The silence of the international community is a challenge.

Kenya: HRD’s Participate in [online] Spear Tour

Peace Brigades International – Kenya Project organised a virtual Speaker Tour during November and December to raise concerns about the human rights situation in Kenya to embassies and governments in the global community. Two human rights defenders, Maryanne Kasina from Kayole Community Justice Center. and Anthony Kimani from Kiamaiko community justice centre, represented the Social Justice Centres Working Group.

Social Justice Centres are doing very important work in Kenya by organising meetings to share stories and experiences and by creating safe spaces for activities. The centres are working together to create social justice and equal access to human rights. Together they are building a social movement for greater impact.

On December, 10, Maryanne Kasina and Anthony Kimani spoke to the Police Officer and the Cluster Coordinator of Eastern and Southern Africa from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. As it was International Human Rights Day that day, it was a good day to reflect on the people who are committing themselves to promote and protect human rights and to listen to their stories. They talked about the struggles in Nairobi, worsened by the measures taken to control the spread of Covid-19. The Human Rights Defenders were advocating for more transparency and justice for victims of police- and gender-based violence. In this fight for justice, they emphasised how important it is to push the agenda for two important Acts- the Coroners Service Act and the Prevention of Torture Act.

The concerns were very well taking note off. The Dutch ministry acknowledged how important it is to get vocal about the matter. HRD’s are doing so much for the people in the communities without much resources and with much threatenings. It is important the international community shows solidarity and puts pressure on the Kenyan government.

This virtual speaker tour was part of “Increased capacities, stronger networks” – a pilot project in supporting Social Justice Center Working Group’s members in Nairobi’s urban settlements’, and supported with German Federal Foreign Office’s funds by ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen), Funding Programme zivik.

The short documentary Ghetto Justice is also part of this project.
Watch it below for free.

This virtual speaker tour was preceded by some other online activities that aim to inform the broader public about the work of the Social Justice Centres. For example, in October Faith Kasina from Kayole Social Justice Centre and co-convenor of the Social Justice Centres Working Group, spoke in a webinar titled ‘Police violence has no borders’. The webinar had a panel of human rights defenders in countries where PBI is active.

Listen below to Faith Kasina on police violence without borders.

And another one on what the international community can do.