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Kenya: Further information on prisoners of conscience / health concern

, Index number: AFR 32/014/1996

Tirop Kitur, RPP Chairperson, Munga Gathogo, RPP Assistant Secretary, Kanene Karari, Coordinator (note name change), Ndungi Githuku, Assistant Coordinator (note name change), Josephine Nyawira Ngengi (f), Virginia Wanjiru (f), Wanjiru Kahiga (f), Wahinya Boore, Munyua Njenga, Munyua Njuki, Mungai Mbuthi, Maina Waititu, Wafula Buke, John Britaii, Kibuku Kahura, Muriithi Kanotho, Mwangi Kiragu, Ditau Wanguthi, Njaroge Wanguthi, Muriu Katiuki, Muriithi Nduthu: On 6 August 1996, the 21 members of the human rights organization Release Political Prisoners (RPP) were finally given bail after having been imprisoned for 19 days in harsh conditions. They should be released shortly. All 21 were arrested in Nairobi on 19 July on charges of sedition and holding an illegal meeting.

EXTERNAL AI Index: AFR 32/14/96
6 August 1996
Further information on EXTRA 113/96 (AFR 32/11/96, 23 July 1996) - Prisoners
of Conscience / Health concern
KENYA
Tirop KITUR, Chairperson
Munga GATHOGO, Assistant Secretary
Kanene KARARI, Coordinator (note name change)
Ndungi GITHUKU, Assistant Coordinator (note name change)
Josephine Nyawira NGENGI (f)
Virginia WANJIRU (f)
Wanjiru KAHIGA (f)
Wahinya BOORE
Munyua NJENGA
Munyua NJUKI
Mungai MBUTHI
Maina WAITITU
Wafula BUKE
Johi BRITAII
Kibuku KAHURA
Muriithi KANOTHO
Mwangi KIRAGU
Ditau WANGUTHI
Njaroge WANGUTHI
Muriu KATIUKI
Muriithi NDUTHU
On 6 August 1996 the 21 members of the human rights organization Release
Political Prisoners (RPP) were finally given bail after having been imprisoned
for 19 days in harsh conditions. They should be released shortly.
All 21 were arrested in Nairobi on 19 July on charges of sedition and holding
an illegal meeting. They were initially refused bail despite the fact that
both charges are bailable. Human rights activists in Kenya believe the RPP
is being targeted for its human rights activities. In the past few months the
RPP have continued to express concern at the murder of their Secretary General,
Karimi Nduthu, on 24 March 1996, and have raised questions about the apparent
lack of progress in the police investigation.
The bail application was not opposed by the prosecution when the case came
to court on the morning of 6 August. Bail has been set at 20,000 Kenyan shillings
each (approximately £240). The detainees were represented in court by senior
Kenyan lawyers and supported by lawyers from a number of legal and human rights
organizations including the Kenya branch of the International Commission of
Jurists, the Federation of Independent Women Lawyers (FIDA)-Kenya, the Kenya
Human Rights Commission and Kituo Cha Sheria, a legal aid centre. The trial
is set to begin on 19 August.
Amnesty International remains concerned about these 21 human rights activists
and believes that the Kenyan authorities are using the laws on sedition to
restrict freedom of expression and association. The organization considers them to
be prisoners of conscience.
2
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express/
airmail letters in English or in your own language:
- urging that the charges against the 21 members of the Release Political
Prisoners group, who are prisoners of conscience, be dropped;
- urging that they be given access to any medical treatment they may require.
APPEALS TO:
President Daniel arap Moi
Office of the President
PO Box 30501, Nairobi, Kenya
Telegrams: President Moi, Nairobi, Kenya
Telexes: 22003 FOREIGN ROB / 22796 FOREIGN RB
Faxes: + 254 2 337340 (if no tone, please try later)
Salutation: Your Excellency
Mr Amos Wako
Attorney General
Office of the Attorney General
PO Box 40112, Nairobi, Kenya
Telegrams: Attorney General Wako, Sheria, Kenya
Faxes: + 254 2 211 082
Salutation: Dear Attorney General
Mr Justice Abdul Majid Cocker
Chief Justice
Law Courts
PO Box 30041, Nairobi, Kenya
Telegrams: Chief Justice Cocker, Nairobi, Kenya
Salutation: Dear Chief Justice
COPIES TO:
Kenya Human Rights Commission
PO Box 55235
Nairobi
Kenya
Release Political Prisoners
PO Box 50613
Nairobi
Kenya
and to diplomatic representatives of KENYA accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 25 August 1996.

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