EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AFR 32/05/93
2 March 1993
Further information on UA 38/93 (AFR 32/04/93, 15 Feberuary 1993) - Fear of
KENYA: Njehu Gatabaki, journalist
and new names: the Reverend Jamlick Miano ) also
Peter Ndekei Kihumba ) journalists
Njehu Gatabaki, editor of Finance magazine, was granted bail by a High Court judge
on 24 February 1993 and released. He had been arrested in Nairobi on 2 February 1993
and charged with sedition in connection with an issue of Finance magazine criticizing
President Moi. No information is yet available on his treatment in custody.
The Attorney General has now given consent to prosecute Njehu Gatabaki and his wife,
Rachel Gatabaki, on earlier similar charges of sedition, but no date has yet been
set for their trial. Consent to prosecute on the new charges has not yet been given.
If convicted of sedition, either could be jailed for up to ten years on each charge.
No further action by Urgent Action participants is requested at this time on behalf
of Njehu Gatabaki since he has been released on bail.
On 16 February 1993 police in Nairobi arrested two other journalists, the Reverend
Jamlick Miano (a presbyterian church minister), editor of The Watchman, a new magazine,
and an editorial colleague Peter Ndekei Kihumba, who were then also charged with
publishing a seditious publication. The charges related to the magazine's cover
entitled "Moi - devil's whip on Kenya" and other articles critical of the President.
Both men are still being held, with a bail application by their lawyer refused. After
Njehu Gatabaki was granted bail, the Chief Justice, according to Kenyan press reports,
instructed magistrates not to grant bail if the offence was likely to be committed
again. This might mean that the Reverend Miano might be kept in custody until trial
- which could be for several months - as he is also still facing similar sedition
charges in connection with articles in a church magazine in mid-1992.
In the past two weeks police have also confiscated issues of several magazines and
newspapers criticizing President Moi, and briefly detained some of the people selling
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail letters
either in English or your own language:
- expressing concern at the arrest in mid-February 1993 of the Reverend Jamlick Miano
and Peter Ndekei Kihumba of The Watchman magazine, and that they have been charged
with sedition in connection with articles critical of President Moi and his government,
for which they could be imprisoned for up to 10 years;