Sunday, 30 November 2014

"If you rattle a snake..." Reflection on the 2006 Kenya government's attack on its media

In 2006 the Kenyan police violently raided the offices and printing press of the Standard Group media organisation. What was the government afraid of seeing reported? The article takes a look back and asks what really happened:

http://freespeechdebate.com/en/case/if-you-rattle-a-snake-the-kenyan-government-bites-its-media/

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Must read extract from Susanne D Mueller's "Kenya and the International Criminal Court" (2014)

Mueller, S. D., ‘Kenya and the International Criminal Court (ICC): politics, the election and the law’. Journal of Eastern African Studies, Vol. 8, No. 1 (2014), pp. 25-42.

pp. 33-4:

"Indicative of the attempts to undermine the ICC process were the plethora of attacks against witnesses. This included intimidating, bribing and killing them. The message being sent both by the state, which did nothing to protect witnesses and victims as required by the Rome Statute, and allegedly by the defendants and their supporters, was that if individuals cooperated with the ICC's investigations, they would pay heavy costs. Many did.
[...]

Shortly after the end of the PEV [Post-Election Violence], on 8 March 2008, Virginia Nyakio was murdered in a particularly bloody slaying. Nyakio was the wife of Mungiki's leader Maina Njenga, and might have known too much about Mungiki's involvement in the retaliatory violence in Nakuru and Naivasha, or have played a part in it herself. Two months later on 6 July 2008, Maina Diambo, Mungiki's Nairobi Coordinator, was murdered. On 5 November 2009, on the same day the ICC's Chief Prosecutor said he would ask the PTC [Pre Trial Chamber] to begin an investigation, Maina Njenga's deputy, Njuguna Gitau, was shot dead on Lithuli Avenue in Nairobi shortly after Njenga left jail. In March 2009, two members of the Oscar Foundation, a human rights organization, were killed a month after speaking to Philip Alston, the UN's Special Representative on Extra-Judicial Killings, about the murder of Mungiki members. In a May 2010 US Government Wikileaks cable, the United States Embassy in Kenya discussed "the steady rise in the number of individuals threatened or killed for apparent political reasons." It said that former Waki Commission witnesses "ha[d] already been threatened." The cable also spoke about the embassy's "multiple sources" who accused Kenyatta and Ruto of "directing a campaign of intimidation against potential witnesses." It also alleged that Njuguna Gitau "may have been the lynchpin to channel funding from Uhuru Kenyatta to the Mungiki." In the confirmation of charges hearings, the prosecutor noted that the above murders sought to eliminate individuals who had led the retaliatory attacks in Nakuru and Naivasha to keep them from implicating the organizers of the violence."