Amnesty International has called for the protection of several Kenyan human rights activists who have received death threats in the last two weeks.
All but one of the group are of Kikuyu ethnicity and it is believed fellow Kikuyus have sent the threats, which include accusations that the activists are “traitors” to their ethnicity.
The nine people – some of whom are prominent of local human rights organizations – have received a series of anonymous SMS messages, phone calls and emails. They are now taking precautions for their safety, by moving house and not making public statements.
The activists have all spoken out against what they believe to be irregularities in Kenya’s recent elections. They have also been openly critical of the human rights abuses being committed by police and armed gangs – including Kikuyu gangs – throughout the country.
Four of the activists are named in an anonymously-authored leaflet circulated within the Kikuyu community. It lists more than 25 people by name, calling them “traitors [who] live among us in peace”, and issues a veiled threat that they should be killed.
Amnesty International calls on the Kenyan government to ensure the safety and protection of all human rights activists in Kenya. It must investigate the threats and bring those found responsible to justice.