later.

For the last 15 years the People’s Parliament has been meeting everyday at the park to discuss social issues, including from the point of views of the poorest, in a country suffering intolerable social inequalities.

People’s Parliament became worlwide famous for their commitement to free access for Kenyan peoples to the recent World Social Forum in Nairobi.

In the weeks following the WSF, two PP’s members had been arrested and finally released. There was a real fear that the government of M. MWAI KIBAKI would put pression against opposition in the perspective of forthcoming presidential pool next december.

On Monday 12, 27 PP’s members were arraigned in court (exception of three of them who are at the hospital) and charged with obstruction of justice and malicious damage. They are now in custody and can’t afford a 3 000 KS (43 USD) bond to be released.

In the same time, on Sunday 11 which is public holiday, the Nairobi City Council closed public access to Jeevenjee’s Gardens and engaged into public works. These public works are supposed to be part of a « revitalization project » for Jeevanjee’s Gardens supported by UN-HABITAT under the guise of the Safer cities Initiative.

The NO-VOX network is supporting People’s Parliament and condemns strongly the acts of repression againts its members. We demand :

— Immediate release of all prisonners and withdrawal of charges ;

— Immediate arraignment of the Nairobi City Council Officers who were responsible for beating and injuring 5 members of People's Parliament ;

— That the Kenyan government puts immediately an end to the concerted effort to harrass members of People's Parliament and guarantees constitutionnal rights and particulary Right to assemble ;

— Immediate cease of the public works at Jeevanjee’s Gardens and United Nations pressure on the Nairobi City Council in that direction ;

— Immediate clarification of the UN-Habitat Jeevanjee’s
revitalization’s project, which is supposed to be the result of a « participatory process » which is still to be implemented.


• HON. MUSIKARI KOMBO, Minister, Local government - FAX: +254 20 337 960

and :


Paris, wensday 21th of march 2007

Stop harassment against the social movements and workers in Kenya

!Immediate release of all, withdrawal of charges Rigth to assemble - Right to demonstration A delegation was received with the embassy from Kenya in Paris Call by No-Vox network and all the organisations who signed the call to solidarity the 12th of march, we went to kenya Embassy in France this wensday 21th of march. We were 11 people, representative of 9 basics movements and organisations : No-Vox network, APEIS – movement for unemployement, information and solidarity , AC ! – Action against Unemployement, DAL – Right to Housing, Ipam altermondialist network, Crid, No-Vox Japon and European Transform. We were received by the first adviser of the embassy of Kenya in France who took note of the claims of the People’s Parliament and the KENGO network that we bring in solidarity. Three points were discussed : -Immediate release of all withdrawal of charges of the 27 members of People’s Parliament charged with « obstruction » and « malicious damage to property " -immediate cease of the public works at Jeevanjee’s Gardens -respect the fondamental rights

Today, the procession from Kengo was illegally forbidden, which is more proof that the Kenyan authorities are increasingly encroaching basic rights. We protest stongly against this fundamental Rights denial. We ask for that an official answer of the Kenyan government. We are decided to make hear the voice of the Kenyan movements and for that, we will be very attentive to receive an answer from the embassy and are ready to continue solidarity action !

Signatures of the 12th march Call of solidarity : IPAM Network – Initiatives For Another World, No-Vox network, APEIS – movement for unemployement, information and solidarity , AC ! – Action against Unemployement, DAL – Right to Housing, CDSL - Local Movement of homeless, Right to Peasant, Dd !! - Front of Rights !!, Trade Union CNT –Africa group, Global Watch, Center for Encounter and active Non-Violence – Austria, Popular Assembly of Marseille, HIC - Habitat International Coalition, AIH – International Alliance of Inhabitants, Trade Union “Solidaires”, The Rage of People, ATTAC Japan, Direct Action Committee of San'ya Sogidan, NOJIREN - Shibuya Free Association for the Right to Housing and Well-being of the HOMELESS, Association, National Coordination of Day-Layborers and unemployed, Associations against the neo-liberal globaization - Kamagasaki Patrol, Trade Union SUD PTT, ATTAC France, Movement for Peace, Solidarity Europe without border –ESSF-, People's Plan Study Group Japan – PPSG, San'ya Welfare Center for Day-Laborers' Association,

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We have received information that the Kenyan government has declared the planned action by members of the Kenya Network of Grassroots Organisations and people parliament illegal. Pursuant to the legal requirements in Kenya, a notice detailing the intended protest was served on the Officer Commanding Station, Central Police Station in Nairobi on Friday, March 16, 2007. That notice was served 3 days before the intended action and is the only legal requirement. Having satisfied the law and being satisfied that the only requirement is for the notice to be served, we fully intend to carry on with the planned demonstration.


 Indeed, the very essense of this protest is to decry the inreasing encroachment, by the government of Kenya, into the human and democrativ rights of Kenyans. Kenyans have consistently been denied the inalienable rights to life, assembly, due process, right to petition authorities, expression and freedom. It has become inreasingly hard for ordinary Kenyans to speak out about the abuses of human rights, all while an uncomfortable silence and inaction from local institutions, civil society and other defenders of human rights pervades. For instance, former Telkom workers were arrested and are being detained in remand prison after they march to protest non-payment of their terminal dues. Elderly farmers from Mbo-I-Kamiti were arrested and charged with "unlawful assembly" after demonstrating against corruption and non-payment of salaries by their company. Members of People's Parliament were arrested while holding normal discussions at the Jeevanjee Gardens park in Nairobi


More than 300 youths from Mathare have been arrested on allegations of belonging to the "Mungiki" sect, as have been 50 matatu crew members from the Githurai 45 route. All these cases have been in the past one month alone. It is, therefore, our contention that the situation calls for immediate and urgent action. Our basic rights are under attack by a goverment that has been the beneficiary of so much international goodwill that it has now become oppressive and aggressive. The Kenyan government is working consistently on a policy of eroding the democratic rights of Kenyans with impunity. We will not let it. The planned demonstration, to start at the Jeevanjee Gardens in fewer than 2 hours time, will be in support of the people's right to petition authority, the right to assemble freely, freedom of expression, the right to life (against the shoot-to-kill orders issued by the minister for internal security), freedom from arbitrary arrests (against the Nairobi City Council askaris, the Rhino Squad of the Kenya Police, and the Traffic police) and the freedom of conscience (in solidarity with People's Parliament). We will actively resist the express and deliberate designs to muzzle the voices of the people. A people will be oppressed to the extent that they allow the oppression. We are putting up resistance.


ON WITH THE MARCH! POWER TO THE PEOPLE OF KENYA! We are keeping our eyes on the prize, and the prize is freedom and justice for the people, prosperity and happiness to all, and respect and dignity for each. Those ideals are worth fighting for. If you support those ideals, then we hope to see you at the demonstration. If you are outside Kenya, please send a protest message to the Kenyan Embassy in your country and also to your country's embassy in Kenya. When the government of Kenya demonstrates active aggression against its own people, it is the duty of all citizens of the world to come to the defense of the people's rights.

Our resolve will not be broken by the aggressors, nor will we suffer in silence. Enough is enough.

The planned demonstration continues! Wangui Mbatia

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General comments
This is an important issue but I would like more background and context Danny Schechter
Written by %% at 17 / 12 / 2010

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